I teach at a super max prison. This last little bunch of students have been, well, crazy making. A bad mix. So the other two teachers came over the other day (okay, I admit, I had my head down on the desk, sobbing like my entire family had been wiped out by the black plague).
So we went over our class lists and moved my low ones to Domi’s class, my high ones went to Wilder and every one in the middle came to me.
WHAT a surprise to have a functional class. We were all on the same page. IMAGINE!! So I’m teaching a 3-4-5 class and it worked today, at least.
I showed a health video about STDs twice. Once for me to write the quiz and once for them to answer the quiz. (These guys are 2x learners). So in the big middle of the discussion part (we had to watch the vid twice to have anything to intelligently talk about), I go to the back of the room (I am 30 guys away from the door, which says a lot about how comfortable I was feeling about this student mix) and I’m sitting on my little stool, facing the class and drawing behind my head. (Great little trick, huh?)
These guys need a LOT of drawings, since they don’t have a real clear idea of how the world works. So I’m drawing a cell and a virus (a cell looks like an egg yolk and white; a virus looks like a cockleburr).
And we;re talking about HIV and how it works (I have a lot of students and 99.999999% of men in prison are on the down low. Fact of incarceration.) And as I like to say, the truth will make you free.
If I don’t tell them the straight stuff, who will?
So I’m showing them how the virus works, attaching itself like a burr to the healthy cells and explaining how the only purpose of a virus is to replicate, even if it kills it’s original host….and I almost felt as if I were showing them how to make fire.
Then we started talking about protecting yourself…because if you don’t care, no one else is going to.
They were just a little hinky at first, since they didn’t want to overstep (I’m not a nurse, so I might not know anything about this stuff. Ha.) So, once I told them that I had lived a life before I wound up in prison and I highly doubted that they could come up with a question I hadn’t heard or asked nor would they be able to shock me…I’m a product of the 60’s.
I was just amazed at the really true questions they asked…honest questions and the really true explanations that the guys who knew the information gave. Three guys acted out HIV, the immune system and A. Dude. It was hysterical but so informative….and it got the point over.