Christopher Zoukis Interviews Janice Chamberlin

CZ: Why don’t you tell me a little about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Janice: For the past 14 years, I’ve been teaching in a state prison in Indiana.  I’m the “mama bear” to 50 adult men each day. They range in age from 17-74, with abilities from Kindergarten to 12th grade. The average guy is under 5th grade. We study the five subjects necessary to pass the GED test.

I’m also an author and speaker.  I wrote Locked Up With Success:  A Prison Teacher’s Guide to Closing the Achievement Gap in Any Classroom.  My “mission” when I speak is to spread the word about the value of correctional education. In addition, it seems counterintuitive, but I stress how the answer to public education is right under our noses – in prisons.

As if I’m not busy enough, I’m also beginning an exciting new venture.  I am putting my successful system online for anyone who is working on their GED. I have an organized but simplified way to help students pass the test as efficiently and quickly as possible. They’ll have personal access to me when they have questions or concerns. The emphasis will be on math because that is the biggest challenge for most students. The other emphasis will be on how to write an essay.

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