Today marked an important day to remember, my last day teaching in the classroom in 2010. I really didn’t know what the future would hold for me and now at this point, I can say it’s been quite an adventure.
An important of my retirement has been staying active in the classroom setting. In the past seven years, I have done eleven interim positions, the longest of which last three-quarters of a school year. Five of those long-term assignments were for teachers out on maternity leave, including two stints for one teacher. Each assignment has brought its special challenges, the foremost of which is saying goodbye all over again when the assignment is completed.
I’ve had countless days of substituting for teachers, many of whom I’ve gotten to know quite well, some of which I formerly taught with before retirement. I have subbed one day in a second grade class, but for the most part have stuck with what I know, upper elementary and middle school. There are some assignments I remember more than others, including one where there were no lesson plans, no seating charts, no class rosters. But for the most part, you know the teacher you’re working for has put a lot of thought into what you’ll be doing that day.
I did take a retirement trip right after leaving the classroom, that period of time when you’re not allowed to work in the school system. I traveled to six major league baseball games in seven days and thoroughly enjoyed each city we visited. I’ve also taken shorter trips, mostly to the mountains and of course took my camera along each time. For the most part, I guess you could say I’m a homebody and I’m certainly OK with that.
I’ve also continued to work at my part-time job during the high school football station, covering local games. This is a job, like teaching, that has somewhat limited financial rewards, but is certainly something I love doing. Most recently, my love of photography has landed me a job as a free-lance photographer with the local newspaper, taking pictures of the nightlife in the area. One of the most fulfilling parts of this job is when I meet up with former students along the way. Most recently I recognized a student who chose a career in the armed services and is now thirty-seven years old, contemplating his own retirement from the military.
It’s not always easy to know what path life will take. I wasn’t sure seven years ago and to be honest, I can’t anymore tell you today what the coming years will hold any more than I could then. But that’s a part of the adventure of life, a life that I’ve learned to take one day at a time…and enjoy.