Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Retirement Giddiness

I've had one of those "I am so happy to be retired I feel like doing a Snoopy Happy Dance all the time!" days. It's cold and rainy, and there were a few things I'd planned to do but decided that since I didn't really have to get out that I wouldn't.

For many years I taught gifted students by going to their schools and teaching in workrooms of libraries, stages, the cafeteria, closets, and anywhere they could put us. My back seat was my traveling desk and always full. One year I went to five different schools in one day, and it rained way too many of those days! This is one reason I was thrilled not to have to get out today in the rain. Later on we had a place where the kids rode buses to us. They would have Challenge Class one day a week for three hours. We could do much more with them and had a place to keep materials and offer more for them. It was also easier on us (two of us taught the gifted students in all of the county's eleven elementary and middle schools). I liked that for the students since they could be with others in their grade, which gave the students from smaller elementary schools the opportunity to interact with peers.

I've been thinking about teaching quite a bit lately. The movie Sunday night made me proud of my profession, and I'm still working with that teacher I'm mentoring. Some people are born teachers. For us, it's never enough to know something. We have to share that knowledge with others. Some things can't be taught and are innate. It's like being funny. You either are or you aren't. It's that way with good teachers.

One thing I decided to do was to plan when I'd retire and know it was my last year. That way I prepared myself mentally for it, let students know they were my last classes, enjoyed events knowing they were my last as well, and rejoiced during what I didn't like because I'd never have to endure it again. This made me ready to go when I did and to adjust right away as soon as I retired. I didn't want to stay too long at the fair but to leave before others wondered why I was still there. As I've told my students over and over, timing is everything!


doggybloggy said...

you truly are a gifted and talented person that has given a lot - you are witty and fun and - hell I'd let you inside...why not...you seem clean enough!

Tivo Mom said...

I needed that so much. I had an extremely rough day on Monday and I needed something to remind me of why I do what I do. I am still feeling so overwhelmed teaching the two year olds and feel as if I have been thrown in with no safety net but I cannot get enough of the smiles, the hugs and the feeling that I am doing my part. Thank you for your insight. Also, so not fair that you did not have to leave the house today.

frogponder said...

I have bags. One bag for each job loaded up with whatever I need for district tutoring, drug program mothers and second graders. Hopefully I always grab the right bag when exiting the car.

Today I took Daughter with me to my moms group. Good thing! I signed up as a reading tutor and they all tested out of reading so they need tutoring for GED math. And six of them showed up today! Which is really great numbers. Thank goodness I brought Daughter along as we each took three students and were able to give them the help they needed.

Enjoy your cozy days at home. You EARNED them!!!!

Joy said...

Thank you - all of you! :-) I appreciate the kind words and compliments.

Hang in there, TM and FP. You are needed! Teaching is a hard job, but the rewards are worth it.

I taught in public schools for almost 40 years and do deserve these days doing what I want to. It feels really good.

Berry Blog said...

darn...you got me all wet again. so true and I remember our long nights chatting on AOL about getting to that point, especially after your terrible illness. And then you went through it with me. I Do miss it...no denying, but I do love those giveashit days we have now once in a while. among your blogging friends i probably singularly know more than the others the absolute comittment you have always had to your students.
all my love-

Joy said...

Thanks, Charlie! :-) Yes, we know.