"A good teacher is like a candle — it consumes itself to light the way for others." ~ unknown author
On Friday I made my way out to the front of our school to change our sign for the summer. As I opened the case an older neighbour was walking by and said to me "I bet those two are leaving for the summer happy people!" At first I was a bit confused but then I looked at the letters I was about to remove and I realized what she meant. The week before we put a message on our sign congratulating 2 of our teachers on their retirement. Both teachers had an amazing career, positively impacting students. But then I began to think about what the neighbour said. I wonder what it must really feel like to retire?
I can only imagine the emotions that a retiring teacher or administrator goes through as they close the door to their classroom or office. It's the beginning of a new chapter. But what the next chapter holds can be a daunting thought for many. As I think about my retirement I wonder if I'll be connected to a school or education in any way. Many educators often spend their retirement volunteering at the local school because it's in their blood. They became teachers because they believed they could make a difference. Some find a new passion away from education that will fulfill them. Either way everyone needs to find something that will keep them occupied, for lack of a better word. It could be learning to play the piano or taking up a hobby like photography. Whatever it is there will be some learning attached to it.
What will I do in my retirement? I have no idea. But what I do know is that the feeling I'll have when the last school bus pulls away from the school and I close the door to my office for the last time will be one of pride. Pride because I know that I've put my heart and soul into a career that changes lives. I hope that our 2 teachers left the school on Friday with the same feeling.
What do you see in your retirement?