Retirement,,,and my thoughts on Teaching

This is ME...September 14, 2014...Yes, and I am looking good at 64...LOL...with my dear daughter, Lara.

This is ME…September 14, 2014…Yes, and I am looking good at 64…LOL…with my dear daughter, Lara.

Okay…I am done…I am going to be perfectly honest with this posting. I do NOT like being retired. The first thing out of the mouth of one of my children, was: “You need to sell your house. You need to get an apartment. You need to downsize!”   What a joke! I already live in a house smaller than an apartment!   All of a sudden, I was suddenly on a downward spiral and ready to go to the funeral parlor for my casket size!

Seriously, I was a teacher for 36 Y E A R S…that is a L O N G time!!!  I still break out with a cold sweat on Sunday nights, thinking I have to go and face those children who think I have all of the answers! I have to be prepared!   My usual routine was that I would take Friday night off…and begin to plan my lessons on Saturday morning. I would see something that hour, and think, “Hmm, I can see how that would explain this point to the children…and I could use this…and I could use that…”  And so my weekend would proceed.  Anyone who thinks that teaching is a 9 to 5 job, is living an illusion!  When you are a teacher, you are thinking non-stop of how you can make the lesson more interesting and what important idea they need to know and understand…and most importantly, how to allow them to be KIDS!  Allow them to question! Allow them to BE!

All of these many years I tried to be”the guide on the side,” and not the “sage on the stage, ”  (Thank you to Dr. Robert Pavlik for that great phrase! and TRUTH!)  Truthfully, I did not begin my teaching career that way. I thought I had to have it all right…then as the years progressed, I began to see how important it was to LISTEN…to LISTEN to the children.  What it was they needed to express. What it was that they wanted to know. What is was that they needed so that they could become fully themselves!

Regardless of the crazy testing demands of today (that is another posting I am ready to blast!), the MOST important thing we can do as teachers, is to allow the children to BE!

My God, WHY are we stuffing facts down their tiny throats?  WHY are we comparing?  WHY are we telling them, “You need to do better!”  My God—let them be children and let them learn at their pace and allow them to lead you to help them discover who they are, and what they can contribute and why discovery is so vital to their own lives and to ours!

I guess retirement allows me to say things about teaching that in the last  seven years of my teaching career were “verboten!” (forbidden).

Well, I will say more about retirement in the next post. I just had to get this off of my chest!

23 thoughts on “Retirement,,,and my thoughts on Teaching

  1. georgiakevin says:

    As a teacher trying hard to do my job, at least at my school we have a school full of burned out discouraged teachers. In 18 years of teaching in 3 states in 4 school districts I have never seen it this bad. I have seen a glimpse of what it must be to art of a a crew on board a ship without a Captain. Your blog is very much worth reading for me. Please keep on writing.


  2. YOU are needed! and YOU are important! And every teacher is important! YOU are each worth a million and one! and more! I think our country does not appreciate teachers. The political agenda is to create carbon copies of the Koch Brothers…follow the money…even scholarships at the universities are contingent upon the thinking of the Koch brothers…check out the universities in Florida! I am from Wisconsin and I have seen first hand how our Governor Scott Walker has destroyed our public schools, which were often considered in the top percentile. Legislators need to get out of the classroom and allow the teachers to teach! GOD bless YOU and your the teachers in your district! Thank you for your presence on my blog—it makes my days meaningful to know I can inspire or may someone feel better for the day! Final thought: Teachers are GOLDEN! Good luck to you, Kevin! Or George!


  3. jackiegmills says:

    I have seen the value of teachers first hand. When my son was first diagnosed with autism we were told he would never read or write. It is only through the patience and selfless dedication of countless teachers that he is today a 15 year old boy who, not only loves school, but reads and writes to his heart’s content. A good teacher who care for his/her students is worth more than gold. I take my hat off to all of you.


  4. I admire teachers like you, who are truly passionate about their craft, and care for their students 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


  5. Jane, you’ve just written a chunk of my life, i identify with this totally.
    After i retired i spent an entire year reading, nothing else really but reading – all of Shakespeare again, all of the Greek classics, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Nietzsche and Marx, and then i went back to writing but that year reading broke me away from school and i needed that break.
    Good Luck!

    A big hug


  6. Just Patty says:

    I can understand you completely my friend. It’s so unfair when you are forced to stop doing what you love. Teachers are so important, not just for education, but also as a great support in the daily life of many children.
    Thank you so much for writing and sharing this with us.
    Lots of love and hugz ♡


  7. God bless you for your dedicated years in a most noble profession


  8. My granddaughters have awesome teachers. We are so lucky.
    No, I have never thought teaching is easy. I couldn’t do it. This reminds me of a Grade 3 exam. Spelling counted and marks would be taken off. I wasn’t sure if I spelled the word ‘rabbit’ correctly. On the fence, I drew a picture of one (a tiny one) in the middle of the sentence. The teacher didn’t take off anything for misspelling. We had a lovely thought afterwards. I thought she was an awesome teacher.


  9. yeoldefoole says:

    you need to teach! perhaps you need to teach teachers?


    • Morning, Gary…Well, I am “too old” now…I am going to be 65 in January. People do not realize what is happening in so many schools. Our present Governor of Wisconsin has damaged our schools in many ways and on many levels. It is not about the “quality” of teaching, it is about being “cost-effective.” I could tell you horror stories, besides my own, that would be unbelievable. Well, I could email you the rest of my story…Page 2…like Paul Harvey! Have a good day!


  10. The truth is, I do NOT think I am too “old” but the employers do! I have applied for 157 jobs since my retirement! THREE RESPONSES! Two were rejection letters, the third was an interview, but the 30 year old was hired. I have my M.A. and I think that is WHY I did NOT get the job…over qualified. The first two years of retirement were awful…I did not think I would survive…literally…I was so depressed! It is beginning to become better just these last weeks. WordPress has saved me from Extinction!


  11. Clanmother says:

    I think that you would like reading “Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom” by Mary Catherine Bateson (daughter of Margaret Mead). She sees aging today as “improvisational art form calling for imagination and willingness to learn.” I found it fascinating and liberating.


  12. writersideup says:

    Johann, could you hear me shouting, “Hear, hear!” as I was reading? I agree with you wholeheartedly! So do so many others! Have you ever heard of International Dot Day? It’s a wonderful movement I ADORE and it’s growing exponentially each year 🙂 Here, you can read about it on my blog:
    http ://writersideup. com/2014/09/15/up-my-very-1st-dot-celebrating-intl-dot-day/


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