News for 2008

12/23/08 Last day before the holiday break. We are allowed to have a relaxed day for the students on the last day of class. We gave out gift bags, played music (Jimmy Buffet's Christmas), watched a movie (Microcosmos), and colored faerie pictures. There were some tears from the mothers as the sounds and signs of Christmas brought back the realization that they won't be home for the holidays.

12/22/08 Promoted two more students to GED. 

12/19/08 Visited lock again to deliver supplies and just to touch base with my students before the holidays. I think it helps for them to know that somebody is taking the time to touch base.

12/15/08 Installed TABE client-server testing software. The great thing about this computer-based test is that it provides a detailed report indicating where a student is lacking in academic skills. I use this report as a "prescription" to help guide my student's individual studies.

11/15/08 Provided books and supplies to my students that are on lock. They were very excited to get a visit and receive the supplies.

11/14/08 Installed and started using the ITTS TABE educational software. This software is great for helping students with a wide range of abilities. I am now able to differentiate instruction for most of my students.

11/12/08 I have about seven students on "lock" right now. I decided to get permission to provide them with books and supplies. The prison was very receptive to this service offer. I met the students today and gaged their interest in working on their studies while they complete their punishment time; most of the students want to continue their studies.

11/01/08 The prison hired another teacher. I have been moved to the Th through 8th grade class; also known as Pre-GED. I am excited about being able to teach topics with more depth.

11/01/08 Completed my second Intermediate session. This session went much smother than the last one; the methodology class I am taking in college is definitely helping me plan and manage the classroom better. I also promoted a student to GED; her latest TABE test scores were high enough for her to move on.

10/15/08 The tutoring classes are going well. It makes for a long day in the prison though: 7:00AM through 5:00PM. There is still a long waiting list; I loose a few students every week but more than a few are signing up...

09/01/08 Started a teaching methodology class in college. I have high hopes that this class will help me manage the classroom better. 

09/01/08 Completed my first two-month Intermediate session. Teaching two 3-hour classes in a prison every day is definitely the hardest job I have ever had. I am getting into the habit of taking a nap after work :) . 

08/01/08 Mathematics tutoring class is full with 20 students. There is also a long waiting list. There is definitely a need for additional tutoring classes at the prison. If my work schedule changes I could imagine running several different classes each week. The is also a need for language/reading/writing tutoring classes.

07/10/08 Started up a mathematics tutoring class for the general population. This class is for any inmate desiring any level of mathematics tutoring.

06/15/08 Teaching two 3-hour classes five days a week at the prison. Due to a teacher shortage the academic level runs run 4th grade through 8th grade.

06/01/08 I was just asked to teach full time. I will be teaching a class with a 4th through 5th grade academic ability; also know as Intermediate level.

02/15/08 Great news. We just had three additional Helping Up Mission students earn their diplomas. This was the third time testing for two of the students. By earning their GED one student will now get paid for his services and another student will have access to additional employment opportunities. One student is recovering from an industrial accident so having his diploma will open up jobs that he is now physically able to perform.

01/24/08 The first group of students SCL worked with at the correctional institute just received their scores: 7 out of 10 students passed math and earned their GED. These results reflect the high level of quality education the state provides to the inmates.

01/17/08 SCL has started a new program at the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women. This program is geared towards helping inmates prepare for their release. The following free services will be provided: college advising, college placement test tutoring, driver license inquiries, credit inquiries, and GED math tutoring.

01/12/08 Volunteer tutoring an individual who needs to pass the PRAXIS I mathematics test in order to become a certified teacher. The PRAXIS I is slightly more difficult than the GED test.

1/05/08 Just heard back from one of my students. He was a recipient of a 3000-plus GED diploma. He completed his first semester of college earning a 4.0: Freshman Composition, Introduction to Psychology, and Business Computers.

01/01/08 Will be volunteering to teach construction mathematics to inmates enrolled in vocational training.