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steach steach is offline
 
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Words of Wisdom?
Old 01-11-2021, 03:35 PM
 
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I submitted my intent to retire at the end of this school year. Any words of wisdom or helpful hints to make sure my remaining months go as smoothly as possible? I have not had any second thoughts, and I am ready to push forward. TIA



Last edited by steach; 01-11-2021 at 05:38 PM..
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Congratulations!
Old 01-11-2021, 03:47 PM
 
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Start cleaning out your classroom now. Don't wait until the end of the school year. It is a wonderful feeling if you can enjoy your last class on the last day of school and then walk out free of clearing cabinets and drawers.

Good luck to you!
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:54 PM
 
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Congratulations on your upcoming retirement! I hope you have the most enjoyable 2nd semester with your students possible given current events with COVID.

Ditto what 1956BD said about purging things! Start now!
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:37 PM
 
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I left my classroom library for the new teacher. I told my staff I was doing this so they would not help themselves.

I remember beginning my career without one single book in my classroom library. It took many years to develop this library (and lots of parents ordering monthly books so I had book order points), and going to the school library every week to choose thirty to fifty books (and keeping track of them) was a real pain.

I completely agree with weeding materials as you use them. If you have not used it in two to three years, chances are the new teacher will not find it helpful. I also left helpful notes on things that were not self-explanatory. The new teacher was very thankful for these notes.
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Start early
Old 01-11-2021, 05:12 PM
 
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I suggest you save anything you want from your work computer in advance. I had started, but thought I could still retrieve some files the day after students left. I was wrong. Evidently they closed my account on the last day of school.

I gave away all of my books and bulletin board resources to a friend who had only taught 2 years. I also gave away the gazillion storage containers I had been using. I had non-teachers help me purge through my things. They had no emotional ties or memories to anything so it was easier for them to toss things for me. If there were doubts they asked first.

As for papers, I found it very hard to let go of my many ‘tried and true’ lessons and resources. Every time I came to a file that I had successfully used over and over again it was very painful to just toss it. (Many of those lessons were a result of ideas or shared materials from PT.) I finally had my niece help me out and just toss anything that looked like a lesson folder or teaching resource. I had to leave the room so I wouldn’t be tempted to save things.

My emotional ties to many of my ‘teaching things’ were very strong so there were still some boxes of materials I brought home. I can see, now, that I’ll never use them again so I’ve donated them to thrift shops or to friends’ schools.

One of the things I’m glad I saved are digital files because I’ve been able to modify and share quite a few of them with new teachers I meet or with friends who are still teaching.


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Old 01-11-2021, 05:41 PM
 
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I was a 1st grade teacher and I gave away all my books in my classroom library except for about 25 picture books that I knew I would read with my 2 year old grand daughter. Well now she is 5 and in Kindergarten and I really wish I had kept some of my chapter books( I had lots of Magic Treehouse, Junie B. Jones...) I guess I forgot she would get older!! So I guess what I am trying to say is think carefully before getting rid of books.
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:13 PM
 
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Lots of good advice. I also recommend going through things little by little now so you’ll be done at the end of the year.
I kept most of my hardcover books. I taught first grade so I figured they’d be used with my future grandkids. I had so many books that each student in my class got to pick 22 to take home and I sorted and left 1000 for the next teacher.
Most young teachers really don’t use old lesson plans but would probably appreciate your digital copies.
One thing I wish I had done was to make sure I had the addresses of my colleagues. I had to do quite a bit of looking to find addresses for thank you notes.
I contacted a friend who runs a preschool and she took some of my puzzles, and pocket charts.
But honestly there is nothing that I really needed in retirement.

Enjoy your last semester.
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:08 PM
 
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Off the top of my head..things I did the during my last semester after I gave notice in January...

I totally agree with sorting things now. Approach the custodial staff and the office staff right away for boxes - ask them to save them for you!

Ask the department chair what materials will need to be returned to the department. Start sorting these materials into a box as you go through the semester's teaching.

Save, in a binder, some hard copies of your favorite lessons/handouts/reviews in case you decide to tutor after you retire.

Make copies of anything on your school computer that you might want to keep. Do this soon!

Start taking home - daily or weekly - all the things you want to keep that you won't need to teach with in the next few months - don't wait! It will be overwhelming in the last week if you do!

I put small boxes of books and stationary supplies on the faculty room table for anyone to take (not sure if that could be done now!) and added to it as I sorted.

Give things away - ask specific teachers and staff if they want things that you have. If they don't want them, they might know who would.

I printed a countdown calendar just for fun and crossed out each day as it came.

Build as much positive energy into students and staff as you can (positive comments and acknowledgments, verbally or better yet, as written notes) Also, speak up to make things at your school better, since you can because you are leaving, and your colleagues might not be feel that they are able to do so.

Treasure each "last" - last team meeting, last dance, last lunch duty, last faculty/department meeting, last game/match, last club meeting, last time you teach fractions, etc...these are precious.
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retirement
Old 01-12-2021, 04:27 AM
 
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Congrats on your big decision!

I glanced through the posts but will echo to start now cleaning up your room
I saved special books for my granddaughter. I pitched /recycled my lessons files after I was done with each. I offered a few to the other teachers on my team.

An done thing I did was offer treasures to the students throughout the year including: books, games, decorations, bulletin board stuff. They love that kind of stuff!

And because I retired last year amid lockdown from covid, I ended up purging the days I was allowed back in.
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Good advice
Old 01-12-2021, 09:50 AM
 
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Lots of good advice here.

When I started teaching in 1979, I walked into a room that had been cannibalized. Not sure if it was the retiring teacher or the staff, but the ONLY items in the room were the student and teacher textbooks. Not one piece of chalk, not one file folder, not one classroom library book. I have never forgotten that and vowed I would not do the same.

During my last year I had a student teacher who was also hired as my replacement. That certainly made things easy. There were items that other teachers had borrowed over the years and gave those to them, but left everything thing else, including the 3000+ book library and the bookcases DH made for them.

As far as files, I chucked most everything - it had meaning for me but not her; I tossed outdated teaching resources. The janitors had actually rolled one of those big green garbage cans into my room one Inservice day to facilitate the tossing!

Student teacher and I went through other stuff together, and when I chided her for keeping so much, she told me she’d give it a year. If it didn’t get used, it would go!

I left my classroom with one box of favorite books, one box of office supplies (we had to buy our own tape, staples, folders, etc) and a tote bag of momentos.


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great advice from pp
Old 01-12-2021, 10:58 AM
 
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Make sure to meet with your union/state financial planner . If you are in a state that is shut down be prepared to do a lot of this paperwork by phone and possibly snail mail. Not all states will email you information . I retired last year and luckily I met with my CALSTRS ahead of time before the pandemic hit because it would have made it more difficult. They were wonderful . The retirement process took me until the end of June to complete. We also had a huge changing of the guard in our district office and it was difficult determining who was in charge of what.

Also when you meet with someone in your district discuss your health plan options as well. I chose to remain with the district so it just rolled over July 15. But you will have paperwork to fill out as well.

It just makes it more difficult when you are unable to do this in person and never get a hold of a human being by phone.
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:05 AM
 
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Don't do what I did! I was sure I would tutor in Reading, so while I did give a lot away, I also kept my picture books and chapter books, and anything else I thought I would use in tutoring- 4 big bins worth. Well, retirement was too much fun, so I never felt like tutoring. My daughter teaches, so she took some things, and my grands have enjoyed some of the books, but really - I would have been better off if I had just walked out with my purse!
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Congratulations...
Old 01-12-2021, 12:04 PM
 
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I agree with the posters who said to purge as much as you could. I was fortunate to have a sister of one of my former students who was going to teach in inner city Boston. She took a lot of my personal teaching supplies that I paid for, not the district. I did take some of my autographed children's books, not all, but I am thinking of donating many of them to one of the little libraries in my area once the pandemic is done.

I got rid of my project files and did not keep any lessons from my school computer. In my experience, the younger teachers at my school were not interested in those.

My room was not going to be used for a regular grade level classroom because they were downsizing a class. I emailed the staff and told them that they could come and take what they wanted. Surprisingly, not many teachers took anything. I think a lot of teachers in m school have used YouTube videos of people reading the books. The teacher who has my room this year is very lucky. It took years to build that library, and lots of $$$!

Enjoy the "lasts". Particularly if your district insists on observations even in your last year, that it will no longer matter what is written. Take the time to savor your last parties and conversations with your students.

Congratulations! Retirement has been wonderful for me, even during the pandemic.
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You already have a ton
Old 01-12-2021, 10:32 PM
 
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of good advice above, but Congrats!
If you enjoy retirement 1/2 as much as I do even, you should be 1 happy camper!
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Old 01-13-2021, 10:41 AM
 
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You've been given a lot of excellent ideas already. PURGE as you go through this semester. I really enjoyed being able to give away things throughout the year to my teacher friends that I knew would value and use them. I know some teachers sell their things, but I just wanted to give it all away. I had my grandkids meet me after school and go through my books, supplies that I had purchased, etc. They were at the perfect age to be able to enjoy a lot of my books.

My very favorite picture books that I couldn't part with I boxed up and brought home. Guess what. . . they are still sitting in the same box. I have one more child that isn't married yet so maybe one day he'll marry and have children, and I can pass them down to them???

Enjoy these last few months as they will go fast. I'm happy for you.
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:22 AM
 
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Yep! Purge as you go.

I dedicated a cupboard to the things that belonged to the school and started to organize all of that.

I was fortunate to be hooked up with a teacher who taught my same grade in Paradise the year of the fire. She was rather specific in what he wanted. i was able to pack up about 10 boxes that I knew would be appreciated. A friend delivered them for me. I also contacted a former colleague who was returning to the classroom full time after being a stay at home mom. We taught together early in my career and she totally understood my materials and welcomed anything I passed her way. She job shared that year, so each of the last Tuesdays of the school year, she came by for a truckload of materials. Oh my! I was such a hoarder! She worked with new teachers as a coach too so I was happy that she could pass on what she couldn't need.

I shared school purchased things with my grade level colleagues.

And yes, I brought home a few things that I thought I might want to tinker with after retirement. I loved teaching math intervention so many of my teacher made manipulatives were packed up in case I got the urge to tutor in math. I also packed a box of stand alone lessons in case I ever wanted to sub or volunteer. I was able to go through them and share some of the math games with my friends back at school as they are working virtually.

It is important that your finances are critically viewed. One thing that I did was to look at my pay stubs and determine what expenses I would not have coming out of my check after retirement. This was actually quite substantial. That cut my gross pay needed considerably. We also worked to get as debt free as possible. Things like taxes, insurances, utilities, and day to day expenses are enough to deal with and can fluctuate over time. Fortunately, my pension check will (hopefully) continue to increase each year. Unfortunately, I have to consider that I will walk away from most of my SSI fund that I paid into prior to entering education. I won't know until I turn 65 what I will be awarded.

Good luck with your last few months! Congratulations!
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:28 PM
 
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Thank you so much for the thoughtful replies. I thought I would be sad, but I’m not. I don’t think I could survive another year teaching in a pandemic. My heart aches for those teachers who don’t have a choice. The only sadness is leaving my fabulous team mates. We are all worn out.
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Congratulations, I am right behind you.
Old 01-15-2021, 04:34 PM
 
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I’ve been trying to purge, but feel like it’s pretty organized for the next person. We’ve had people suddenly get new jobs and they left everything in their room. M just trying to enjoy it all in these strange times.
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