Friday, June 19, 2015

Reflections on Retiring

After teaching 31 years, I'm officially retired.
Yes, I filled out the official "intent to return" form by checking the 
"No, I am not returning next year" box. 
June 11, 2015 was my last day.
My teaching career officially began with student teaching 1st grade (31 students) in Anchorage, AK, 1982.  We moved to NJ that same October, where I taught 7th grade physical science at Mt. Olive Middle School for twelve years.  October 1995, we moved to Yakima, WA where I was hired at Tieton Middle School ten miles SW of Yakima to teach special education resource classes.  After ten years, I looked for a general education math or science position, but was again led to a special education position in the Wapato school district, 20 miles south of Yakima.  My assignments included one year at the HS teaching Life Skills, three years at the MS teaching some resource English and mostly inclusion classes.  Don retired July 2010 and we moved to Ferndale. I landed a Life Skills position at Ferndale HS only 5 minutes from our home.  The position was a one year hire. We were visiting the kids in Ohio, when I got six phone calls asking me to return to that position, however, the Lord had another plan for me.   By the time I got the messages, another teacher had been hired.  Those events and the orchestrated counsel of others in my life, led to an open door for me to teach at Lummi Nation High School.  It has been a culturally rich experience and I hope to continue there in substitute teaching to help support my paper crafting addiction.
Would you believe, teaching was not my initial vocational goal?  I was thinking along the line of medical technology and started taking courses in furtherance of a Med-Tech degree at Montana State, Bozeman. We moved to Anchorage, where the local university only offered an associate degree in medical technology, so I put that plan on hold.  My teaching career was inaugurated with our adoption of Sonya, who was diagnosed "a failure to thrive child".  At age four she was wearing size 2T clothes and was below the 3 percentile for weight and height.  I became more interested in child development, soon realizing that everything I was doing was related to teaching - as a mother, as a Sunday school teacher, girls club counselor, (Calvinettes and Busy Bees) plus Ladies' Bible Study.  It soon became apparent to me that God's vocational plan for me would be to matriculate in education at the University of Alaska, Anchorage; so that I could refine the teaching skills I was already using.  I have been grateful for God's leading in that decision and am grateful for the honor of being paid to do what I’ve loved for 31 years, teach.

 NOW, My Top 10 Retirement Lesson Plans:
  1.   Week-long crafting retreats
  2.   Teaching classes in my Crafty Happy Studio
  3. Time with my best friend who retired 5 years ago
  4. Time with extended family
  5. Travel
  6. Reading novels and reading through the Bible in a year instead of titles by Marzano such as "Using Common Core Standards"
  7.  More time for GEMS Girls' Club
  8. Organizing my "stuff" so my kids won’t get stuck with my crafting clutter
  9.  Gardening 
  10. Cooking
One of my favorite quotes:
God put me on this earth to accomplish 
a certain number of things. 
Right now I am so far behind 
that I will never die.

No comments:

Post a Comment