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Just kidding...PTI Matters is never boring!

Welcome back to another issue of your new favorite weekly email. And to end this week right, I think it entirely appropriate that we don our black and white suits and celebrate (drumroll, please)...Penguin Awareness Day! Which is today, in case you didn't know. Please see sidebar for details...

As PTI expands, we attract teachers from outside the Princeton University community, and some of our grad students and post-docs find themselves on campus less often. Which, as you can imagine, has created something of a conundrum for teachers who need to print materials for their classes. Solution finders that we are, though, we have found a solution! PTI has established an account with Staples Copy & Print Center, so if you're one of our at-some-distance friends who needs materials for a class, please forward your file(s) to Tara ( and she will submit them to the Staples of your choice for copying. We'll notify you when they're ready and you can pick them up.

If there is no Staples within a reasonable distance of your home or office, we'll arrange for the finished product to be shipped to your preferred address. All charges will be billed directly to PTI. If you have a large order, please send your request at least 1-2 weeks in advance of when you need the materials. And since we're on a budget, we ask that you be judicious about requesting materials - we would like to limit these requests to larger orders (i.e., bound readers, supplemental packets, etc.).

Just a reminder that several optional events are available to support and prepare teachers new to prison education. Please consider attending an event!
  • Friday, Jan. 20, 2-4pm (Peyton 201) 
  • Friday, Jan. 27, 12-2pm (Teacher Prep Seminar Room)
  • Friday, Jan. 27, 2-4pm (Peyton 201)
At this point, nearly all of our teachers should have received an invitation to join the PTI SharePoint site - please accept (or we'll be very sad about your rejection)! The ride-sharing calendar Matthew Spellberg created last year is quite useful in helping teachers figure out how to get to their facilities. Right now, the calendar has "placeholder" dates on it for each facility. If you have a vehicle or Enterprise Car-Share membership and would like to offer carpooling, please enter your name and contact information in the appropriate dates when you know you'll be teaching. If you're not a driver, here's where you will look for ride-sharing information.

Most PTI classes are beginning the week of January 30, so in preparation for that momentous day, we'd like to remind you to be prepared :) This semester, NJSTEP is responsible for ordering textbooks, folders, and notebooks for students. Since we don't control this process, it's entirely possible that your students will not have the materials they need during the first week. Office supplies were recently ordered, so we recommend you swing by the PTI office and pick up a notepad or two that you can use to give your students writing paper. We've also ordered many more pre-sharpened pencils, which you'll definitely want to take with you each and every class you teach.

Though Tara is not on campus every day, the PTI office is open to teachers during regular business hours (usually Mon-Fri, 7:30am to about 6pm). Feel free to use the office as a pick-up/drop-off point for materials or as a meeting space (albeit a small one), or stop in to grab some teaching supplies.

As you may have noticed, there are quite a few hands in the PTI soup, and it's not always evident who you should call with a specific question or concern. Here are some guidelines that might help you:
  • When in doubt, contact the PTI coordinator (Tara) and she'll point you in the right direction. She's in the PTI office (in Teacher Prep, 41 William St.) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30am to 6pm. She responds to emails on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, so if you have an urgent question or concern outside those times, feel free to call or text her at 609-238-2536.
  • If you need to cancel a class in advance (as an absolute last resort, of course), contact Gerardine Jean-Louis, the NJSTEP Institutional Liaison, as early as possible. She can be reached at 973-856-1784.
  • If you need to cancel a class at the last minute, contact Center Control at the facility where you teach. Contact information for the facilities is available on our SharePoint site.
  • If you have concerns about a student (behavioral, attendance, academic, etc.), contact the NJSTEP academic counselor at the facility where you teach. You should have already received the counselor information for your facility.
  • If you have questions related to academic materials (syllabi, textbooks, worksheets, etc.) or teaching credentials, contact Gen Van Doren at Raritan Valley Community College at 
We'll also be posting an updated directory of our Leadership Team members on the SharePoint site next week. You may find that some of those folks can also help you address questions or concerns.

  • CALL FOR PAPERS: Find out more about assisting a Tulane student in organizing a session on prison education at the Society for the Study of Social Problems conference in Montreal.
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 so we can highlight them here!
Let's celebrate penguins! Today is Penguin Awareness Day - not sure why that's a thing, but since it is, let's just be happy about it.
Copyright © 2017 Prison Teaching Initiative @ Princeton University, All rights reserved.

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