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.
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.
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.
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.