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WNYC's Message:

I am in the second year of my 3rd retirement from teaching. It was very hard not to be filled with trepidation, make that joyful anticipation at the start of a new school year. So I ended up retiring a couple of times.
If you are like me, it was never a rat race unless the class pet rat got out of its cage.
I once received a bag of ladybugs for a Kinder spring insect unit. Not thinking, I cut open the bag over the class sink. Yup! 400 million ladybugs flying around in the classroom. Kids thought it was the best thing to happen all year. We spent a good part of the next few days in rescue mission mode.
If you have great memories, maybe it would be good to put them into a sharable format. You could create a powerpoint. Maybe use it as a welcome back to teachers during orientation. You'd still be teaching...teaching teachers how valuable are the memories they are collecting now.
After some health related detours, I am considering volunteering: in classroom, for read-alouds at public library, or maybe private tutoring. Maybe something like that would interest you?
Don't try to "get over" missing the classroom. We need all those who want to be there. It might just mean being there in a way you haven't previously considered.
For the sake of transparency, I should confess to occasionally "teaching" my 4 year old grandson. I kinda have to sneak it in under the radar-you know, call it a game.
All the best

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
WNYC 08-13-2019 01:59 PM

I am in the second year of my 3rd retirement from teaching. It was very hard not to be filled with trepidation, make that joyful anticipation at the start of a new school year. So I ended up retiring a couple of times.
If you are like me, it was never a rat race unless the class pet rat got out of its cage.
I once received a bag of ladybugs for a Kinder spring insect unit. Not thinking, I cut open the bag over the class sink. Yup! 400 million ladybugs flying around in the classroom. Kids thought it was the best thing to happen all year. We spent a good part of the next few days in rescue mission mode.
If you have great memories, maybe it would be good to put them into a sharable format. You could create a powerpoint. Maybe use it as a welcome back to teachers during orientation. You'd still be teaching...teaching teachers how valuable are the memories they are collecting now.
After some health related detours, I am considering volunteering: in classroom, for read-alouds at public library, or maybe private tutoring. Maybe something like that would interest you?
Don't try to "get over" missing the classroom. We need all those who want to be there. It might just mean being there in a way you haven't previously considered.
For the sake of transparency, I should confess to occasionally "teaching" my 4 year old grandson. I kinda have to sneak it in under the radar-you know, call it a game.
All the best

Singvogel 08-13-2019 07:38 AM

You could teach on your own terms- no admin...

In my area there are opportunities to be on a list through the district and to work at franchised centers.

amiga13 07-28-2019 07:12 AM

Sending hugs. I never want to exercise, but I always feel better, both physically and mentally, after I haveóand I appreciate the time retirement gives me to do it. Thinking of you.

twinsister 07-28-2019 03:24 AM

You have received some wonderful advice from others. Change is hard, but starting a new chapter in your life is full of possibilities. I agree with the others to join other groups that interest you. I retired and moved away from the community I had lived for over 50 years. It was an adjustment and there were some lonely days. But after meeting some new people, adding quilting classes and volunteering to my schedule, I soon started to feel more like myself. This board helped me realize that I was not alone with my feelings. Keep in touch with us.

NJ Teacher 07-27-2019 05:09 PM

If you just retired, and even if you have been out awhile, I think it is normal for some people to miss their job. For so long, we have defined ourselves as educators. And lucky you, you went out when you still enjoyed the job.

I was looking at some school supply ads for Target today, and I admit to feeling some pangs. I always looked forward to purchasing special supplies for my class each year. However, I remember when I would turn the calendar page to August, the stress would slowly start to take over. I don't miss that at all. I knew once I returned to work, those wonderful afternoons of being able to fully enjoy myself doing whatever I wanted would come to an end and the endless requirements, starting with the writing of SGOs and PIPs would begin. And next, the observations would come.

Reading the vents is good, as is finding whatever brings you joy because now can you pursue what makes you happy. I found a hiking meetup group, am taking a kayaking class and I take day trips, even on Sundays! I enjoy reading all the books I had no time for when I was working. I can find farmers markets that are new to me and cook new recipes. For me, retirement had been the best blessing.

I hope in time you come to embrace this chapter of your life. Teaching was wonderful, but retirement is also great.

Healthyandfun 07-27-2019 08:38 AM

and in a sense I was grieving the loss of my longtime profession (like grieving the loss of a loved one). Several books did help. The Joy of Not Working and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free were two I would recommend. Good luck!

wildflowerz 07-27-2019 07:34 AM

Yes, read the vents, it cures missing teaching right away.

I get what you are saying. Change is hard and there was a lot of good about teaching. Now we have to find all of the good in our new life.

gradymidget 07-26-2019 07:20 PM

Rusty...sorry you are feeling this way! I donít see retirement as elderly.
You will get over it. Get yourself in activities you enjoy.
You could always create an imaginary classroom to set up in your imagination.
Or wander through the teacher sections at Target and Michaels to get your school fix!

annie_g 07-26-2019 06:37 PM

The first year I was retired, I felt a little sad at the beginning of the year. My second year (last year) still a little sad but not as much. This year, no sadness! It does take time to adjust and you have made a lot of changes. So give it time.

Quote:
Maybe I should go read some of the vents.... that might help.
Whenever I think I miss teaching, that's what I do. Cures it right away!
kidsrterrific 07-26-2019 05:56 PM

I went into an instant retirement after 30 years and know just how you feel. I have felt the same way, especially since I really loved teaching. Itís been 4 years now.

Like a previous poster mentioned, I realized that much of it was the structure of the days I needed. We moved over an hour away from my old school so helping out there wasnít an option. Subbing wasnít for me as I realized that the schools close by had less rigid requirements on lesson plans (sometimes none for a particular subject) and often had no seating charts making substituting more difficult. However, it is perfect for some.

It took me a long time but I finally found my niche by joining a fitness center, becoming involved in Bible study, started roller- skating again, work part time at a learning center, and tutor students that have been homeless. I also started reading again and am checking into a refresher German course (my step-daughter lives there) and taking some classes at the community college.

I really had to push myself because I am an introvert (who always has had extroverted friends) and am more of a homebody.

I hope that I have helped some. It just takes awhile.

anansi 07-26-2019 04:47 PM

Another thought - any chance you might connect with a church or after-school group? Our public library offers homework club/tutoring after school. I do Adult Literacy there as well, where you're partnered with one adult student who has some goals they want to work towards. You can do this as often as you like, of course, with more than one student.

Or the YMCA offers after school club. Maybe check with them?

It took me about a year to finally get my feet under me, although I never regretted my decision. I just needed time to find what I was going to do instead.

Best of luck.

anna 07-26-2019 04:05 PM

Being sad and missing the job is very normal. In time you will find a place where you feel valued. I love how you seem to want to be useful to others.

1956BD 07-26-2019 03:43 PM

lost husband, retired, moved, caring for sister

I can certainly understand why you are a little sad for back to school season.

Maybe you could buy school supplies for a child in need in your area. You could keep a couple of freshly sharpened pencils for you own use.

LaFish 07-26-2019 03:16 PM

I do hope you feel better about retirement. I agree with the others, read some of the Vents and know that you made the right decision to retire.

rusty 07-26-2019 02:34 PM

Thanks, y'all....I am touched by all the sweet advice. When I retired, I moved far, far away to look after my older sister and so going back to my old school and my old friends isn't an option. I do stay in touch with a few teachers, but only by phone now. I've gone to several schools nearby and signed up to volunteer, only to be told either they didn't need any help, or the only task they were offering was for somebody to do lunch duty or do head lice checks. What a blow to the old ego that was!! I do take a few exercise classes a week and I have made a few friends here, but for the most part I'm on my own. I guess some people would envy that aspect of my life as well! My kids are grown and both live out of state. DH died many years ago. Most of the year, I do enjoy retirement, but with all the ads and school supplies out....I'm just missing my old life. I'll get over it....but thanks for listening. Hate to be so whiny, but I do appreciate the advice and I'm off to read some vents now!!

Shelby3 07-26-2019 02:08 PM

that thesaurus came out in 1920! Don't you believe it!

Now your time is your own! Begin a list of things you'd like to do -all and everything, even silly things. Maybe you 'd like to substitute teach, travel, volunteer, reconnect with old friends, crafts, join a gym, get involved at church, political group... or not. The university close to me offers an Osher Life Long Learning program, maybe you have something similar. Talk it over with someone. If your phone isn't ringing, start calling.
I subbed for a while after I retired. It felt good to keep a foot (or toe) in that world, but more and more it began to feel like it wasn't my world, but I'm glad I did.
As the others said, It does take time to find your groove. Best of luck, let us know how it goes!

crazy4catz 07-26-2019 01:49 PM

I am sorry you are feeling that way. Maybe you can volunteer at your old school. The library would be another good place.

Renea 07-26-2019 01:35 PM

You have received good advice from previous members.

It takes a bit of work to find your grove in retirement. Find a book club or start one of your own. There may be exercise classes that will give you a routine and release. It's easy to find adult literacy groups that would treasure your expertise in teaching. Our library has wonderful opportunities for volunteers in their children's area. Call your school and offer to help teachers set up their rooms. They all have more than they can do and would love your help.

I know you'll find your grove. It just takes time.

1956BD 07-26-2019 01:22 PM

Maybe you are just one of those people who likes a more structured schedule. Have you thought of creating a schedule with housekeeping, meals, exercise, social obligations and such schedule? Maybe you would find comfort in the schedule.

If you miss working with children have you thought of volunteering to help out at your school or any school really? Or maybe teach Sunday school at your church if you attend. Or maybe after school classes at your recreation center?

If you miss your team maybe you could go have lunch with them a couple of times a month. You might offer to pick up take out that they ordered and paid for online ahead of time.

What about creating a lunch bunch group that meets once a month at various restaurants with other retired teachers from your previous school?

What about taking some classes yourself? Art? Cooking? Whatever you want to learn is out there somewhere.

I wish you luck in finding your smile again. Reading the vent board is probably a good idea.

Catdog12 07-26-2019 01:09 PM

by every working person out there! Remember that!

I was talking to a nurse at the dermatologist's office today, and she said she had 30 more years of working. She just sighed!

If you are missing the rat race, go up to your school and help the teachers set up their classrooms.

rusty 07-26-2019 01:00 PM

Feeling a bit down as another new school year is beginning and I'm retired. Oh, I know....I'm lucky...I got out while I was still enjoying it...but I miss it. Plus, I just used an online thesaurus for a synonym for retired and the first word was "elderly." Not helpful. Somebody tell me to get over this and be thankful I'm not setting up my classroom. Maybe I should go read some of the vents.... that might help.




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