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Teaching in prison

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by vectis1, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. vectis1

    vectis1 New commenter


    Just seen a job teaching in a prison. Always fancied it for some wired reason!

    Anyone have any experience of it?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. BTBAM85

    BTBAM85 New commenter

    No, but it looks truly awful. Like working in a PRU with less job security and no school holidays. Forget it.
  3. BYusuf

    BYusuf Occasional commenter TES Careers peer advisor

    Hi vectis1,

    I have no experience of teaching in a prison yet curious enough to ask, what makes it appealing to you?

    Do you have any experience of teaching students who may experience complex learning needs, mental health issues and significant learning gaps?

  4. vectis1

    vectis1 New commenter


    Thanks your your ideas.

    I knew someone who taught in prison and actually enjoyed it. Behavior better than school!

    I do believe in second chances I suppose. Clear link between low literacy and offenders.

    I have only worked in mainstream though so probably don’t have the experience. Also probably being naive about the ‘making a difference’ thing.

    Will leave it for now then!
  5. BYusuf

    BYusuf Occasional commenter TES Careers peer advisor

    Hi again vectis1,

    I am a firm believer in doing what we love or are passionate about, no matter how corny that may sound!

    As naive as it may sound, making a positive difference is a great motivator.

    Working in mainstream *could* help provide the right experience for this type of role so long as we have developed:
    *a varied array of behaviour management strategies
    *sound knowledge and understanding of issues that may lie behind behaviours exhibited by students
    *effective teaching strategies that help those with learning difficulties and significant gaps in their learning.

    It would be useful to ask your friend how they prepared themselves to teach within prison and any challenges they experienced, as this will give you more realistic insights.

    All the best,
    annascience2012 likes this.
  6. amykins959

    amykins959 New commenter

    I taught in prison for just over a year until December 2018.

    The providers have had their contract renewed or they have changed in April 2019. It could be an interesting time for providers as the prisons have more day about the courses they need in their establishment.

    If you teach functional skills or IT, there will always be a need for that but it could be more challenging for other subjects as these courses may go/change etc.

    If learners have chosen to do courses you should find that they want to do the work. However if they have been made to do functional skills there could be a challenge on the motivational front as many prisoners didn't have a positive relationship with education when they were young.

    I taught nutrition and health which was a chosen subject and lots of the lads were interested in the gym so wanted to learn. In the whole behaviour its better than schools but you will have to deal with retention data and justify your reasons for wanting prisoners removed from your class.

    On the whole, it wasn't right for me, but the teaching experience in the classroom is better than that of schools. You do still have the pressure of ofsted though!
    agathamorse and JohnJCazorla like this.
  7. amykins959

    amykins959 New commenter


    I worked for a college so I got the same holiday allowance as someone who worked on campus. For me it was great as I never want to take holiday when the kids are off, I could take it to fit in with other colleagues in my department

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