A New Beginning: Getting Ready To Say Goodbye

 Robert Frosts’ poem often had me thinking as I traveled this road called Life. And now a new turn in the road that leads me away from the classroom that has been my passion and often a stronghold of my “being,” to unknown territory. I have decided that it is time for me to retire. With mixed feelings, I look at this decision with excitement, uncertainty, anticipation, unease and enthusiasm. I share with you the email I sent to the parents of the children that are in my class and the second one sent to my colleagues.

Dear Parents,

It is with mixed feelings that I am writing to let you know that I will be retiring at the end of this academic year. I will be sharing this information with your children today. I started teaching here in 1977, first as a teacher in the early childhood department, and since 1991, with Roger in the kindergarten program. To say that I have grown as an educator, parent and now a grandparent in my years at the Center, is an understatement. My sister-in-law often tells me that a person who finds a “calling” and is fulfilled in his or her job is a rare and fortunate individual. I agree 100 fold! I can only thank you and those who came before, for entrusting your children to me. Teaching involves building a relationship between parents, teachers and the school community, working in the best interests of the child. And this has been my commitment as your child’s teacher. This school has been my second home for a long time and I will miss it. However, I look forward to being involved as an alumni and maybe as a substitute teacher. I don’t think I can ever retire from teaching and learning, so who knows where the road may lead me. I do know that I will now have more time to spend with my grandchildren, family and friends, and I am excited about these prospects.

However, there is still much to do in kindergarten and I look forward to the rest of the year together.

With love,
Faige

Dear Friends,

I address you in this way because you are more than faculty and staff to me, you are my extended family. I have known many of you for a very long time. You will never know how much your love, support and care have meant to me all these years. Some of you are newer friends; your interests in my “passions” as we share stories and learning have been incredible. So it is with mixed feelings and saddness I write to let you know that I will be retiring at the end of this academic year. It is not only difficult for me to say these words, but also to write them; it seems so final. I came here as a 29 year old filled with dreams ready to save the world and I leave now as a 68 year old, still ready to save the world. I found my calling in education and the place I was best suited. And now my calling may take me else where, but I will continue to stay connected to the Center. I take heart in knowing that this is not the end of my association with all of you and the school, but just a new road I will be traveling. I hope to be available to sub and support this amazing institution in any way I can. On that note I end this letter with this wonderful quote we saw at our assembly honoring MLK.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

May the years ahead be filled with your dreams and calling.

With devotion,
Faige

And now I share it with my PLN. Twitter had come at such an interesting intersection and  juncture in my professional life. It has re-energized me in ways that I could have not imagined. The camaraderie I have felt here, the learning and sharing of ideas and concern for our students, is what I will always value. I still have a few months left in the classroom and so much more to share as a classroom teacher on Twitter. I hope to continue my participation in chats in a different capacity. In what way I am not sure. My years experience are still the backbone of who I am and I look forward to melding that with where I go. I hope to continue my blog as a reflection on what I see and read in education. I think of this as I get ready to finish this post, “You are who you want to be” and I continue to be me: a passionate, caring educator out to instill the love of learning in any way I can.

I hope you take a moment to share your thoughts.

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12 Responses to A New Beginning: Getting Ready To Say Goodbye

  1. Joy Kirr says:

    Oh, my goodness, Faige!!
    I am a bit envious (although it’s not my time), and very much excited for you! I hope you are beginning to make plans as to what you’d like to do – you’ll have Genius Hour EVERY DAY!! (That’s what I’m really looking forward to in retirement!)
    Thank you for sharing this news with us – I hope you do still stay active on Twitter. I’ll bet you’ll go to #comments4kids each day and comment on blogs! You’ll still be a teacher to us – in so many ways.
    Enjoy the rest of these days with your current kiddos. Soak up all their love!
    Sincerely,
    Joy

  2. faige says:

    Thank you so much Joy. I’m sure you and the #geniushour crew will continue to inspire, not only me, but others who are fortunate to find the hashtag and you!

  3. msauerborn says:

    Faige. Your voice at #kinderchat has shaped its soul, and mine. Your impact on so many people online is felt everyday. I can only imagine the impact that you have had on the children in your care, and the people fortunate enough to know you. I hope your retirement gives you all that you need, and that it gives you the gift of time to continue to inspire us.

    • faige says:

      Good thing no one is watching the tears flow down my cheeks. You and #kinderchat have been the impetus for my blogging and finding my on line voice and one that can be heard. I know self worth comes from within but validation makes it so much stronger. I am so touched by your comments.

  4. Denise Krebs says:

    Oh, Faige, this is good news and sad news all rolled into one! I know there is a time for every season, but we will miss you and future students who have looked forward to having you will miss you. What an amazing career you have had since 1977 in the same system. Wow–so much blessed history, so many lives touched.

    Echoing Joy and Mardelle above, I hope you will stay connected. in retirement, for we still have much to learn from you.

    Blessings,
    Denise

  5. faige says:

    I am a bit overwhelmed by these genourous comments. I have learned so much from so many and have enjoyed our “chat.” I hope to learn and share with my PLN and my colleagues at school.. I am leaving a building but not an important part of me.

  6. Anne Jenks says:

    Faige, what a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing all three notices. I hope we will continue to connect. It has been a great pleasure to learn from and with you.

    • faige says:

      Thank you Anne for taking the time to read and comment. I hope to continue learning with you and from you as well. Wishing you all the best that you do for your students. So happy we connected f2f at edcampLA.

  7. hechternacht says:

    What a beautiful letter, Faige. It’s really amazing to think about the span of being called “teacher” and all you’ve given a community and children. It’s been an honor to learn with you on #Kinderchat. Your devotion to learning and staying current- I only hope I can stay half as enthusiastic and engaged as you throughout your career. I know your colleagues and parents will miss you, and I know the road ahead will be filled with fun, relaxed and happy mornings and wild new adventures. Congratulations to you, my friend. xoxo

  8. faige says:

    You have truly been a wonderful “friend” and have taught me so much with your generous spirit of sharing and inclusion. I know my road will now be different but I hope to continue the wonderful learning with many if the people I have met online. Building Relationships takes on different meanings, don’t they?

  9. Pingback: EVERY MOMENT INTENSEFIED | The road traveled

  10. I wish you all the best on this next chapter! You have reached out to so many of us, shared your stories, and listened attentively. I am sure that many will still learn from you, and that you will find great joy in whatever you spend your time on! Congratulations 🙂

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