been spending a lot – A LOT- of time thinking about my upcoming retirement. Its coming earlier than I expected, but Ive always believed you listen to your heart and you will know what is right, and my heart, in many ways is telling me to get the hell out of public education NOW. My health was suffering, my mood was a mess and i was being jerked around every which way but loose by the district office….so, even though noone who knew me ever thought Id walk mid year — I submitted my paperwork in December for a March 1 retirement . I have slept like a baby every night since. With the exception of the fact that I will miss my students terribly, and hate that I am leaving things unfinished with them, I have no regrets, no second thoughts, nothing but the knowledge that it is time.
However, with my impending retirement came the most awesome thing== administration is leaving me alone. Im not being told to take student work off the wall or put a lid on the scrap paper bin. Im not being ordered to buy a leather sign in book or take the cardboard off the top of the wooden cabinets. Im teaching. Im laughing . My students and I are learning from each other. Laughter and conversation fills the room. Computers are whizzing as they research their topics for the projects. It is reminiscent of the best years of teaching I have had. the fools that felt they needed to tell me what to do, to make the dog and pony show pretty, have gone on to other victims , and I am left to do what I do. Teach. The kind of teaching that has won me awards, has graduated scores of students who have become successful members of society, that has made me sought after for committees, standard writing, curriculum planning, praxis recomendations and a myriad of other professional tasks. It feels good to sit and watch my students discover things, question things, speak their mind.
So to the bullheaded administrators that essentially made my professional life a living hell for the past year or so, thank you. Thank you for reminding me of what teaching is supposed to be. I go out with my head held high, my students aware that I am making a statement about respect and honesty and the knowledge that you’re gonna miss me.
I however, will be at the beach, or at my business, or on the couch, eating bonbons.