Working as a teacher for the federal bureau of prisons

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Daveblax, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. Daveblax

    Daveblax Rookie

    Apr 5, 2014
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    Feb 4, 2015

    I have been researching prison teacher positions. Does anyone here have any experience teaching in the prison system or know someone who did?

    One positive of a position like this is the pay and benefits seems to be a little better than a typical public school position.
  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Feb 4, 2010
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    Feb 4, 2015

    I dated a guy was an instructor in a federal prison (the one here in Mendota).
    I wouldn't really call it it teaching though, not in the same sense as we are teachers, for the following reasons:
    - you don't need to have a teaching credential, you don't even need to have any experience. Heck, he didn't even know how to design lessons
    - he was in charge of hundreds of courses, for those he hired inmates to teach for about 8-12 cents / hour. He taught some basic math and GED courses
    - classes are optional, these are adults who are not obligated to attend school. They do it because they're bored or actually want to learn something (law classes are popular for example)
    - classroom management is not that much of an issue
    - he could cancel class any time
    - really no accountability, just have to have certain courses, etc.
    - he was an officer, a supervisor, and an instructor, and made 10 K less than me, a 3rd year teacher.

    I don't think it's easy to get in though, there are certain guidelines, for example age, to be working in a federal prison, or for anything federal law enforcement.
  4. MissBee06

    MissBee06 Rookie

    Nov 8, 2006
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    Feb 5, 2015

    I work in a school in a state prison, so no federal experience, but the state has definite standards that must be met. All of the teachers must be certified teachers, there are education standards that are worked on, lesson plans are written and turned in weekly, and IDEA and Title 1 must be accomodated. We have three types of classes: literacy for GED, vocational/trade, and a cognitive intervention class, oh plus a class that is taken pre-release.

    You must have great classroom management skills to teach in a prison. I don't teach in the prison any longer, I had my school counseling certificate, so I am now in that position, but I have to say that I really like my job. It's so different than what I was doing before. I was very burned out in my other teaching job that when there was a position here I jumped at it. My pay is a bit better than the local district but way better than what I was making at the charter school I taught at.

    Before deciding anything though I would advise that you ask if you could come and observe once or twice. For some people walking through all the gates and hearing the locks clanging shut behind them is enough to know its not for them.
  5. ktmiller222

    ktmiller222 Cohort

    Apr 15, 2011
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    Feb 5, 2015

    I think it really depends on where you work. You have to be a very strong and a firm believer of rehabilitation to work there. There are people in jail that want to change their life and you have to believe that as well. Of course, there will be people that just goof off but you will find that in regular public schools as well. Depending on the area, you may also work with local education agencies to help them as well. If you let them know you believe in them, they will believe in their education. Good luck!

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