I have put off writing for a variety of reasons: getting used to this new chapter of my life which means I am not working every day, working on a couple of book ideas, cleaning out and purging of closets and my garage!
My friends have asked about my blog and I just give them a blank look, I did not think I had anything to say. I had one that I used to write but it stopped as work overtook the thinking/writingprocess!As a Technology Coach, it was easy to write about the latest tool, website, project, or idea. So..I have been thinking-Should I write about the day to day adventures that I have? Should I make it more school/technology related? Should I write about my new job? Man, do I wish I had a fairy god mother that would come and answer those questions! So, until she arrives, I will take a stab at it.
Today will be all about life after retirement!
Let me begin by saying, I love teaching as well as learning. My career as an elementary teacher began in 1979. I have taught for a very long time. It was a tough decision to leave but not as hard as the one when I left the classroom 13 years ago to become a technologist.
Retirement for educators is so strange. It like losing your best friend. I was told that and thought the person was crazy! I now totally get it!
The first few weeks are quite enjoyable because my brain said, “It’s a holiday- no one goes to school!” It is easy to find things to occupy your mind and time. But after a week or two, there were no more closets to clean, garage shelves to straighten or cabinets/pantry to organize. My house has never looked so clean and neat!
Now, when people ask, “Don’t you miss it?” They look so baffled if I respond with a No! Oh sure, I miss the people but not the job! I knew it was time to leave when I would think it isn’t as much fun to be here like it used to be or there are only 54 days till the semester ends!
I met some of the most interesting people at the 13 different campuses I have been at. Yes, some have become dear friends that I do miss yet will continue to talk and share with, They are the same ones that I have been through good times and sad times that have happened,
The job has changed so much in the 37 years that I would be crazy to miss it! When I first started teaching, the student’s and their learning were the most important thing! Sadly, now it is all about the State mandated tests and students are not important!
Teaching is not a creative outlet like it was when I first started. There is not time for activities like dress up character day, play in the room, walks to the park, free exploration of centers or fun! There are set minutes for everything including the 10 minute recess once a week.
Please do not get me wrong, I loved the students in my classes just like they were my own children. I loved helping them reach for the stars and have fun while learning! I do not like the focus of the tests driving the education of the students!
I find myself after 4 months still eating meals fast, telling time by school related means ( Kindergarten is as t lunch so I still have 10 minutes,etc), not another full moon, report cards are due today as well as my mortgage payment!
So, goodbye dear friend of 37 years! I will think of you fondly as I start the new chapter. I will cherish those times in the cafeteria opening milk for the Prekindergarteners, zipping up coats before recess on those chilly Panhandle Fall days, praticing for music programs, spelling bees, recess duty, faculty meetings and of course staff trainings on bloodborne pathogens, gang identification and latest gradebook software! I will miss you!