The “Mama Bear”

For fourteen years, I have been the “mama bear” in a correctional facility, mostly teaching adult males between the ages of 18 to 75. I also have nearly a year’s experience in an all-male juvenile facility, with ages ranging from 12 to 18.  So, I have experience with a full spectrum of ages.

The prison setting obviously has many cultural and ethnic backgrounds. We have Caucasians, African Americans, Native Americans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and probably any combination of the above.
The ability levels range from non-readers at kindergarten level, all the way to twelfth grade. Until recently, our school was departmentalized by subject area, and the students were also placed by academic level. Specifically, I taught the high-level math. These students were at the high school level; I instructed them in numbers and operations, measurement, algebra and geometry.

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