I have retired from the classic classroom but not from teaching. So I am in the process of reinventing myself as an online and social media ELL teacher.
I use different resources to help me kick-start into my new role. But more about that in future posts.
Over the years, Michael, one of our school’s tech experts, has helped me with my social media projects. The first one was this blog, Teach Well Tomorrow. After retiring, he suggested I morph the blog.
Finally, after a year and a half of searching for purpose and relevance, the ‘ah ha’ moment came to me this morning. I finished reading Pamela Paul’s wonderful article in the New York Times about allowing kids to be bored. Raising my eyes to the top of the page, I noticed Roger Cohen’s opinion piece: The harm in hustle culture on the homogenization of our lives. In Carol Jago’s teaching terminology, these articles would be ‘paired’ texts. I smiled.
As my grandson would say: “I got it!”
It didn’t take long for Al Pacino’s definition of retirement: “death with benefits” (Righteous Kill) to put me off the word. It is not an action verb as far as I’m concerned. I prefer to think of the following quote by F.Rogers via Time Ferris’ The 4 Hour Work Week
“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else”.
However, as a pessimist, this is not easy for me. But I am trying hard to believe.
Last month I handed in my notice after over 30 years of teaching. I am fortunate that I am not burned out. I have decided to leave because I feel it is the right time both professionally and more importantly, personally. A very dear friend once told me to leave with a smile on my face, and that is just what I’m going to do.
The desire to learn from others, keep up with my YA reading and integrate new activities into my lessons are as strong as ever.
In my posts, I will continue to reflect on my teaching learning until next June. However, I will sprinkle the posts with some musings and wishes in preparation for the new beginnings.
I know the transition from the school schedule to my own will be hard. However, almost everyone I know who has left the classroom is enjoying their new freedom. As a wise friend who began his retirement by reading War and Peace wrote to me, “I don’t know how anyone has time for work.” I wish that feeling for myself.