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Can't beleive I've done it, but happy all the same

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Can't beleive I've done it, but happy all the same
Old 12-11-2015, 01:57 PM
 
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I am a new poster, however I have been lurking on this board for a while. I am from the UK, and have enjoyed reading all the comments from retired teachers and teachers that are contemplating retirement. In Britain most teachers retire at the end of the academic year and in Scotland they therefore retire at the end of June. However, this year I have just turned the magic age that I can retire (55) and the timetable this year is awful as we are well understaffed due to teacher illness. I asked to go part time but was refused. I am also in a shortage subject and the school would not be able to replace me until the next tranche of students enter the workplace in August. Even then their choice of candidates will be very small. Anyway I wanted to keep working until the exams in May and leave then, that is what I said verbally to my colleagues. However when it actually came to handing in my notice I couldn't cope with continuing on until May. I would have to put up with the classes I had for the next 5 months and the complete lack of training for a new advanced course that was just dumped on me - that apparently is my job - with no training. I was asked to write down what caused me stress by the Headteacher, as were the rest of the staff in the department. I assumed that the powers that be would try and do something to help us with our stress issues as it was them that asked for our issues in writing. However what followed was a one to one with the head teacher telling me that I was wrong on every point that I brought up. I dealt with that okay as I did realise what he would be like as I have seen it before in my dealings with him. If I hadn't known what to expect from past experience his attitude would have floored me - ie I would have been in tears. I didnt expect him to be 'nice' and I was not wrong. Anyway I coped with this until the time that I had to hand in my notice - and then decided that I could not simply go on any more. I decided to resign and gave them 5 weeks notice. I am leaving in early January - mid year, never been done to my knowledge to leave in January at my school. I can't believe I have resigned but when I think of the alternative, ie continuing on until May, I do know that some way or another I did stumble on to what was best for me. I am not the flavour of the month at work now although no one admits it. Lucky to get 2 words out of some of them. I have 2 working weeks left to go and I am throwing out all my stuff in 2 large bins that are full at the end of each day. The kids see me doing it but have not put 2 and 2 together yet. I don't feel old and retiring is an 'old' word if you get my drift. The idea that I will get paid to not go to work is amazing. In Britain they are going to link the teacher retirement age to the state retirement age - ie younger teachers may not be able to retire until 68 years of age when they would get both their state pension and their teachers pension. Another 13 years. I couldn't do it, honestly had enough. Had enough of bad behaviour, nonsense directives, lack of pay rises and constant increase in workload. The final straw I suppose was the Head Teachers comments and the realisation that I could cope without my salary. I phoned both my Union and the Pension Agency and apparently I could just go. I couldn't keep the grin off my face. Here's to a new life. I am thinking of getting a dog, doing some decorating, a long distance walk eg the Great Glen Way from Fort William to Inverness and generally going on holiday when the schools are in! I have been teaching for over 33 years, feels like 5 minutes at times. I will miss some of the kids but to be honest this year I will not miss many of them! I think the reason for this post is that retiring is such a monumental decision and I did it and it is good to talk to people at the same stage in life. Thanks for listening.


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Old 12-11-2015, 02:01 PM
 
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Congratulations and welcome to the "Happy Board!"
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hello
Old 12-11-2015, 02:11 PM
 
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Shhhh....I also didn't miss any of the kids I had during that final half year! Yes, I like kids but I, too, was a bit worn out.

Your plans sound delightful! I looked up Great Glen Way and it sounds/looks like something I would have loved to do back when I was more physically able.

http://www.outdoorhighlands.co.uk/lo...at-glen-way-2/
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Old 12-11-2015, 02:29 PM
 
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I think the thing is, the kids stay the same age and we get older! Timeforbed, I walked the West Highland Way a number of years ago and it nearly killed me, it was about 80 miles with some pretty rough hills! You would have thought I would have lost weight, but I didn't, it was all the restaurants en route and trying to slow my husband down a bit by eating. However the Great Glen Way is quite flat or so I am led to believe. I think I have come to the realisation that we are all hamsters on a wheel when we work and money is not everything. I think I will buy a book tomorrow about dog breeds. The last time we had a dog it was from an animal charity, I might do that as well. I will have a look at that website. Thanks.
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Welcome to the Neighborhood!
Old 12-11-2015, 02:29 PM
 
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Glad you decided to join us. Someone on this board or in the Lounge always has something interesting to share. They also have great advice when asked. Enjoy your new life.


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Old 12-11-2015, 02:29 PM
 
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Welcome to the wonderful world of retirement! It's so much fun to just have the time to do what you want! I have a lot of activities and involvements, and still tutor and substitute a bit...but all of it is my choice. It's a marvelous thing to wake up in the morning, knowing that I'm getting out of bed to go swimming or to go to a yoga class...or just to read the news in my robe and slippers. I don't have to be anywhere, meet anyone's expectations, or be responsible for anyone or anything except myself!
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Welcome!
Old 12-11-2015, 02:34 PM
 
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Because I started in the public school system later in life I had to wait until I was 60 to retire. People tell me I look so much younger and have a lightness about me. The stress has been lifted. My salary is much smaller, but somehow I'm managing and managing quite well. I do substitute teach, mostly at my old school, one to three times a week...when I want to.

Enjoy your retirement. You are going to absolutely adore it!
Kathy
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Old 12-11-2015, 02:34 PM
 
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Thanks ZipLine for your quick and warm welcome.
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Loved reading your wonderful story
Old 12-11-2015, 02:36 PM
 
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and welcome to this board! We are so happy for you! Happy Christmas gift to you!
You made the best possible decision. Thanks again for sharing your story.
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Welcome
Old 12-11-2015, 02:48 PM
 
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May you enjoy the land of Endless Summer! I'm very curious about what breed of dog you are interested in getting. We've always had wire fox terriers. Please post about all your adventures.


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Old 12-11-2015, 03:05 PM
 
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I am not really sure what type of dog I want. I always feel sorry for the dogs that are in charity shelters. However a pup would be nice too. The last dog we had was very much a mixed breed, but he was a delightful wee thing. He used to sit on our chairs, obviously his previous owner had allowed that. We played the game that if he heard me he jumped off the furniture, he knew how to behave he just didn't want to! I asked the vet when we got him and he just laughed at the idea that he could work it out at all. I was also thinking of maybe getting 2 dogs as company for each other but maybe that is a step too far. The sensible thing is not to make too many decisions at the moment - other than to lose a bit of weight and get fitter.

Can I ask, how did people cope with their last day at work? I don't want to get emotional, I would like it to be business as usual to get me through it. I just think it will be such a long day. I do have a full timetable that day so that might help keep me focused. Any hints?
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When it's time, you know- truly
Old 12-11-2015, 03:39 PM
 
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Paulianna- When we teachers want and need to be in front of the classroom, there's little could keep us out of the school. But when the time has passed and the fire is out, there's little that can keep us there. Although the systems are somewhat different- UK and US- the essence is the same, and when it's time to go, it's time to by God go.
As far as what the school will do when you have left, that's not your problem. You did your years, you fought the good fight, and when you want to go, then that's that.
By the way, I expect you will like retirement very much. My wife and I have found having an abundance of time to do what we want when we want is much more rewarding than having an abundance of money- which let's be honest, isn't going to happen for teachers anyway.
So, congratulations- enjoy your new life. You've earned it.
Ed
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Old 12-11-2015, 04:36 PM
 
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Huzzah! So glad you're here with us and we look forward to getting to know you better over time. Plus, it's always good (speaking as an Anglophile and landsoftly will chime in, no doubt) to get to know someone from Britain.

I loved your comment:
Quote:
we are all hamsters on a wheel when we work and money is not everything.
Oh my. That is so completely true and what we need to focus our attention on as we transition from being hamsters to becoming the masters and mistresses of our own retirement destinies. Sounds as if you already have wonderful plans.

Welcome, paulianna!
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Old 12-11-2015, 04:43 PM
 
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Big hugs to you, paulianna! Your post echoed many of my own. There comes a time when you've had enough, simply enough, and are done. Just done!

Quote:
I am not the flavour of the month at work now although no one admits it.
Many of us have felt this exact emotion. In the USA, we call it a "lame duck". We feel ignored and ineffective once we announce our retirement. No worries, you're on to bigger and better things. Trust me!

Quote:
I have 2 working weeks left to go and I am throwing out all my stuff in 2 large bins that are full at the end of each day.
I did the same thing. Our custodian was the only person who knew what I was doing. "You're retiring I see." he said one day after school. Exactly!

Quote:
I couldn't keep the grin off my face.
I was the only person who knew I was leaving and it was great fun! During all the end of the year data meetings I simply tuned out and smiled.

Welcome to our little club of the happiest teachers. Please join our conversation frequently. You have much to offer! Welcome, my friend.
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Welcome soon to our world
Old 12-11-2015, 04:49 PM
 
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I so enjoyed your post. It seems what is driving many out of education isn't just in the USA. I retired during our summer break so I had no "last day with students and staff." I didn't do it that way on purpose but my year was so horrific I hadn't time to consider retirement until break. I had an absolutely wonderful group of students my last year though and it wasn't the kids that pushed me to retire. I do sub, more last year than this year and that's enough for me. I'm a widow so my journey is different than many but I am so grateful to be here.

Let that last day be whatever it has to be...don't set expectations too high so you won't be disappointed and dance out at the end of the day. 33 years is plenty to spend in any profession!
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Welcome!!
Old 12-11-2015, 05:19 PM
 
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You are going to feel so relieved when all of this is behind you!!
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Old 12-11-2015, 06:12 PM
 
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Welcome and enjoy your free time. It's a wonderful life to be free!!!
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:36 PM
 
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Congratulations and welcome to the happiest board on PT! Glad to have you here!

Nancy
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Congratulations!
Old 12-12-2015, 05:15 AM
 
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I loved you comment that we get older but the kids stay the same. I'd never thought of it quite that way. As for dealing with the last day, I found it to be an anti-climax. It was a little disappointing how quickly everyone got over me and I just walked out. Happy retirement!
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Old 12-12-2015, 07:20 AM
 
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Sounds like you made the right decision! Welcome to this board and welcome to retirement! You will feel like you have been given a new life - no deadlines, no stress, no crazy demands from above. Congratulations!!
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You are a
Old 12-12-2015, 10:04 AM
 
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gutsy lady! I admire you for doing what is right for you. You are making a statement of not working until the end of the school year. I hope the headmaster gets the message. When all is said and done happiness is what matters.

Last edited by Irish; 12-12-2015 at 10:38 AM.. Reason: add and subtract
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So glad you are with us!
Old 12-12-2015, 12:05 PM
 
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I think you will enjoy your retirement and certainly we are all here to celebrate it with you as well! And like stated before--we are certainly the happiest board on PT!
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Old 12-12-2015, 01:38 PM
 
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Congratulations on your decision to retire! You will LOVE the freedom of retirement--and we will love having you as a part of this board!
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Welcome and Cogratulations
Old 12-12-2015, 01:45 PM
 
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Retirement is wonderful. You will enjoy it...

Lame Duck-ness and not being the 'Flavor of the Month" has advantages. At meetings, no one looks for you or expects you to perform. You get to go about the fun part of teaching while ignoring a lot of the junk.

Walking out of the door for the last time is scary and emotional...but just think...no papers to grade when you get home, and you get to sleep in the next morning
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Welcome aboard!
Old 12-13-2015, 02:22 PM
 
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You will LOVE retirement, I predict! Good for you that you plan to research dog breeds before just blindly adopting or buying a dog. That's the smart way to get a dog. Long walks with my dog are one of the many benefits of being retired, in my experience.
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retiring
Old 12-13-2015, 08:00 PM
 
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Congratulations on your retirement and welcome to this wonderful club. Here is a toast to you.
Like timeforbed I also looked up Great Glen Way. I would love to do that hike. 117 km (72 miles) seems pretty doable. I'll put it on my bucket list.
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Old 12-15-2015, 07:04 AM
 
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Welcome to our happy place!
Making the decision to retire from teaching can be nerve-wracking. But we've all made it through and so will you. It's a leap of faith leading to happiness, as this board attests. You are changing your life for the better!
BTW I always enjoy reading English English as I learn new words such as
next tranche of students.
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Good on you
Old 12-15-2015, 10:13 PM
 
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Deciding to retire is a huge step, after that it's "just" carrying out the plan. Once you've actually left school and teaching behind you will likely breathe a giant sigh of relief.

It does take awhile to realize that one stage of your life has lead you to another which is far more relaxed and enjoyable.

If your head asks why you are leaving, you can always pull out the list of stressors that he denied were real. They are very real and quite probably were the tipping point to help you into a new life. You might want to put the list somewhere to review once a year or so.

Do remember all the good parts and your contributions to many students.

We are always glad to welcome new recruits to the reward time.
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Old 01-04-2016, 09:50 AM
 
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I have taught 37 years and turned 61 today. My kids this year are great and many smile when they see me. I teach PE. August was extremely hot and humid and I was thinking it may be too much to keep going but then it got better and I felt better. Many friends ask me when I am going to retire now. But my bosses seem really happy with my performance. I think I will be very sad my last days. I had a friend retire two years ago and he was angry at the little attention he got. He was the only nationally certified teacher on staff (chemistry). His wife had died a year earlier and she might have made it a bigger deal. I know now that most of my great peers have retired and my new co-workers are younger and have more on their minds than an old fella retiring. So that will be fine for me. I am happy for all of you retirees. Teaching has changed so much and for the worse if you ask me. My kids are much the same (small rural school). It almost as if the politicians want us to fail and then say "See, we told you schools are failing" Kids are getting the worst of it. Thank God they leave me alone most of the time. We still get to learn important stuff the right way.
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Old 01-04-2016, 09:57 AM
 
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First, Happy Birthday to you!
And congratulations on your pending retirement.
Quote:
Teaching has changed so much and for the worse if you ask me.
I think most of us here would agree.
Enjoy the countdown and enjoy your students.
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