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iltchr iltchr is offline
 
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A feeling I didn't expect...
Old 06-21-2016, 06:21 AM
 
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Good Morning. Just returned from my morning walk (wow, I love having time to do this!), and I did some reflecting while I was walking. I didn't expect to feel this emotion today, and I'm wondering if anyone here can relate....

I live across the street from my school, so I chose that path to walk for the first time today. I walked around the building I went into each morning for 22 years of my life. Today I felt.......ANGRY.

Weird, but it dawned on me just how much I've missed in life while I committed almost every single waking (ha, and many times sleeping) hour to my classroom. I believe I gave all I could to those little ones that were entrusted to me each year. I never turned it off when I came home, and no one complained much. I am feeling incredibly guilty for all of the time I gave to my classroom rather than my family!

Both of my boys are grown now, and neither would say they were deprived of a single thing during the past 22 years, I'm sure. I did stay home until both of them were in school, thank goodness! I do think witnessing my hard work and commitment was a great life lesson for them, but I'm just feeling like I missed so much!

So......is this a normal feeling? Did anyone else feel like your job robbed you of a life for so many years? I hope this is one of those things that passes as I ease into this new life. I don't know where my new "adventure" will lead me, but I do know I will never let anything CONSUME my life again! I am going to enjoy every single day!

Thanks for listening. How lucky am I to have a place to voice this feeling where I know people will understand! I'm so glad I found this board!


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Emotion
Old 06-21-2016, 06:29 AM
 
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I still feel this way and I went on sick leave in March. Yes I am angry at many aspects of the past. Hopefully with time, we won't feel this way.

Chris
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Old 06-21-2016, 07:23 AM
 
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I also have those thoughts. I wish I could go back in time and say "no" to things like committee work and trying to be super teacher.
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Sorry
Old 06-21-2016, 09:52 AM
 
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I'm sorry that walking by school makes you so angry. Teaching has become a draining and exhausting career. I'm glad that you will not let anything else consume your life that way again.

I had to create boundaries early so I didn't let my job take over my life. I got to work very early each day to get things done before most teachers arrived. I brought no work home with me and didn't spend much money on items for my classroom. Even doing all of that I felt a lot of stress as a teacher.

I'm grateful to be retired and able to do the things I want with my life. I wish you all the best.
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Yes
Old 06-21-2016, 09:55 AM
 
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Watching my doctor daughter parent her 2 kids and how she plays with them in ways that I didn't has brought up these feelings for me. Also now that I am retired and my once valuable teaching knowledge and opinion no longer matters sometimes feels like a slap in the face. I gave so much and now I don't matter.

Don't get me wrong. My 2 kids and I are close today. But I do think about some school things I put first when I should have put my family first.


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Mixed feelings
Old 06-21-2016, 10:47 AM
 
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There certainly are mixed feelings when you retire. It's hard to see that the very place we devoted so much of our lives to can go on so early without us. Yep, they didn't miss a beat. It was so easy to think "I have to go to school today and not call in sick. They NEED me!" Turns out we weren't so essential after all. Most employed people learn that when they retire, not just teachers.

The good news is, we made it to retirement. Making this the best part of my life is important to me. I'm devoting my time to my family, my health, and then serving others. No matter how old we are we still are learning what's important in life.
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Oh, yes...
Old 06-21-2016, 12:02 PM
 
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I have had the same feeling. When I was teaching, it consumed me. Even in the summers.

My mother passed away in March this year, and it has been hard thinking about all the times she called me, asked me what I was doing, and I answered "Working," or "Grading papers." I really resent all the time teaching stole from my family. I did spend most Saturdays with Mom, but I know that there were times when she needed something or was just lonely, and hesitated to call me because she knew I would be busy. No job should require so much of your time.

I only had 1 child, a daughter. I was able to leave the classroom and work part time while she was really little, and then worked as a tech trainer for my district for awhile (no papers to grade, parents to deal with, or report cards to write). I didn't go back to the classroom until she was in 8th grade. She became a teacher, even after I advised her against it, but only taught 3 years before she started her family. She now has 3 little ones, and has decided that she will never return to the classroom, it just requires too much time. That is really sad because she was an excellent teacher. She was recognized by Junior Achievement as their New Teacher of the Year the first year she taught!!

My husband told me over the years that I should only do what I could get done during my contracted hours and not worry about anything that didn't get done. Like many of you, I just couldn't do it.

After Mom died, I cut way back, doing very little at home and nothing on the weekends. The results were that even though I had one of the nicest, most cooperative classes I ever had, my test results were horrible. All but 2 or 3 did increase their spring score over their fall score, but almost half of them didn't make their expected growth in both reading and math. I was devastated. That was the straw that broke the camel's back...I decided to retire the day I got those test results.

LaVerne, you were lucky if you didn't have the feeling that your experience and knowledge didn't matter until AFTER you retired. The veteran teachers in my school started feeling like that 4 years ago when we got a new principal. It was very obvious that he didn't want anyone in his building over the age of 40 and he made life miserable for those of us who had built the school into the best school in the district. I could go on and on, but that is a matter for another post.

iltchr, I have only been retired since June 1st, but I have found that not thinking about school and reading THIS BOARD have helped me move past most of my anger. I have deleted and/or unsubscribed to every teacher website, email list, etc. (except this one, of course) and I find that I don't miss them at all. This surprised me, because I was so consumed with them for so many years, but for now, at least, I am just relaxing and enjoying the fact that I can do anything I want, whenever I want without a stack of papers waiting for me.
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:35 PM
 
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Oh, yes I did feel guilty and angry for devoting so much time & money to school. I still do feel the guilt to an extent. I try to separate the past from the present and try to spend the most time that I can now with my family & close friends.

My dad and grandparents had the same (over)work philosophy. I passed this attitude down to my daughter who is in education as well. There's one difference, though, she stays until she gets her work done and brings none home. She also spends little of her own money.

She's certainly doing things in a smarter way than I did & I couldn't be happier for her & her family.
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:44 PM
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Anger...
Old 06-21-2016, 01:48 PM
 
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I spent yesterday with a dear friend who is younger and still teaching. It was her very first day of summer vacation and rather than feeling relieved, she was already beginning to stress about the fall! My heart broke for her. My one regret of my teaching career is that I worked round the clock and was never able to relax enough to get away from it. The intensive evaluations and data analysis put me over the edge. I do miss the students as well as my dear colleagues but not the stress. The principal hired as I retired has micromanaged every aspect of their lives so I am especially grateful for my "escape". I felt I was a very good teacher, but sometimes wonder if my mental health would have improved had I worked a less stressful job. I try and remind myself daily of all I am thankful for and how lucky I was to get out sooner rather than later. I am sure your intense feelings will abate with time. I am sorry you feel this way❤️
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angry feelings
Old 06-21-2016, 02:15 PM
 
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Many of us, including me, share some regret about giving too much time to our school life than to our own family. The past is gone and there is no do-over. Luckily, retirement gives us the time to move forward with a different perspective.


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Old 06-21-2016, 03:11 PM
 
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I think retirement is a bit of a process rather than an event.
Maybe anger is part of the process of retirement.
Anger is often part of the process of grieving.
Maybe there are similarities.

I retired and never looked back.
I wouldn't say I have felt anger towards my school but I have noticed a few things that surprise me.
I have no desire to go back and visit the building or the situation. I see my teacher friends regularly in social settings but not school settings.
I do not want anyone depending on me, nor do I particularly want to be responsible for anything.
I don't need to be in charge!
During my career I was a work-a-holic and a volunteer extraordinaire so this is quite a change.

I had a strange dream last night.
I saw my last principal a couple days ago. She was my P for the last 2 years, neither of which were evaluation years. She was okay as P -- not great but not evil either.
In my dream, she turned up as the person assigned to do a geriatric assessment on me.
Yikes!
I woke up before she could do the report.
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Old 06-21-2016, 05:19 PM
 
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I have a lot of regret for the time I put in teaching for 37 years. I didn't think of my regret as anger, but I guess it is. I told my grown daughters I wish I had had more time with them as they were growing up. They said they didn't feel slighted because of all the time we were together in summers. It hurts me now that they are married and moved away that their childhood seems like a snap of the fingers.

I am trying to rise above these feelings by babysitting our grandson every chance I get (even though I have to drive over two hours to get there). I see both our daughters in professions that have them working long hours. I want to help them balance their work/family by being there for them.
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Old 06-21-2016, 06:09 PM
 
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One way to look at it is -- That was then, this is now. I, too, spent WAY too much time at school than was healthy. We can get bogged down in so many What Ifs, and I wish I hads.....

We have whatever time we have left to live our life as fully and happily as we can. I say, go for it!


Last edited by anansi; 06-21-2016 at 07:08 PM..
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Old 06-21-2016, 07:14 PM
 
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Yes, I do experience some feelings of anger and guilt from time to time, about what you mentioned, as well as what has become of education now. I, along with my colleagues who were veteran teachers felt pushed out, but now I have to admit, I am glad! Hope you enjoy many more lovely morning walks!

Nancy
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Yes I had plenty of GUILT!
Old 06-21-2016, 07:51 PM
 
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When I retired I didn't really have any anger! I was too happy to have any negative emotions. But having time to think and enjoy life can lead to many varying emotions. I will forever have guilt about my teaching years when my children were growing up. I was always a perfectionist and spent so much time trying to excel in my profession. When my kids were quite young I was one of two teachers developing the Gifted and Talented Program in our district. Both of us were required to write curriculum, teach in many different schools, different grade levels, present workshops for teachers, present workshops for parents, identify kids for the program, attend conferences. I can remember typing up a thinking skill lesson on the new computer I was given with my two little ones grabbing my legs begging me to play. Oh dear. How I hate that image. I was stressed beyond belief. It wasn't much better when I moved back in to the regular classroom. I was always working. I will never forget when my daughter said "You love your at school kids more than you love your at home kids." Somehow we all survived. But your post reminded me of my guilt and regret. It should ALWAYS be Family First. If I could do it all over again I would have put teaching, grading, meetings, lesson planning, bulletin board making, classroom organizing way way behind being with my own darling children.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:50 AM
 
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Not anger for me, but regret, certainly.

My dh was home with the kids, and I thought that was OK. I was bored long before my 6 week maternity leave was over. But now I wish I had had more time with my kids while they were small. They, however, do not seem to think I neglected them in any way, and they are always proud when they meet people in the community who were students of mine. (Lots of their friends were, as well as older and younger folks, since I taught in the local area for nearly 40 years).

I would love to have a grandchild with whom to have some of that sweet kid time, but my eldest (who has 3 children) lives quite far from me, and the younger two seem uninterested in reproducing.

I get a lot of validation from former students, which makes me happy. Just ran into a kid at the gym last week who is a new college grad in chemical engineering! (I taught chemistry). It makes me feel great when almost everywhere I go I encounter former students who are happy to see me and seem to be productive citizens. (Spent a pleasant half hour with my dental hygienist just day before yesterday, for example). I am also glad to leave the schools to my former students. Some are teachers, and there are four principals in my local area (including my old school) who were students of mine. I feel I've handed on the torch to the younger generation, and now I'm free to enjoy my retirement!
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Not Surprised...
Old 06-22-2016, 05:40 AM
 
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I am not surprised at the feelings many of you have expressed in this post.

I must say that I enjoyed (almost) every day of my career. At times it overwhelmed me, but my family and friends understood and supported me. Are there things I would change? Maybe...maybe not...

I think all of us (and even those who are not teachers) look back on our careers (and life) and wish we would have made different decisions/choices at certain times in our lives. When I do this, I take a moment to ask myself why would I dwell on something I cannot change.

I can't change what already is behind me, but I can make better decisions in the future. Today, tomorrow, and next week are ahead of me. That is where I put my effort and dreams rather than being angry about what is behind me.

I am proud of the difference I made in the lives of my students and staff, and the changes I initiated in my district. I am happy with who I became, and look forward to what is to come.

My advice...dwell on today and tomorrow and next week. Dump the feelings of guilt you may have about the past. You can't change the past, but your past can influence the path you take in your future.
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Wise words, ConnieWI
Old 06-22-2016, 04:21 PM
 
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Everything you said was true, so true!! Thank you!
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Thank you...
Old 06-23-2016, 05:49 AM
 
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I just wanted to say thanks to you all for sharing your feelings and your comments. I apologize if I brought up a subject that conjured up feelings that weren't the happiest. That certainly was not my intention. It was very helpful to me, though, to know that I'm not alone in feeling this way.

I do believe that any change in life (good or bad) has an adjustment period, or stages. This is just a stage that I need to work through in order to fully enjoy my coming days as a retired teacher. I know I will do that, and I will work to make this time in my life the best ever! I will also work to strengthen my relationships with others that have maybe gone by the wayside while I was so consumed in my classroom.

Thank you, Connie, for your insightful quotes.....These are my new mantras!

"I can't change what already is behind me, but I can make better decisions in the future. "

"You can't change the past, but your past can influence the path you take in your future."

This board is the BEST!!!
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My Story Too
Old 06-23-2016, 01:31 PM
 
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I could have written what you said verbatim. I had those same exact feelings as well. I felt the same about how much time I gave and should have given to my family. My kids would say the same, but I couldn't help but feeling like I short changed them because my mind was always preoccupied with school. I felt angry as well in the months that followed. I too vowed to never let anything control me like that.
Enjoy retirement and your walks. May even need to take a different route, but most likely it will pass.
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Old 06-23-2016, 06:44 PM
 
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I've only been retired for 26 days and wow are my thoughts happy and free to just be me!
Teaching was a 24/7 -always on my mind type of profession. The lost sleep is what I'm recovering from. Sweet dreams now!
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