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So how's the teaching going?

Well, as of this writing, things are going RELATIVELY smoothly for the first week of classes, and that's no small feat! Thanks for your patience and endurance, both of which are very much appreciated. And, as usual, whenever you need support, please feel free to email Tara at tronda@princeton.edu.

REPORTING STUDENT ABSENCES & ACADEMIC CONCERNS
Typical for the beginning of the term, we've been dealing with some interesting attendance issues, so we wanted to let you know that there are several people who need to be notified of these kinds of concerns. In addition to notifying your pod/team leader (if, obviously, you are NOT the pod/team leader), you should also let Tara in the PTI office know and the academic counselor at your facility. They are the "on the ground" folks who interact with students on a regular basis, so they can more than likely tell you why you are experiencing an unusually high absence rate or why a particular student showed up to class even though he wasn't on the roster. The academic counselors' info is as follows:
  • Garden State: Latoya Hamlin, lhamlin@scarletmail.rutgers.edu, 732-984-1177 (cell)
  • Wagner: Reggie Gaines, rgaines@scarletmail.rutgers.edu, 732-318-1527
TRANSPORTATION REIMBURSEMENTS
As we (FINALLY) get moving on the semester, just wanted to issue a reminder about how to submit for transportation reimbursements. Here are some guidelines to help you along:
  • Only graduate students and post-docs are eligible to submit for transportation reimbursement, and only if all other transportation options have been exhausted (in other words, you've tried desperately to find a ride using the ride-share calendar and/or your contacts). We have a dwindling transportation budget, so while we are more than happy to reimburse wherever we can, we need to stay cognizant of our limits.
  • Before you submit your request, you'll need to create a Concur profile if you don't already have one. If you already have a profile, make sure your expense report is allocated to the correct account number so we can approve your request in a timely manner (you can find those account numbers in the file linked above).
  • You will submit expense reports monthly rather than each time you incur a cost. In the months you didn't incur an expense, no need to send a report! And on that note...
  • Keep an eye out for reminder emails at the end of every month. Moving forward, we'll remind you on the final day of each month that expenses for that month must be submitted using the Concur system by the 15th of the following month (you can always request an extension if you need one, but this deadline will help us keep track of our monthly expenses in a timely manner).
JOIN US...
...for "Second Friday P.D."! We love our instructors and want you to succeed in the challenging prison classroom, so we're designing a series of professional development events. Sessions will be held on - you guessed it - the second Friday of each month from 3 to 5pm in the Teacher Prep Seminar Room (2nd floor). Save the following dates:
  • Feb. 10: Instructional techniques in the prison classroom
  • Mar. 10: Classroom management strategies
  • Apr. 7: Differentiated instruction
FACULTY OFFICE HOURS
We are pleased to offer drop-in hours for all interested PTI instructors this semester! Feel free to stop by the appointed locales during the following times to chat with a veteran PTI instructor. It's a great time to ask questions, express concerns, and seek support for instructor-related tasks.
  • Mondays, 10-11am (Peyton 113): Hosted by Jenny Greene
  • Thursdays, 12-2pm (Teacher Prep Seminar Room, 2nd floor): Staffed by a rotation of Leadership Team members and University Administrative Fellows
  • Thursdays, 1-3pm (Peyton 106): Hosted by Jill Knapp (also available by appointment or through email at gk@astro.princeton.edu)
Additionally, Tara is in the PTI office Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30am to 6pm, and you are always welcome to contact members of our Leadership Team.

CHECK OUT OUR NEW VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK!
Though it's a work in progress, it's a start! Please send feedback to Tara at tronda@princeton.edu. She's especially interested in knowing what other resources your might find useful!

APPLY TO BE A BREAKOUT PRINCETON COORDINATOR FOR A SPRING BREAK CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM PROJECT!
Breakout Princeton is a program through the Pace Center for Civic Engagement that supports student led service trips of approximately 6-7 students that focus on social justice issues in both our local communities and abroad. Through meeting with community organizers, serving with local non-profits, and dialoging with public officials students learn deeply about social justice and how to get involved. Apply now if you would be interested in serving as a Breakout Coordinator for one of the First Year service trips! This position is fully-funded. We are looking to fill Coordinator positions for the trips below:
 
Criminal Justice: Incarceration and Reform
Location: Trenton, NJ
This trip will focus on understanding the assumptions of made of incarcerated individuals and what reform efforts are happening at a local and national level. This trip will look at criminal justice through the lenses of policy, activism, and direct service. We will meet with local government officials to learn about current policy as well as reform efforts. We will serve with local non-profits to learn about their work in meeting immediate and long term needs of incarcerated individuals. To learn more about the specific issues raised by local activists, we plan to engage in dialogue and deep discussion. We value diversity of thought and recognize that we all have much to learn about criminal justice in the United States. Therefore, we are looking for individuals that range from minimal to deep understanding of our issue.
 
To apply, please complete the Breakout Coordinator Application by Friday, February 3rd at 5pm. For any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to Pace Program Coordinator, Eliza Blades, via email ateblades@princeton.edu or to call at 609.258.9746. 

AROUND THE INTERWEBS IN 80 SECONDS
  • ARTICLE: "Ghana Prisons to Offer Qualified Inmates Chance at Higher Education" (Atlanta Black Star, 1/26/2017)
  • EVENT: Free Expungement Assessment Clinic for people with criminal records in Pennsylvania (offered as part of Community College of Philadelphia's Community Law School Day)
  • CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Calling all artists! Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia is looking for art installations for the 2018 season. ESP has done quite a lot to educate the public on mass incarceration in America, so if you're interested in art and criminal justice issues, this could be your opportunity to bridge them! (We'd also like to draw your attention to ESP's awesome Searchlight Series, monthly conversations about crime, justice, and the American prison system.)
CONTRIBUTE YOUR IDEAS!
I hope PTI Matters will continue to grow and be ever more useful to our teachers and friends. Please feel free to email your news blurbs and other suggestions to tronda@princeton.edu so we can highlight them here!
Looking for a way to save the world today? Well, it just so happens it's Feed the Birds Day! We tend not to think about feeding our feathered friends in the winter, but this is one of the most important times of year to do so. So get out there and feed/watch some birds!
Copyright © 2017 Prison Teaching Initiative @ Princeton University, All rights reserved.


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