“His strategies and motivation to better our program keeps everyone in the department interested and guessing on what Mr. House would think of next. However, I must confess, sometimes it was a bit scary at times.” Janet Drach- ABE Instructor Branchville Correctional Facility
Hi, my name is Orville House. I’m an ABE/HSE instructor for Oakland City University at Branchville Correctional Facility. I have been teaching in the Indiana Department of Correction for five years, and I can truly say I have enjoyed every moment. Although in 2008 I set out to become an elementary educator, I know that Correctional Education is my true calling. My goal is to touch as many offenders as I can throughout my career here in the IDOC. I try to create lifelong learners out of students who often times want nothing to do with education.
The main struggle in any classroom is student motivation. I try to think of ways to change the norm. One way I motivate students is through my classroom instruction. For example, I wanted the student to enjoy math as much as I do, so I developed a math lesson for graphing where we made a huge coordinate grid on the floor. I found they liked it and I wanted to use it all the time. So, I moved all the furniture out of my classroom and drew a coordinate grid on the tile with markers and then we waxed over it to make it permanent.
As part of my efforts to improve my classroom I have become a better teacher and received the teacher of the year for ICJA in 2017. Beyond the regular classroom duties, I voluntarily teach Bible study in the evenings to the offenders at Branchville. I have also presented at IAACE and CEA conferences in to 2017.