Deciding When It’s Time to Say Good-Bye
In the decision I’ve made to retire at the end of the current school year, there are many factors that play a part. I’ll make a list and to the best of my ability tell what my thinking is in each case.
1.) I’ve gotten enough years of service and with additional sick days, am eligible to retire…. – I think there’s a reason why the thirty year mark is there. Not that there aren’t quality teachers that stay around longer than that, but I feel it’s there for a reason. If I count my years as a student, I’ve been in school for forty-four of my fifty years. I think I’m ready to graduate!
2.) Over the past several years it’s become more difficult to be physically and mentally sharp enough to continue teaching at a quality level of performance…. – We’re all getting older, that’s a fact of life. Our physical selves aren’t able to do some of the things we once were. Our mental processes slow from what they once were. I still feel well and I think I’m of a sane mind (at least most days), but I’ve noticed it takes a bit longer to do things and remembering things is not as easy as it once was for me. I think my patience with things I don’t have any control over has shortened somewhat as well.
3.) I enjoy what I do, but don’t want to let it get to the point where I hate my job.,,, So much has changed about the teaching profession over the years, especially the last several. It seems that teachers are responsible for more and more and aren’t given any additional hours in the day to take care of all that needs to be done. And while I think many administrators have a good idea of what it’s like in the classroom, when edicts come down from on high to do this and to do that on top of everything else we’ve been doing, it gets to be a bit much. It’s a little different to sit in an office somewhere and make choices about what teachers should do, but yet another thing to be in their shoes and actually have to carry those plans out.
I see more and more outside interference in what I do in my day-to-day teaching. After twenty-eight years, I’m still being told specifics on what I should or should not be doing in my daily lessons. Not that I don’t appreciate the advice, but I would like to think my years of experience stand for something. Give me some choices, but don’t micro-manage what I’m doing each day to the point I have to delete some strategies that I know work for me.
4.) I trust my intuition and it’s telling me it’s time to go… – I sometimes kid with people that of all the classrooms in the school, mine’s the one closest to the parking lot. And before you say, “He’s just saying that,” please know that I look for signs that are pointing me in the direction to take.
I have a determined faith in God and when I feel he’s leading me to do something, I’m likely to take that lead. I pray each day and ask God to give me a clean heart and a clear mind to do those things He would have me to do. And if this is what my mind’s telling me on a consistent basis, then I’m going to follow that lead. I truly think there are other things that He would like me to be doing with my life at this point in time. And this reason, above all others, is why I’ve made the decision I’ve made.
“Trust in the Lord with your whole heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6