Sleeping in this morning as I was up way too late,reading, listening to music, blogging and doing laundry. I made some good strong coffee with a dash of cinnamon and sat around for a little while, checked some emails and watched Jamie Oliver cook up a fast meal on television before taking the patient but unpredictable old dog out for her walk. As we walked our little route around the quiet little street I could hear my friend, a neighbour, puttering around with his garden and filling up his bird feeders. My sister-in-law is not home and probably out with the gals at a tea room or lecture or exercise class or doing some grandmother duty or at the library or getting her hair done, playing cards or doing one of her community volunteer jobs. The three of us represent the retired teacher society at our end of the street. We are not supply teaching. There are many of my retired friends who just do the same but there are some who don’t and continue working despite being retired.
Sometimes circumstances warrant having to continue but when the opportunity to fully retire comes along why would anyone retire on full pension and then accept teaching work again? As a Canadian teacher, one works as a dedicated fiend for thirty or more years while constantly upgrading qualifications with course work while a great deal of your wage floats away to income tax and a good chunk settles in a well run pension fund. When your youth is spent and your body and mind seizes up from fatigue and stress it is time to pack it in and go home. So many new teachers want and need to work but the jobs are very scarce. It is a desperate situation for many as they need to pay back student loans, provide for their families and get on with their lives.
At the risk of burning bridges I can’t imagine myself going back to a classroom and take it away from a new colleague desperate to work and establish a career. There is nothing wrong with continuing to lead a busy work schedule if that’s what you want but why not try something else? Teaching is a skill that is wonderful preparation for other things. In my case it is time to catch up with the artistic interests I had to set aside while focusing on necessary work while going through challenging personal stuff.
I miss teaching sometimes as I really had found my niche and worked long and hard at it. I also miss the 70’s, my size 10 dress size and my properly functioning metabolism. Some things are gone forever.
Next week, at lunch with a couple of my retired friends I may take some flak for this post. They may read this and think, what is going on with her these days?. She just to be so hardworking and dedicated! I wonder if they will recall my mildly deviant behaviour at before, during and afterschool meetings when I was desperate to be somewhere else. I wonder if they will recall the irreverent comments I made out of the side of my mouth as we were neck-deep in copious planning and often tedious professional development. Winding up the administration was becoming an art form for me . Ha! Those were the days! Obviously I was wishing for and anticipating a well earned reprieve from such things. Someone told me that retirement from teaching was like seeing a painting from the front for a change rather than seeing only the back of it. They were right. It’s nice.