Why teach offenders in Windham School District?

Why teach offenders in Windham School District?

• Why would anyone teach inside a prison?
• Why would anyone want to teach offenders, working behind locked gates and barbed wire fences?
• Why would anyone want to be a correctional educator?

We posed these questions to each of the 2015 Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching Award finalists. Their answers were revealing and compelling.

This month we are featuring responses from Martha Estrada, an El Paso literacy teacher who enthusiastically makes her living "behind the walls" of the Sanchez State Jail. Without hesitation, she told us:

Martha Estrada - Literacy Teacher (El Paso, TX)

"Correctional education is important because someday these guys are going to be my neighbors. They are somebody's child, somebody's father, and somebody's brother. We need to help them get there. They are going to be back in society, and I want them to be productive citizens. … so I need to help them -- or we need to help them – I can't do anything by myself. I expect my students to learn respect, empathy and the ability to succeed."


Martha Estrada - Literacy Teacher (El Paso, TX) 

Martha Estrada - Literacy Teacher (El Paso, TX) 


And – if you are a WSD employee who'd like to share your own reasons for working in correctional education, please send a response to: ______________________. Your quote may be shared in a future WSD Newsletter or web posting!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Success Stories

Success Story IconNEW - They didn’t give up - "It makes me feel really good to know that these guys aren’t giving up just because they’re in prison."

Success Story IconIndependent Data Contractor Success Story -
"Due largely to the training I received from my teacher, I am able to be an independent ...

Success Story IconEducation changed my life -
"These opportunities [GED® classes or learning a trade] are great, but WSD is so much more than that; for me it was a change of life."

Success Story IconWelding Success Story -
"I'm thankful for the welding program I was allowed to take while locked up".


March 2018
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Teach for WSD

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WSD in Images

Offenders often experience academic success for the first time in a Windham classroom.
Auto specialization students in a West Texas prison learn auto maintenance skills, preparing themselves for future employment as professional mechanics.
Vocational and academic skills are integrated in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, such as this Small Engine Repair class in Huntsville, Texas.
Students at the Huntsville “Walls” Unit strengthen writing skills during a literacy class.
WSD’s Business and Image Management & Multimedia (BIMM) class offers students the opportunity to learn viable graphic arts and computer skills, helping them prepare for jobs after release.
Offenders often experience academic success for the first time in a Windham classroom.