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 Icon NEW - I learned to change my perspective - "It’s the education I learned in Cognitive Intervention class that changed me. I learned to change my perspective."

Success Story IconNEW - I now have a good job - "My Windham teachers showed patience, effort, and kindness; they were very helpful"

Success Story IconNEW - Better future after prison - "It's mind-blowing and inspirational to know that you can have a better future after 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 ...


November 2017
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Teach for WSD

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WSD in Images

Auto specialization students in a West Texas prison learn auto maintenance skills, preparing themselves for future employment as professional mechanics.
Female offenders in Gatesville, Texas, study to improve their literacy skills during a WSD academic class.
Texas State Board of Education Chair Barbara Cargill congratulates GED recipients during Spring, 2014, ceremonies. “I am very impressed with the program and with the commitment of the staff and teachers,” she said.
Students at the Huntsville “Walls” Unit strengthen writing skills during a literacy class.
An offender at the Polunsky Unit prepares for graduation after earning his GED through the Windham School District.
Offenders often experience academic success for the first time in a Windham classroom.