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Prison Teacher

Conduct classes to rehabilitate prisoners.

What does a Prison Teacher do?

A Prison Teacher, or Corrections Teacher, teaches criminals lessons. Of course, criminals are already living the hardest lesson of all, which is doing hard time. After all, that’s why prisons exist: to not only punish criminals but also “teach them a lesson” that results in rehabilitation and reform. A Prison Teacher, however, takes the criminal justice system’s mission to a whole new level by literally giving lessons to criminals.

As a Prison Teacher, you’re an Educator who’s just like a traditional Teacher, except for two obvious differences: Your students are inmates, and your school is a state or federal prison. Still, you share the goal of traditional classroom Teachers: equipping students with the basic knowledge and skills they need to get good jobs, be good citizens, and otherwise live happy, productive lives.

No matter what type of prison you teach at — state or federal, juvenile or adult, men’s or women’s — inmates typically have access to education and training, which you provide. Like most Teachers, you assist in developing curriculums, planning lessons, teaching courses, giving assignments, and conducting evaluations. What’s unique, then, isn’t what you do, but rather how you do it, as many inmates are socially, environmentally, and economically disadvantaged, often lacking basic skills and sometimes suffering from impairments like dyslexia and deafness. Instead of advanced classes in calculus and literature, therefore, you typically teach practical courses that impart basic math and literacy skills, as well as vocational skills like typing and job interviewing.

It’s a sobering gig, to be sure, but also a rewarding one, as the number one lesson you teach — and learn — is this: Everyone deserves a second chance!