Reflections on the CEA Conference

For the past two days I've been attending the 2008 Region III and Region IV Corrections Education Association conference in Bloomington, MN. I don't work (and haven't worked) in corrections education myself, but MLC supports literacy educators at all levels throughout the state, including in corrections. So I went to make myself more familiar with the particulars of this area of adult education that has been, up to now, completely unknown to me.

It was an interesting experience for me, an "outsider", to attend. I got a chance to speak with vocational, ABE/GED, and ESL teachers who work with offenders in the corrections system throughout the Midwest, and those conversations gave me a real insight into the special needs, challenges, and rewards of that particular line of adult education work.

Every time I'm in a gathering of adult educators, I'm struck by the passion and committment that they have for their work and their learners. In this group of teachers, who work with some of the hardest to reach adult learners, I sensed and even greater depth of committment and love for their work than in almost any other group I've had the privilege to work with. Powerful stuff. Keep up the good work, CEA teachers! You've inspired me to dig deeper into my own work and find renewed energy for my most difficult projects. Thanks!

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