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Retiring Sooner Than Usual Due to COVID?
Old 07-09-2020, 11:04 PM
 
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Two questions for you. How many of you or someone you know are retiring and not returning for the 2020-21 school year SOONER than you normally would have? I wouldn't be surprised if there is a big amount who are...I mean in general, not just on this board specifically.

If they ended up having you teach remotely 100% of the time, which way would that make you sway? I'd think remote would HELP teachers to stay, but I could be wrong.


I've said some of this before in another thread, but I'm extremely worried how things will go if they have regular school back in session with everyone commuting again. I honestly think everyone staying at home doing remote learning is the best. There are TONS of concerns...way too many to list here, from before the day starts to the end of the day and the younger the kids are, the harder it is to keep up with doing all the precautions. For example, starting with... when kids get on the school bus, you can't do 6 ft social distancing on there unless there are just maybe 3-4 kids on each bus.

Will every school in the country turn to year-round with those color tracks if they're not already so not all the students are in school at the same time ?

Now we've read about the staggering of lunches/recesses, but whatever solutions there are will make for a much harder, grueling day than ever before. Kids, especially the little little ones in pre-school to 3rd aren't going to remember to wash their hands all the time, keep their fingers out of mouths, don't touch other classmates' things, keep masks on all day and wear them properly, etc. The masks will fall on the ground, etc., just a whole lot of worries.

I know many of you teachers with underlying health issues are very concerned. But if everyone has to commute to school again, who knows how many of your students have underlying health issues too that you'll have to keep track of. I can picture all the extra hassles teachers will have to go through all day to keep everyone as well as themselves safe.


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Old 07-10-2020, 01:06 AM
 
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100% remote would have me signing retirement papers that day. I hated it fiercely, do not believe I was effective and bitterly disappointed in the lack of support given by our own Distance Learning department, who have been doing this for decades. They were completely unheard from through all the mess, and if thereís no support it just canít work.

However, we are currently fully open and appear to be staying that way.
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retiring
Old 07-10-2020, 01:36 AM
 
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Two questions for you.
How many of you or someone you know are retiring and not returning for the 2020-21 school year SOONER than you normally would have?
I had already planned to retire. One other teacher decided to go a year earlier and one principal in our district.

If they ended up having you teach remotely 100% of the time, which way would that make you sway? I hated teaching remotely!
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Old 07-10-2020, 02:55 AM
 
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I saw one of the teacher associations in Texas (no unions) was holding a zoom call about your options to not return in the fall. They discussed using FMLA, one other thing, and retiring early.
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Cant afford it.
Old 07-10-2020, 03:10 AM
 
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I am in DROP..which means I collect retirement while I work. I have 3 years left..and leaving now would cost me way too much. I am in Florida with 3 options: Brick/mortar with no real precautions, e learning which is live teaching to students at home, or our virtual school. Unfortunately, the last 2 options have limited openings....so it is back to regular school for me. I am very nervous...I would have preferred remote until our numbers went down...


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Old 07-10-2020, 03:33 AM
 
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We signed contracts in April so it is extremely unusual for people to decide to retire/ leave after that date. However, these are unusual times.

I have many concerns about returning to school and don't really want to during this, but remote learning did not work well for many elem. students. It would have to be a lot more live teaching, but I really don't know how to make that work well either. I found remote teaching rather stressful and frustrating.

I don't want to have to retire for a few years, but may decide to take my district's 7 year early retirement stipend that I now qualify for, but it means I also have to teach this next year to get it....and then I still have to pay OOP for my health insurance, which is a chunk of change.
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Retire?
Old 07-10-2020, 04:14 AM
 
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At this time, there is only one teacher that wishes she had retired but is going to stay on. I personally would retire but my family depends on my health insurance coverage - I also need 3 more years to receive supplemental medical benefit funds towards my Medicare (which I can get in 3 years).

I have no problem teaching remotely! I think remote teaching would save jobs and lives.
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:31 AM
 
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DH and I talked about it. He needs a year. I need a year & three months. Weíve thought about it. He has enough sick days to cover his year. Iím really close. We discussed the price to buy the time.

To get full retirement benefits, he needs four years. I need 5 and 2 months. We are going to try.
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Im on the fence.
Old 07-10-2020, 04:37 AM
 
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I am 65, have had cancer twice, have very slight asthma, am obese, A1c is just barely under pre-diabetic stage, have high blood pressure that is controlled with meds and am recovering from a slight fracture in my leg. So you see I am almost at risk in a lot of areas. I really want and need to teach one more year. I wouldnít mind teaching remotely if they were to allow me to do it the way I want. What we were told to do last spring wasnít effective. I think we could have done better. Still, parents Who tuned in said they were impressed with my Online teaching methods. I would jump at the chance to do online teaching for one year before retiring.
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I decided last night
Old 07-10-2020, 04:45 AM
 
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I couldnít sleep with a lot of stuff on my mind. Iíve been vacillating, saying I was 98% sure I would retire.

Well, last night I decided to retire. When I saw that we go back in less than four weeks, I was overwhelmed with that possibility. Right then and there I knew that my mind was made up.

We own a business that I can now devote more time to, so that will help. I will also start drawing a (small) salary to help alleviate the loss of income.

My big decision needs to be the date I retire. Definitely before teachers go back on August 5, but Iím not sure if it will be effective July 31 or August 3. It depends on insurance.

Of course, our district is closed on Fridays, so many questions will be unanswered until next week. I am going to reach out to my principal later today to give her a heads up.

Boy is it a relief to put that into writing. Makes it more real to me.


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Thinking about it....
Old 07-10-2020, 04:47 AM
 
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People who are saying that they loved remote teaching must be teaching older students!! I teach pre-Kindergarten, and it's almost impossible to TEACH them without being in the same room! Sure, I can read a story, sing songs, show videos, do show and tell........but young children learn by DOING. It was incredibly frustrating, and incredibly developmentally inappropriate.

I'm old enough to retire, but had planned on staying about 5-7 more years. This pandemic has pushed my plans, for sure. I'm ready to walk away, if I can't share a classroom (and HUGS!) with my young students.
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:10 AM
 
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I have 1.5 years left. I also have 260 sick days. I talked to my doctors. I am not considered in the high risk group (over 65 or underlying conditions). If I could retire now....I absolutely would. I LOVE teaching but I STRONGLY feel that opening schools at this time is not safe for so many staff and our communities. Right now, I choose to take this one day at a time.....things are changing every day. What breaks my heart is I have put my heart and soul and entire lifetime into being a teacher yet there is no protection for me in this situation. I also have no answers to give families for how to keep their children safe in a school right now.
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:51 AM
 
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The only problem with retiring early is health benefits. Some people can retire with full benefits, others donít get that benefit.

Health insurance is expensive. I retired early because dh is older and was desperate to move.
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:52 AM
 
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My decision to retire was made last December. I was going to care for an elderly aunt who lived 700 miles away. However, she passed in early February. I am relieved to be retired even though teaching longer would have increased my monthly benefit.

In some ways, I liked distance learning. But it was very difficult to get everyone to participate. Many didn't have reliable access to internet. When the patrons found out that no grade would be taken for 4th quarter, most stopped trying to participate. I hated Zoom.

In person teaching is much more effective, but I don't feel is safe at this time in most cases across the nation. I understand there are some communities that have very few cases, and they could give it a try. But I think those are very rural communities that don't have adequate hospital beds should things go south.

I'm just relieved to be retired although I am very concerned for my colleagues who will be returning and for the students as well.
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Old 07-10-2020, 06:01 AM
 
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I am nowhere near retirement but in my district you can take a year of absence and your position at your school is safe. I know many teachers who are doing this. Though, for a huge portion this also isnít feasible as they need the paycheck.

Distance learning was awful here but I think it also important to remember that was ďcrisis schoolingĒ not real virtual school.
I would absolutely continue virtual (a more structured, real virtual) school but that isnít an option for teachers here. We will be back on a normal, full classroom schedule.

If I could afford to take a year off I absolutely would... But, being a single person that is definitely not an option at all.
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Old 07-10-2020, 07:07 AM
 
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I only know one staff member who decided to retire -- our school nurse. It was very abrupt and she was sad about it. But I know she had concerns about safety this fall.

Most of the teachers I work with are too young to retire. I have about 10 more years myself. But if I could retire, I would!

Our district actually extended the time when teachers could file for retirement without penalty. They are also begging teachers who are planning to take a leave to let them know ASAP. But I don't know anyone who can afford to take an unpaid leave.
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Old 07-10-2020, 07:09 AM
 
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Two of my colleagues retired early this year and, for one of them at least, I know that concerns about COVID-19 played into it. She has asthma and her husband has cardiac problems so it really was a no-brainer for her. (She also was going to be dealing with the "class from hell" and wanted to be more involved with her grandchildren, so it wasn't the only factor.) ETA: I don't know but I suspect that it was the prospect of intermittent distance learning that precipitated the other retirement. She really struggled with technology and I think the end of the year was really frustrating for her.

I will be 62 soon and have type 2 diabetes and hypertension. However, both are well controlled and the medications I take (metformin and losartan) may prove to actually have some benefits in improving outcomes if I contract COVID-19. I technically am aready retired and collecting a pension but I have a contracted part time job. I can get by financially without the extra income but it's healthier for me both mentally and physically to be working. At least, that's so in normal times.

My area has not been hit very hard so far and my school was proactive in closing before it was mandated. So, now I'm in the process of trying to figure out how much I trust them to continue to make good decisions. I have until the end of the month to decide before the penalty for breaking my contract goes up.
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Old 07-10-2020, 07:25 AM
 
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I was sort of semi retired as I had to close my music education business a couple of years ago after 13 years, and 7 previous years teaching at private schools as an employee.

However, my husband and I found last year that it is necessary to bring some more money in right now so we don’t burn through our reserves. He took our money out of the stock market and has it in other real estate investments, and we can use a cushion.

As timing would happen, I took a teaching assistant position this past November and now have insurance that I don’t have to pay for anymore. If I quit, we would have to go back to self employment insurance which was much more expensive. As it is, we can’t afford to have my husband on my insurance because doing that eats up 70 percent of my paycheck. Putting him on took me from $1,390 a month after taxes to $532 a month after payments. I might as well not even work at all at that rate so now my husband has to find other insurance.

I have been desperately trying to find a work from home job, but have had no luck. I have been teaching English online to students in China for two years, but it is not enough money and I may have to quit because I am getting no work at all the last couple of months when I used to have filled slots.

I am scared and don’t know what to do. My husband probably would not be happy if I said I could not go back.

I was diagnosed with mild diabetes in February of 2019. A year and a half later, I am 60 pounds lighter, eat a strict healthy diet and exercise like crazy. My A1C is now in normal range. I have arthritis in my neck though as well. I don’t know if I am immune compromised or not.
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Old 07-10-2020, 07:50 AM
 
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We had two people who were set to retire (a couple that work at school and one has been ready to retire for several years) that decided not to because they didnít want to go out this way. I wonder what they are thinking now? Seriously, the one needs to retire. Neither is healthy, both overweight, and one with serious health issues.

If I were eligible, I would definitely be thinking hard about it. Since I am not... whatever comes I will have to survive it.
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leaving due to COVID
Old 07-10-2020, 07:53 AM
 
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I didn't retire, but I did resign.



I worked part-time as a school psych last year and had some other part-time work on the side. I decided that being a school psych during normal times is super stressful and I can't imagine doing it under these conditions. The amount of referrals will be staggering and I can't really do my job unless I directly assess the kid.



Also, my husband knocked me up, so I wanted to decrease the amount of stress in my life! I decided kept my other part-time work and gave up the more stressful position. I can always return later on since school psychs are in demand.
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I retired this week
Old 07-10-2020, 08:06 AM
 
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I had planned to work for three more years. (I was also in the DROP program.) But no matter how much I enjoy teaching, I enjoy living more. I am a high risk person, and would have been working with primary aged students. I am lucky to be able to make this choice. It will be expensive. To continue our health insurance I will be paying almost $2000 monthly for my husband and I. I am feeling sorry for the so many who do not have this choice. I can always go back to work in a couple of years if it is safe to do so. There should be lots of job openings then, since Covid and general disrespect for teachers will have thinned the pool of available teachers.

I should also add that I live in Florida, where our governor is determined that all schools will open, regardless of the huge Covid numbers. I made the decision to retire the day he announced that intention.
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I am still trying to decide
Old 07-10-2020, 10:15 AM
 
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I have been back and forth on retiring. I am at a private Catholic school, and our principal has added some faculty to have smaller homerooms. However, seeing the latest information about aerosol transmission is very troubling to me. Our retirement money would be in better shape if I teach one more year. I was only planning on one more anyway.

I didn't love online teaching, but at least it did give me some structure to my day during our time of quarantine. I think if my school started virtually, parents would pull their kids out and the school might not be able to make it.

The make or break issue for me will be masks on the kids. I teach 5th graders. They should be able to manage it. If my principal does not require masks, then I am done.

My state is ok right now, but has seen a few spikes. My county is pretty good, but some of our students come in from another state as well.

Some days I am ready to go back. Other days I am ready to retire. I am going to wait on the official plan and then make my decision.
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Old 07-10-2020, 01:06 PM
 
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There are only a couple of teachers at my school who are nearish retirement age. At this point, I haven't heard anything about them not coming back. One of my teammates is extremely nervous but she's not close enough to retirement age, and she needs the paycheck this year even if she could arrange some sort of leave. We've talked about it and she would rather do online, acknowledging that yes, it wasn't effective, but at least it was safe. She's very high risk for various reasons and I honestly worry about her going back to work.

I wish my dad would take the year off. He's 61 and in good shape, but he has really bad allergy induced asthma and has had "normal" upper respiratory infections that turned severe several times in the past. He's also blood type A, which one study found was a common link among people who have severe reactions to covid, and men don't fare as well as women either. He thinks he will be fine and says they've found asthma isn't as big of a deal as they originally thought. I know that true but I just have a feeling he won't do well if he gets it.

For myself, I go back and forth as to whether I think it'd be a good thing to just do remote learning. I want to prioritize safety, but I have a big fear that if we just do remote this entire school year, districts will just use that as an excuse to lay off tons and tons of people. I'm envisioning 50% or more, especially if they're anticipating an even worse economy than the one we're in now- they'll want to save all of the money they can. And there won't be the chance to get another job, because every other district will be doing the same thing. Not to mention the fact that if our economy tanks even worse, and for an entire YEAR (our state was decimated after 2 months of lock down) IDK that there will be public schools to go back to.
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