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mrsflowermom mrsflowermom is offline
 
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mrsflowermom
 
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Last 4 months in - how did you do??
Old 01-21-2019, 09:47 AM
 
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How did you feel when you had only 4 months to go? I'm a 4th grade teacher in a small charter elementary school and I'm the only teacher retiring this year so I have no one to talk to. Please let me know your thoughts and feelings that you remember at this point, also. I'd really appreciate it.


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1956BD 1956BD is online now
 
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I felt
Old 01-21-2019, 10:06 AM
 
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excited about my upcoming retirement but a little sad to say good bye to working with children and my great team. I was also in the process of finding a home in another city 70 miles away. So that was thrown into the mix as well and I was hopeful that I was making the right decision.

It all turned out fine. I love my new hometown. I love being retired. Just as expected I miss my team and collaborating with them to create fun lessons. I also miss working with children.

I don't miss faculty meetings, deadlines, paper work, report cards, students with behavior issues, parents who are not supportive of the teacher or classroom work, 30 minute lunches, after school duty, professional development that was a waste of time, administrators who have forgotten what it is like in the classroom..........

I love staying up late. No more 9 PM bedtime for me.

I love sleeping as long as I want to. No alarm clock required.

I love having breakfast and lunch any time I want to. No demanding schedule to follow.

I love eating lunch out during the week.

I can go to the moves during the week in the middle of the day. I receive a discount and it is not crowded. YEAH!

I love having a slower pace and not going 100 miles per hour like I had to while teaching.

I have time for a new hobby which is different forms of art. It is so much fun!

I can buy groceries when the store is not crowded. YEAH!

Making a doctor's appointment is easy now because I can go any time.

No more teacher clothes. Retirement clothes are more comfortable and fun.

You are getting ready to start a new chapter in your life and it is wonderful.
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No regrets...
Old 01-21-2019, 11:12 AM
 
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I remember feeling excited, relieved, and a bit overwhelmed. I was excited that I would be putting all the stress and pressure behind me--no more evaluations, documentation logs, endless meetings, sleepless Sunday nights, difficult parents, coaching, etc.

I was relieved that this chapter of my life was ending because of all the changes to the field of education that were gradually sucking all the passion, creativity, freedom and joy out of it as the required elements and district control kept increasing.

The overwhelming part came from wrapping up a 42 year career with all the materials and finding the time to clean out the room and weed through my personal stuff. My room was not going to be used as a regular classroom this year, so my worst nightmare would be if the principal were to come in and tell me that I had to find a new home for my children's literature collection which I planned on leaving for the next teacher. Fortunately, that never happened.

There were feelings of sadness too, but they were fleeting at best. I had a difficult class whom I never really tightly bonded with and a principal who I felt neutral about on the best days and disliked intensely on the worst. My colleagues whom I was closest to had long since retired, and the staff was a lot younger, so I really didn't feel like I was losing many friends. In my case, others were retiring too, so I got to share the spotlight, which was a good thing.

Savor your final months and welcome to your impending retirement! It is the BEST!
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Last 4 months
Old 01-21-2019, 11:47 AM
 
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I revelled in it! By then, I had done 90% of cleaning and giving away, I was not expected to go to PD days, sometimes P excused me from staff meetings.

I just let go of all the petty annoyances...even THOSE kids. They were going to be someone elseís issue next year. Just enjoy the fact that you are a teacher. Have fun.

I also had some trepidation regarding my post teaching life. What would I do? Would I miss it? So I planned a lot of projects and travel my first year. Things are now settling into a groove. I love it.
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Finishing up
Old 01-21-2019, 12:17 PM
 
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I CELEBRATED THE LASTS!!!!

My last months were wonderful by doing exactly that!!

I reprised some old favorite units I had put away because of curriculum requirements.

Yes, I had some pangs, but then thought of the overwhelming issues that I would NOT miss. That always brought me back to center.

As others have said, by this time I had gone through almost all my files.

I gave away items (DVDs, some teacher resources, "stuff") that other teachers had borrowed from me on a yearly basis, and I knew they would want when I was gone.

I had a student teacher the last semester (something I'd never had and decided it was now or never). It actually worked out really, really well, even though it was my last semester teaching. She was wonderful! Energetic, full of great ideas, and helped me realize it was time to hand the torch to the next generation. She was actually hired to replace me. Even though I had already planned to leave behind important "new teacher start-up" items, such as my 3000+ book classroom library, my own bookcases for them, collections of games, bulletin board stuff, etc., she asked if it would be possible to inherit personally-created units and other teacher resource "stuff." Absolutely --- and I felt honored she saw some value in them.

I've worked in her classroom since - either as a volunteer or substitute - and she took my suggestion regarding those files: teach for a year or two, then muck through the files. She had a much better idea of what she needed/wanted.

So... celebrate the lasts!


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Ending a long career
Old 01-21-2019, 02:22 PM
 
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I was looking forward to new stuff (spending a lot of time with my first grandchild, joining my already-retired friends for monthly lunches, having time to myself, and deciding what I wanted to do, not what had to be done). As NJ teacher also noted, my close teacher friends had retired or moved on, my last school and principal were not my favorites, the non-teaching duties had multiplied, and standardized testing had become the be-all and end-all. Everything was 'data driven'. I was just staying because I liked children and teaching.

I have been retired for a year, since Dec. 2017. It has been wonderful. I don't miss all of the parts of the job that are sheer drudgery (preparing report cards, dealing with hostile parents, boring PD meetings, bus duty, etc.) but I found that I do miss working with students, so I am doing some day-to-day subbing. No long-term assignments. I can do a bit here and there, as my schedule permits. I love spending the day with students. I always leave feeling uplifted. I have been a guest teacher in so many engaging and effective little learning communities. I feel like I have off-loaded all of the bad parts of teaching, and kept a little of the best. Life is good.
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:46 AM
 
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I remember I made a list of things to do and things that were due for each month left. It was on chart paper and large so I could see it across the room! I added to it as stuff came up. When each was completed, I checked it off and drew a big line through it. It gave me a visual of my accomplishments, and it also made me realize that retirement was the right decision. I worked too hard!

I remember being so nervous, wondering what I would do. I didn't have to worry. I love retirement, and if I could have retired at 40, I would have.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:45 AM
 
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Thanks, everybody, for your thoughts. I guess I'm experiencing the same things...overjoyed one minute with only 4 months to go, this is the last....then, the next minute the standardized tests loom at me and all that I have left to do is overwhelming! What little files I have left I'm leaving for the next teacher. The stuff that I'm concerned with is the accumulation of teaching "tools" in my cupboards. Because I may teach 2 days a week at a small church school I will probably have to save this stuff and make room in my house for all of it. Yikes! But, all in all, I'm happy to be retiring and moving on to the next chapter of my life. I know I'll love it. I think I'm going to count the days I have left!
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I was elated
Old 01-22-2019, 12:35 PM
 
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I taught first grade and we always counted how many days we were in school. Towards the end of the school year we counted how many days left. My last year that countdown took on a whole new meaning. I loved teaching. I realized how much I gave to my classroom and put my family second.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:05 PM
 
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Many people plan their wedding day but don't give as much thought to their marriage years. The same goes for retirement. It might help to think of your last day teaching in the same way. Your retirement hopefully will last many, many years. It will take time, and you may experience many different emotions as you transition through this new life stage. How much time? 6 months? 1 year? 3 years? There is no correct answer. But you will arrive!


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