I sent in my packets to both the prison retirement system and the teacher’s retirement system. IT WAS HARD. I’ve been talking about it and thinking about it and running numbers and projecting and trying to guess what the economy is going to do. And guess what?
All my my jobs were “good” years. I worked more than my contracted time (I subbed on all of my vacations and all thru college. I taught summer school. I taught preschool. I worked in state training schools. I rolled over all of my Utah time into California time.)
I’ll make more money on retirement than I do when I’m working. I won;t be driving in every day. I’m never going to wear blacks work pants and sensible schools again IN MY LIFE. I’m going to wear lipstick and perfume every day for the rest of my life.
I’ve loved teaching. I loved teaching in LA and in Utah and at the prison. Loved it. I was entertained pretty much every day of my life, which is more than I can say for a lot of people who are just counting down their days. I’ve been lucky because I’ve made a lot of life long friends–TeacherLinda and Olivia, Pat, Rhonda, Coach, Walt, Julie and Ruthie. Magoo and Paulie, Charlotte, Martha and Day. Martha. Judy, Bob, Clark. Tia. The list literally goes on and on.
I’ve been able to spend time with my children. I was always able to find work and now, with the economy in a twist, I think it’s time for someone else to take a turn.
All I can say is make sure you listen to music you like. Wear lipstick. And perfume. Smile. Laugh. Entertain yourself because what you are doing is so much more important than brain surgery. You hold the future in your hands every day. Your school may not trust with the keys, but parents trust you with their children. And the children trust you with their little selves. Be worthy of that trust.
I’m glad I taught when I did—before the whole world thought that a test was the answer to everything. The kind of tests that answer everything aren’t the kind of tests you take in school. They’re the kind of tests that just come along in life. Are you kind? If you snap at someone, do you apologize and mean it? Do you stop and make that call?
Do you drive out of your way and visit that friend? Do the people you love know it? Are you willing to go the distance with your friends or are you quick to take offense and take pleasure in your misery?
Do you really listen or are you just waiting for the conversation to slow down so you can jump in? Are you the same person when you are rich as you are when you are poor?
Those aren’t the kinds of tests you can give in school. nor should they be.