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2000Aggie 2000Aggie is offline
 
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Difficult time
Old 08-24-2019, 09:50 PM
 
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Hello, all. After 25 years of teaching, I decided to retire this past June. I knew I’d have a difficult time adjusting, but I just feel so sad as I see my teacher friends getting ready for a new school year. Education has been an important part of my life for so long that it almost seems like I’m in mourning. I’ve either been a student or a teacher for majority of my life. I feel lost. I’ve spoke to other retired teachers, and they say that it takes time. i understand, but what do I do in the meantime. I want to sub, but it would really be hard to see someone else in my former classroom. Gosh, that sounds so petty. I guess the bottom line is that I feel jealous that I’m no longer part of the educational community as a teacher. (Petty). My husband says to be patient, enjoy my summer, and maybe apply with another school district in the fall. That might be a good idea.
( Teachers in Texas have to wait an entire school year before being allowed to teach again in the state). Change is difficult, isn’t it?



Last edited by 2000Aggie; 08-24-2019 at 10:39 PM..
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change
Old 08-24-2019, 10:05 PM
 
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Change is very difficult, especially after doing something you love and put your soul into for 25 years. Perhaps you could volunteer at the beginning of the school year, especially that first day. Kids will be getting off the bus, nervous and worried about whether they remember which room to go to, some kindergarteners will need some cuddling and directions, and heck, even some teachers are going to need a helping hand that first week. New students will need nameplates, books, desks, etc. You could be the helping hand for that first week. That will get you over the hump.

If retirement doesn't work for you, consider this year a rest break and get back into next year. You'll be fine. The road isn't closed. You're just taking a stretch at a rest stop.
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Sorry you are having difficulty
Old 08-24-2019, 10:53 PM
 
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adjusting to retirement. Maybe you could take some leisure classes and be a student again. It might be fun and that would put you back into school mode.

I wish you the best.
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Student
Old 08-24-2019, 10:55 PM
 
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Oh, what a wonderful idea. I loved being a student.
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:10 PM
 
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I've found great pleasure in tutoring reading and English to immigrants. Many have become great friends and have enriched my life. Gather some like-minded retired teacher friends and start a book club. Join the YMCA a take exercise classes. Volunteer more at church or the library. I've learned that it takes a bit of work to find a great life in retirement. You have the answer to retirement happiness but it takes a bit of time to establish a network.


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Yes
Old 08-25-2019, 04:34 AM
 
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Change is difficult but you can do it. What about a new routine? On MWF I have a morning exercise class. I couldnít take this class before!
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Change
Old 08-25-2019, 04:59 AM
 
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Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes offer a variety of interesting classes. They are available in many areas of the country.
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Retirement
Old 08-25-2019, 05:01 AM
 
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Please don't be hard on yourself. As others have said, adjusting to retirement takes time, and you've only been retired a few months. I retired in 2014 after 35 years of teaching, and it took a good 3 years before it felt "normal". Now, I wouldn't go back for anything.

For 25 years, teaching has been your identity, and it will take time for you to find another identity. If you really feel strongly about going back into the classroom, I'd definitely sub or volunteer. I thought I wanted to sub, but decided that I really didn't once the first school year after I retired started. Instead, I volunteered at an animal shelter, which I enjoyed. Maybe try volunteering somewhere other than a school. I've always thought about volunteering in the local library.

I hope you feel better about things as time goes by. I think you will, as you discover that you finally have time to do things you weren't able to do when you were teaching.
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Retirement
Old 08-25-2019, 05:33 AM
 
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It doesn't sound like you are ready to retire. Since you have to wait a year before working for another school system, perhaps you could sub at other schools (not the one you just left because you think that would be painful) for now.

Last edited by travelingfar; 08-25-2019 at 09:08 AM..
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I think you are ready for retirement
Old 08-25-2019, 06:48 AM
 
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it is just such a huge change in your life style. I also had a hard adjustment. Some of my teacher friends did not because they retired with their DH and had family and grandkids close by and also traveled a lot. I did not.

I have hobbies but at the end of the day I felt sad when I realized that I had done nothing for anyone except myself. After more than 30 years in classrooms with children 6 and under I never had a whole minute to myself. Always meeting others needs and then nothing was odd.

NJ has the strangest regulations ever. We can not teach in state after retiring without it effecting our pension. We can not even volunteer until we have been retired for a full school year. The volunteering thing makes no sense.

Hang in there. You will make a new normal for yourself. A big change like retirement takes time.


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It's hard
Old 08-25-2019, 07:21 AM
 
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I subbed for the year after I retired. I taught in a Catholic school and wanted to see what public school was like. I loved it! I could pick and choose the school, class or days I wanted to work by the app they had to get subs. It was a great way to stay connected. The following year we decided to move so selling our home tended to be a full time job so I stopped teaching.
I live in a new community where almost everyone is a transplant. It sometimes seems like being in high school were everyone it trying to find themselves.
Good luck.
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Get out of the house
Old 08-25-2019, 07:36 AM
 
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One thing that I realized right away was that I would have to do more driving in retirement than I had done when working. I live in a fairly large city, not much in the way of public transport.

I retired one year ago. I spent the first month napping and traveling.

In month two, I joined a women's gym (Curves) at the suggestion of my friend. I have never been successful at followup with gyms or exercise and I find that I really enjoy it! I have also made new friends there.

In month two, I also joined a Bible study class for seniors that meets during the week. I walked right in, knowing no one there, and have made some more new friends. My pastor who teaches it is awesome and I cannot wait for my class to meet each week. A group of us all go to lunch each week after our class.

In month nine, I joined a community chorus that meets near me one evening a week. It has renewed my passion for singing, which has always been a part of my life but sporadically when I worked. I went to the first rehearsal with great trepidation and just fell in love with the director and the music we sing.
We give two concerts a year but also serve by going into hospitals, civic organizations, and nursing homes and singing. I have even recruited friends to join the group!

Now, one year after retirement, after much prayer and deliberation, I decided to volunteer at my old school. It was a hard decision for me, since I don't care for the principal and hoped I'd never see her again. I help my friend with her adorable K class of newbies. The kids are so cute and sweet - and some of them clueless - that I get a big kick out of being a second set of hands. I have only gone twice so far, and have committed to one morning a week. It's also a great excuse to see my old friends!

Other ideas that have worked for other friends: go to lunch with people who are also retired, go to see a movie during the day, take a class (one friend did CSI type stuff at a local college - she loved it), attend plays, musicals, and sporting events. Start a retirees group of people from your school (or area) and meet once a month for lunch or dinner.

Good luck and give yourself some time. I had to visualize who I was before teaching and what it was that I did and enjoyed before my career. I still have to do this....it's normal.
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Another Idea
Old 08-25-2019, 08:09 AM
 
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I don't know if you like to cook, but bringing treats to your former teaching friends would be greatly appreciated.

I did this once per month during my first and second years of retirement. I would bake some cookies over the month and freeze the extras. I would buy two kinds of fresh fruit at the grocery store and put them into deep baskets. I have several recipes for munchies (like chex mix), and I would make two big bowls of this. Brownies are always easy and there are all kinds of recipes on line to fancy them up to add variety. I also always tried one new recipe, which was usually something like a bundt cake, new kind of bar cookie, or easy coffee cake.

Then I would drop off these donations early in the morning. The only person who knew it was me was the custodian, and I swore him to secrecy.

Later that afternoon, I would return to school and pick up my (usually empty) containers.

It took most of the second year before anyone figured out it was me.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:30 AM
 
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It takes time to adjust to not being in the classroom. After 4 years of retirement, I, too am sad at this time of year when I know my teacher friends are gearing up for a new year. BUT..... think of all the things you didn't like about your job. I keep a folder with nasty parent letters, a few ridiculous data collecting sheets and memos from meetings, etc. Whenever I get too sad, I read through that stuff and thank the good Lord, I'm outta there! You were a big part of your school, but now it's somebody else's turn and it's your turn to take care of yourself. Like others have suggested, try taking an exercise class or something else you're interested in and make a new routine.

This board was very helpful to me when I was first retired and was constantly looking at my watch and thinking....oh, if I was in school now, I'd be going to specials, or I"d be having lunch, etc. Don't drive yourself crazy with memories....you worked hard for those 25 years and you EARNED this time to focus on yourself.

Good luck and don't let yourself get too down....come back here an we'll cheer you up! Oh....and go read some of the Vents on the Vent board....that always makes me appreciate retirement!
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:34 AM
 
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The first year of my retirement I felt a bit like you and did several long term subbing assignments for my colleagues in my building only. One was for 6 weeks and the other for a month. Then my principal asked me to come in and mentor new teachers, which I did for the rest of that year and also half of the next year. It was twice a week, so I was able to wean myself off teaching and gradually fill in my days with non-teaching activities. Now I can't see myself ever going back. I'm having too much fun!
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:56 AM
 
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I think one thing that helped me was a routine. As teachers we were so programmed into a schedule. Now, here is my weekly routine:

Sunday-church then grocery shop, make a meal we can have again on Tuesday
Monday-thrift shopping and any errands I need to run (slow day out there)
Tuesday-Active Aging exercise class, volunteer holding babies at the NICU
Wednesday-craft day or do something around the house, Bible study in the evening
Thursday- exercise class
Friday-part time job every other week I clean my DSís apt., happy hour
Saturday-laundry (off peak hours)
I also read a lot, craft a lot and I am trying to do some big things like paint and redo things around the house.
I really donít have a desire to sub or volunteer at my old school. I think because I did 35 years it makes a bit of difference. Good luck in finding your way.
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It took me about a year
Old 08-25-2019, 11:54 AM
 
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To transition into retirement. I had a variety of emotions and went with the flow of those emotions. I acknowledged that it would be a transition and decided not to worry about it. It took awhile to create the person I wanted to be without teaching. I started daily walks, slept a lot at first from exhaustion, read tons of books, began a daily exercise routine, cooked healthy and gradually added outside activities. I loved trying new things, dabbling here and there. I reminded myself that there is no one right way to do retirement. It will be six years soon since I retired and although I loved teaching and was very dedicated, I count my blessings that I retired when I did. I love my life.

My suggestion is to be gentle with yourself. Let yourself grieve the loss of teaching in your life and then move on when you are ready. Good luck!
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:11 PM
 
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DH and I discussed this on a recent walk. I miss the way it felt to start a new school year many years ago when teaching in the primary grades was fun and not quite so data driven. When the kids respected their teachers and there were fewer behavior problems. When we could deviate from the curriculum to do some seasonal art projects.....

I miss sharing some favorite books with kids, but I will get over it . I totally enjoy not worrying about setting up a classroom and having to set an alarm clock
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:15 PM
 
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Yes, it is !
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Old 09-03-2019, 11:43 AM
 
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To 2000Aggie-

Change is difficult but change leads to new life. You are not a one dimensional figure. Retirement gives you the opportunity to discover the new facets of YOU.
Have fun exploring new opportunities and watch your new life bloom!
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Thank you
Old 09-03-2019, 12:20 PM
 
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Thank you so much, everyone. I see now that I wasn't giving myself a chance to learn about other things that I may be passionate about. I rediscovered my love for baking and for taking long walks with my dogs. My husband and I are planning trip to the Midwest next month. Never been to that part of the country. Looking forward to it. And if I get bored, I can always sub in the spring.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:26 AM
 
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Everyones need retirement.. do not worry, you will get used to it soon
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:31 PM
 
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It was on this very board that I read that retirement is a "roller coaster of emotions."

I looked at several different things to see what would be my niche. I rejected a few things and tried a few things.

Now, I'm quite happy having time for grandkids, piano lessons, shopping while others are working, baking, supporting my DH in his hay business (a hobby for him ), and whatever else I want to do.

For you, remember that you are not just a teacher. There are more parts to your personality. Now is the time to figure them out. Best wishes.
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