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Time to throw in the towel?

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Time to throw in the towel?
Old 08-30-2019, 09:34 AM
 
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How did you know/how do you know when your time in the classroom is through?

This is year 20 for me & I'm not sure I'm going to last the year.

Can't tell if I'm really done, or if it's just a bad crop of students/bad admin decisions this year.

Thoughts? TIA--


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Time to visit
Old 08-30-2019, 10:11 AM
 
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your pension representative, social security rep, and talk to your financial advisor. Can you afford to retire? What is you pension eligibility? What are the requirements to work elsewhere and collect a pension if you will need to add to your income? Will you have medical insurance? Does social security and medicare play a role in your decisions, how?

Speak to your doctor, get a physical to be sure you are healthy. Add in exercise and check your diet and vitamin intake. It's far more likely to be the students and not you, but it's good to check.

If money is not an issue (how lucky that would be!) perhaps give it another month or so to see if you can get your class(es) organized and on track. You know the drill. Address routines with lots of modeling and practice. Give appropriate rewards and consequences--if admin will support.

How much sick leave do you have? Can you plan some mental health days to look forward to, to give yourself a break and respite? Do something rewarding for yourself during your down time--anything you enjoy from a movie to mountain climbing, whatever floats your boat. If you don't have a hobby, start one. You'll likely need/want one in retirement so start exploring now.

You might read posts on the retiree board to see what your next stage has to offer.

Education is far more stressful than ever. You need to consider yourself and well being above all else. Part of your well being will include finances. It's good to know what your options are.
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Just wait
Old 08-30-2019, 10:12 AM
 
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Wait it out. My first part of the year is going terribly too. I told my husband yesterday that if a first year teacher started off like this they wouldn't stick around to year two. Some years are better starts than others. If you still feel this way in the spring then start considering your retirement options.
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Thank you both...
Old 08-30-2019, 10:52 AM
 
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Trying to find a bright spot. Will start looking in to your suggestions.
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You got some good advice here...
Old 08-30-2019, 02:57 PM
 
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The practical decisions such as pension amount, health care costs, are you eligible for Medicare or social security benefits, etc. are huge, especially if you don't plan on working another job of some sort in retirement. Some people sub, but make sure you know what your state's rules are about that. in my state, you have to wait 180 days before subbing in your own district, not sure about other districts within the state (public schools).

That being said, I knew when it was time because I resented the amount of personal time I was spending on the job. The state and local district had a lot of changes to things like curriculum and evaluations, and tenure as we knew it was gone. We had to contribute a large amount each year towards healthcare, and we took home less each year as a result. I also had difficult classes and it wasn't fun anymore. I wanted the time to do some things I enjoyed, and I was doing schoolwork 24-7.

My advice would be to take this year. Do your financial planning and make sure you will be secure. I did mine a couple of summers ago and then announced my retirement for June in October. I had the whole rest of the year to have a long goodbye, no regrets, and each requirement could be checked off as the last one. If you feel you can't last that long, you can go out after this year, but make sure all your financial ducks are in a row.

Good luck to you. It is a huge decision, but I have to say, retirement has been the best so far. When my district goes back next Tuesday, I plan to be on the beach.


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In the meantime
Old 08-30-2019, 03:24 PM
 
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The financial advice already shared is right on target.

Is there any possibility that you can find shortcuts to the amount of work you do? It literally took me almost 3 decades to realize that every piece of paper doesn't need to be checked, graded, or sent home. I still felt guilty enough to only throw papers away at home.

I know that's only a small thing but sometimes if you feel like you're getting away with one thing, it helps to deal with the other stressors at school. IMO it is true that sometimes good enough really is good enough.
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A PP's have stressed...
Old 08-30-2019, 04:44 PM
 
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Unless you have zero need for a pension, please, please, please check into your pension rules before you decide anything.

If I had retired at 20 years, I would have only received 20% (rather than 80%) of my final 3yr average salary. And we don't contribute to Soc Security in my state, so that would have been a killer!

Instead, try changing grade levels, schools, or districts. Are there any non-classroom positions you might be qualified for? Maybe this is just a bad year for kids... this too shall pass.

I knew I was ready to retire when I got all my financial ducks in a row and my wonderful principal decided to retire. I learned who was going to replace her and that sealed the deal. Once I made the decision, all the stress just disappeared because the end was in sight. I spent the 2 weeks post kids clearing out my classroom. This was a great time to let it all go, both literally and figuratively.

I just don't want you to make a rash decision and then regret the financial consequences forever.
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When I have enough money or
Old 08-30-2019, 11:03 PM
 
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croak on the job....lol Insurance pay out is greater if I do that! I am not done yet, but this yr can be my last. I'd prefer 1 more for the $$$, but may enjoy life more by ending it after this yr.
If you can afford it and it does not get better in a month or so, just tell yourself, " I don't have to do this anymore after this yr and hopefully things will go better. If they don't, I don't see admin making better decisions as the yrs go by!
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I felt similar
Old 08-31-2019, 04:41 AM
 
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This year. Right at the start of the school year I even got a job offer outside of teaching. Fortunately it's a place where I volunteer so they already know me and like me and are actually willing to talk with me at the end of the school year when I can put in notice of resignation without any penalty. I still don't 100% know if I'm going for it, it would be a pay cut but there are benefits and retirement anyway point I'm making is I think it might be in your best interest to finish out the year and evaluate this when it's time for us to start letting administration know about our intentions for next year. At least this way it buys you some time to find out what your options are and if you can afford to retire early.

I had heard an acquaintance of mine saying something about how she figures she'll probably have to work the rest of her life so she might as well enjoy her job. Honestly, we never know what life will give us but I'm starting to think she might be right.
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:00 PM
 
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I retired at the end of the 2017 school year. Basically pushed out after 19 years of teaching. I did get big medical needs met before my health benefits ended.

It has been a financial struggle paying half of my puny pension for medical insurance.

I am in a no Social Security state.

I crunched our financial numbers and realized I would be hard pressed to live on my pension income if my husband passed before me, so I started to substitute teach.

I ended up applying fir a one day a week art instructor position.

They asked me to apply for the lower grade class position in the tiny school.

I was hired at far less than my last year at a larger district.

But, they have substantially more in health benefits than my last position, tiny class of ten students, a full time para professional and I am part of the admin team.

I meet with the teacher retirement rep soon to re-enter service.

Things I wish I had done prior to retiring include spending far less on “stuff” for my classrooms over the years.

Things I am glad we did was pay off our house and be debt free.

Yes, teaching in toxic districts with little support does wear upon one.

Plan your exit well. Write out the pros and cons.

Hope you find the best course to travel this school year.


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