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Feeling Emotional About Retiring
Old 12-11-2015, 12:13 PM
 
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I am looking forward to my January 1st retirement and know I made the right decision to retire mid-year. However, the past few days I've been feeling a bit sad. I love the teaching part of the job and will miss working with kids every day. Needless to say I won't miss the testing pressure, data gathering, meetings, and useless professional development. I have been a teacher for 25 years and have spent the last 12 years at my school. Our principal is a nut bucket, but we have a wonderful staff. Although I will be substituting there, I will miss being part of the staff.

Our holiday party is tonight, and they will be honoring my retirement. I'm happy and sad at the same time. Did anyone else feel this way shortly before retiring?


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yes,yes, yes!
Old 12-11-2015, 12:23 PM
 
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I had such a sadness when I retired....somedays I still do. It's hard to stop being a teacher, stop being a part of a "family," stop having to make a million decisions a day. I miss many things about my old life, but little by little I'm realizing it was no longer the greatest job in the world. I was so against all the testing,the endless data meetings, getting more and more damaged kids, having non-supportive parents/administrators, etc. I've been retired since May and I just started subbing. I'm not really enjoying it....but at least it gives me some laughs. I love the kids but you're never really a part of a "family" again like you were at your old school. I guess everything has a season and it's time to move on. I do enjoy sleeping in, having no stress and not working all weekend on school stuff. It will take you some time to wind down, but when you do.... you'll find yourself much happier! Go enjoy your retirement celebration and know that most of the teachers there envy you!!!
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I did the same thing
Old 12-11-2015, 01:15 PM
 
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I retired in June. I signed up to sub as soon as I was allowed (had to wait 30 days). I absolutely love it. I signed up for a total of 7 schools of 40 something. I am at my old school 1-3 days per week. I have so much fun there. Yesterday I "had to" walk past the teachers gathering for a staff meeting. As I walked out the door of the building one of my friends leaned out and was teasing me about getting to leave. I have the best of both worlds. Plus, if I am not able to sub or don't want to sub certain days I can go onto the sub site and make myself unavailable. It is awesome!
Relationships do change after you retire,then move to subbing. It isn't necessarily a bad thing. The last "old timer" and I had a good sob together one of the last days of school last spring. I am subbing for her. I just picked up a sub job with another teacher on my old pod the other day and she asked me back for this upcoming week. I said "yes".
Answering your question, I was happy and sad at the same time. The holiday season has brought that back. I was at the school for a total of 18 years (4 years as an itinerant sp.ed. teacher and 14 as a self-contained classroom teacher). Being there with the students was a wonderful part of the holiday season. I will be there, but not in the same way, but feel fortunate that I will be a part of the kids' lives during the holidays.
Kathy
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Old 12-11-2015, 01:16 PM
 
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Retirement is more of a process than an event.

I think what you are feeling is part of the process of retiring.
Enjoy your celebration tonight.
There will be laughter and tears, happiness and sadness.
Savour every moment.

Remember, there is lots to look back at with fond memories but there is also much to look forward to as you begin retirement.
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Old 12-11-2015, 01:55 PM
 
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I was very happy to retire because I knew it was time for my tired body to have a little rest, get back some youthful pizazz, and have some fun! I walked out my last day with a smile and laughing. My rule for my team was, "No tears! This is a happy time!"

I will say that I did feel some sadness this fall because I knew I would not teach another group of kids the subject matter that has been my passion throughout my life. I wouldn't see their interest, have them question, discuss topics, dig deeper by researching, or see them develop a love for the same subject anymore. That made me sad and some days it still hits me.

It is an adjustment but when I drive by a school in session and I am on my way to the library, an errand, or shopping, I get that big smile on my face again. The feeling knowing that the work load is gone is priceless! I wish that for you!

Be happy. You earned it!


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This is the emotional part
Old 12-11-2015, 02:39 PM
 
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the fact that you are loved and that this was (is, still for now) your place.
As said earlier, it's part of the process. My colleagues who were also retiring shared the need to keep things low-key, just to get thru it. My students were incredible, friends were--admin was. The special presentations were just very emotional.
I feel for you, as this party has great symbolic meaning to you and it'll be especially touching. Enjoy. You'll look back on this night & remember it always.
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Yes
Old 12-11-2015, 03:31 PM
 
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A year and half out and I still have moments. Especially when I hear of staff gatherings I'm not invited to any more, etc. A grieving process....it has been our life for all our life so I guess it's natural. But it was a surprise to me.
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Just Some Thoughts...
Old 12-11-2015, 04:02 PM
 
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I would imagine retiring mid-year might be a little different than retiring at the end of the year. June, July, and August give those retiring some time to adjust to the fact that in mid-August/September, they will not be headed back to the classroom. Also, by June, most teachers are so exhausted that returning in September is not even on their radar.

Retiring mid-year may be an adjustment for you, but when your staff goes back to school on January 4, you will be sitting in your PJs having another cup of coffee and trying to decide if this would be a good day to take down the Christmas tree...maybe January 5 would be a better day. On the evening of January 3, you will be thankful you did not have to spend Sunday afternoon and evening writing lesson plans for the coming week. The first day it snows six inches, you will be so glad your car can stay in the garage, you do not have to leave fifteen minutes early to drive on slick roads, and you do not have to listen to the radio/answer the phone at some ungodly hour to find out if school is cancelled.

Yup...sadness is normal...it will come and go. But remember...retirement is a gift we give ourselves after many enjoyable and some not so enjoyable years as teachers. Retirement will grow on you. You can do this!
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Old 12-11-2015, 04:43 PM
 
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Oh yes! When I left my beloved school I felt the same way! I knew it was the perfect time to retire and even in hind sight it was the right time. Regardless, I still miss many things about teaching but I luv, luv, luv retirement! Enjoy!
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Old 12-11-2015, 04:59 PM
 
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I too went through the happy/sad/unsure stuff. As someone said, it's a process. I think too I found so much of my identity being a teacher that I felt like I lost part of me. It's getting better though...sad times are way less and happy ones much more. if you need any assurances it's the right decision, just talk to those dealing yet with Ed. Effectiveness, SLOs, power standards, CCSS, TESTING, MORE TESTING, etc and you will know it's the right choice.


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Old 12-11-2015, 08:31 PM
 
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I feel that way sometimes now (this is my third year out), but I was so burned out when I left that I literally couldn't wait to get my rear end out the door!

I hope you had a wonderful time at your party tonight!

Nancy
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It IS emotional!
Old 12-11-2015, 09:26 PM
 
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Don't worry, travelingafar! Retiring is emotional! You have had a long career. Your identity has been "teacher". We all have been through this transition and know there are ups & downs, tears & laughter, sadness & JOY. Hope the party is wonderful, because for me the party is part of that closure. Walking away is most difficult, but being away will bring you SO MUCH HAPPINESS! I can't wait to talk to you a month from now! I know you will be feeling FREE! That's the best part of retirement. You will be free to make so many choices! The world will be open to you! I can't wait to hear about your plans, your activities, your lovely mundane days where you can just sit around wearing your robe! YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE RETIREMENT!
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Great Party
Old 12-12-2015, 05:20 AM
 
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It is helpful to hear that many of you went through the same mixed emotions before retiring. The retirement celebration was lovely last night. My colleagues did a touching presentation and gave me some wonderful, thoughtful gifts. I'm honored to have worked with such great people for twelve years. It is hard to believe that twenty-five years of teaching is coming to an end. Time for a new beginning.
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Yep!
Old 12-12-2015, 05:50 AM
 
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A few years later, I can look back at those feelings and consider them a blessing!

It means that we had a career that we loved. We were lucky, beyond compare, to others in this life who worked for years at their job, but never knew the joy one finds in being a teacher!

Last edited by madelyneva; 12-12-2015 at 11:19 AM.. Reason: speling error
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well said
Old 12-12-2015, 11:05 AM
 
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Thanks, Madelyneva---you are so right! Whenever I feel nostalgic and miss teaching, I'll remember your words. It means we had a career that we loved! You're so right. I'm just glad I was able to retire before I got too upset with what was going on in education with all the testing and data collection. I do think it was a great job but I don't know that I would advise young folks today to become teachers.
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Old 12-12-2015, 05:53 PM
 
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Life is all about growth and change. Just like graduation, marriage, or parenthood, retirement is a life changing event. It can be hard to leave your current career because it is your comfort zone. There will be an adjustment period. But it's a chance again to change your life, hopefully for the better. Enjoy!
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So True
Old 12-13-2015, 01:20 AM
 
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That is a lovely statement saying that our sadness means we are leaving a career we loved. It has been an honor to teach amazing students and to have worked with such dedicated teachers. Onward to the next chapter of my life.
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Old 12-13-2015, 08:51 AM
 
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Retired teachers have invested a lot of years, in their careers. You are going through a very normal process of being a little sad. Teaching is part of our identity and the hard part is figuring what you will do next. Put one foot in front of the other and take you time because you will figure it all out.
Retirement is a new journey and everybody has their own story.
Savor your celebration and let the people love on you.
Can't wait to hear how everything went.
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just signed my retirement papers for June
Old 01-12-2016, 12:26 AM
 
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I just signed my retirement papers for this June and am suddenly experiencing feelings of "should I have waited" and sadness. I have not taught that long, about 19 years, and am retiring early to spend more time with my aging parents who live in another country. I am taking a huge pay cut but the district is giving me some health benefit incentives which made me decide to retire as also the flexibility with my time I love the present school I am in and do have plans to sub after retirement but am nervous about how different it will be not having my own class and going to random schools.
Any advice for a soon to be retiree?
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