It’s time, and I am excited! I will retire from full time teaching on June 30, 2023. Looking back I see all the adaptations educators have made over the past few decades. From handwritten report cards to sharing floppy disks to shared online documents.  Sometimes it is very challenging to be a teacher but the rewards of the job are immeasurable. I’d like to share 7 reflections during my retirement countdown.

1.Expect Change 

Policies, curriculum, class lists, grade assignments, and technology are just a few things that have changed regularly throughout my career. It was not always easy to take these changes in stride but as my career went on I found I could usually shake off my initial resistance and adapt. 

2. The days are long but the years are short

Some days drag, don’t they? And yet here I am looking back asking, where has the time gone?

3. Take care of yourself

There are times when someone might say to you, are you aware of the Employee Assistance Program? I encourage you to listen to those friends and go ahead and get some help with mental health. We all have internal struggles that can become overwhelming and impact our relationships and our job performance.  Getting advice, counseling and support from a therapist can be life-changing. 

Similarly, I have found it helpful to take charge of my physical health and make it a priority.

4. Lead by example

I discovered some simple tricks from my soft spoken friends. I bring the class energy up and down with my body language and voice. I also set the tone for kindness, manners and joyfulness  in my classes. 

5. Rest

It’s not always easy to make yourself a priority but it’s your #1 job to take care of yourself. So go to bed early or take a nap -after work! (It’s very uncomfortable to nap with your forehead on your desk, right?)

6. Rely on your colleagues for support

I’ve been blessed to work with so many awesome humans. Our union local has also been fantastic for providing support and learning opportunities. We are stronger together.

7. Celebrate!

Chances are you are teaching because you want to make the world a better place. Remind yourself constantly that you are doing just that.

I pass the torch to you. I see the eagerness and energy of new teachers and I hope you can enjoy all the magical moments ahead.  It’s been an incredible 31 years and I’m eager to see what else life has in store for me.  One of my retirement goals is to stay connected to education, so I hope to switch to the role of occasional teacher in September.  Beyond that I will be doing what my retired friends have suggested:  Anything I Want!

I wish you all the best in your year-end countdown!


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