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Look Who's Retiring!


Hey friends! After 26 plus years I've decided to retire from teaching.

To say I'm excited is an under statement. But I'm also a bit nervous (will I get bored?) and a bit sad (I'm going to miss seeing those sweet little faces every morning).

But mostly it's excitement.

Looking Back

I got into teaching a bit late (my early 30s). Once I had my own kids I realized I wanted to pursue my early childhood dream of being a school teacher.

And I'm SO glad I did! I've absolutely LOVED teaching. I mean it's just plain fun hanging out with little kids all day -- it never gets boring.

Happily, I can go into retirement knowing that I strived every day to be a creative, caring, effective and patient teacher. Did I make mistakes along the way? Hell yeah, all the time. There are lots of moments I wish I could redo. But it's only human to goof up and like I tell the kids all the time, it's okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.

Now

My career winds up at the end of this month (June). My reports are written and I'm just starting to take boxes into my classroom for the big clean-up. I think the hardest day might be the last one when I say good-bye to this year's crop of kiddies. 

Friday might be difficult, too, when I'm emptying out my classroom. We'll see.

But I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a real thrill, too. I'm really looking forward to this new chapter in my life and all that it brings.

Future

I'm looking forward to doing so many things; hobbies I've put on the back burner over the years.

I want to get back to sewing quilts and clothes, to playing my piano, and gardening (my poor husband has been doing it all and we have almost 1/2 an acre to tend).

I've wanted to learn how to paint for a long time now so I've already signed up for a 12-week course in the fall!

I'm a long-time runner (20 years and counting now) and want to amp that up. PLUS I just purchased myself a racy new road bike so I'll be doing lots of long rides. 

Dogs are another passion of mine (I've never been without one at my side) so I hope to put in some volunteer time at our local SPCA.

And of course, we have two little grandchildren I want to spend way more time with. I'm lucky they're fairly close (about 3 hours away).

Will I substitute teach? Possibly. There's a bit of a shortage in our area ... but honestly, I think I just want to take the year off completely and regroup and just enjoy my free time.

Blogging

I have to admit I thought about quitting this blog when I realized at Christmas that I wanted to retire this year.

I've been blogging for just over six years now and recently realized I'm not ready to give it up yet. 

It will shift direction, of course, as I won't be in the classroom. But I have a HUGE collection of picture books and writing book reviews is one of my favourite things to blog about so I'll definitely be continuing with that. And I'll keep making clipart for my TpT store (that's way too fun to give up)!

My plan is to get back to a more regular blogging schedule (it's been really off this year because I've been looking after my sick mom) but with more time on my hands I hope to post once a week, maybe even twice.

In any case, I'll still be here with lots of book reviews, teaching tips and ideas, and I hope that you keep on dropping in.

Happy Sunday, friends!


This morning The News Cycle Team rode 52k to raise awareness for mental health.
That's me up front and my husband and youngest son in the middle.

Here we area at the end of the ride; very tired and very happy.


29 comments

  1. I'm sad for the Canadian children but excited for you. Your influence will definitely be missed. I'm glad to hear that you'll still be blogging. I want to stay connected. :)

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    1. Thanks, Tammy! Yes, I want to stay connected to you, too. It would be too hard to give up teaching AND my blogging friends all at the same time. :)

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  2. Congrats! on retiring. I have to admit the first year is tough. I was always checking my watch to see if it was recess or time for PE etc. August was hard because I was not getting my room ready and buying my supplies at the big Wal-Mart Back-to-School sale. But it is really nice having the freedom to do what I want, when I want. You will miss the kids terribly but you'll get over it in time. I'm glad you're continuing your blog. The teaching world needs excellent people like you coaching them on. Congrats again and welcome to the wonderful world of retirement! Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Sheree :) I think it really WILL be a wonderful world ... it's just always hard to make such a big change.
      And yes, I can see myself feeling antsy when the back-to-school sales starts. I literally cannot remember a time when I wasn't school shopping in August; I've always either been a student, had my own kids in school, or taught school. So that part will be very strange. Take care!

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  3. Congratulations!! I too retired just last June and know exactly how you are feeling!! But alas after 36 years in the classroom I have to say although I miss the kidlet interaction, I do not miss school at all!! I thought I would substitute as well and this May I gave up my licence!! No desire ( but that could be my control freak nature lol). Sounds like you have got your time well planned out. Keep blogging! I enjoy reading it and would enjoy hearing how retired life goes. Best of luck and congratulations again from a recently loving it retiree...I read somewhere you are supposed to call your self something else like an enjoyer or something to that nature lol. Oh the one thing I did miss was my lack of emails if you can believe that!! 😄

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    1. Hi Maureen! Too funny! I can't imagine missing all those emails. It feels like I get swamped with them every day. I put myself on the TOC list just in case I need a "kid fix" but honestly, I kind of suspect that I'll be like you once I'm finally finished:) I was thinking of calling myself a "Teacher Graduate" haha, but "enjoyer" is good too. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Barbara, one of my favorite parts of my visit to Canada a couple of years ago was meeting you and Sandi. You are such an inspiring teacher. My first thought was the same as Tammy's - I know that the kiddos and your colleagues will miss you. I'm really glad you'll keep blogging about books. I've found a few of my favorites through you. Have a wonderful retirement!! ������

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    1. That was suppose to be hearts not question marks.

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    2. Aw, thank you, Lyn. I still think about that visit. It was so much fun meeting my "American blogging friend" in person. I spoke on the phone once to Kimberley (from First in Maine) and that was a kick, too! Thank you for your kind words and all the best to you and your growing family (grandkids are the BEST)!

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  5. I am standing at that door, too. what caused you to know it was time?

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    1. Wow! Good question. Let's see...I first started thinking about it 2 1/2 years ago and that was because I was coming home absolutely exhausted. As much as I love teaching I was starting to find the demands of the classroom (specifically behaviour management) too much. I was still undecided though so I went and talked to a financial expert. He said it was best to wait until I was 60 (that happened last October) and then I could retire with an unreduced pension. I still couldn't make up my mind but then my mom was diagnosed with cancer so all this year has been taken up with chemo appointments, doctor appointments, and all that other stuff that goes into taking care of an elderly person. We finally got her settled into assisted living in January, but the whole experience made me realize that life is short and full of uncertainties. I'm super healthy right now and I can afford to retire so I decided, why not? I didn't want the growing stresses of my job and my mom's care to make ME sick. So there you have it:) I hope that helps a bit with your own decision. Oh, one more thing ... everyone said to me "you'll know when you're ready" and I didn't really believe it. But it hit me hard at Christmas that YES, this is definitely the year and then it was an easy decision to make. Good luck!

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  6. It's the utter exhaustion that has gotten my attention.

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    1. Yes the exhaustion was huge for me, too. And I'm a high energy person!

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  7. Thank you for taking the time for a thoughtful response. It did help.

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    1. No worries. I know it's a hard decision to make, especially when you love your job.

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  8. I think you're smart to retire as young as you could because like you said, life is short. My mother (who died at age 64) always said "You never know whose tomorrow it is." Me, I'm hoping to retire in 2024 at age 64 - it still seems so far away, but I started later in life like you did.
    Congratulations!

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    1. Hi Susan, Yes I feel very fortunate that I can retire at a relatively young age. My plan was always to go until 65 but I'm very happy with this decision. Thanks for the congrats. Take care!

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  9. Trust me, you will never be bored. I am busier now than I was when I was teaching. I watch one of my grandbabes every day and started teaching Art at their preschool. Starting in August, I will be at their school 5 days a week. I get to still work with little ones, but I get to see two more of my grandbabes every day too. I'm able to take online Art classes and meet 4 other friends at Disneyland twice a year for 5 days to draw. I thought we would be traveling more, but that hasn't happened yet. Enjoy all of it, you will be very busy. xoxo Terri

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    1. Hey Terri! Whoa, you ARE busy:) I love that you get to spend so much time with your little ones AND you get to teach art. I'd love to do that:). I've started some on-line art classes, too. So much fun! Thanks for popping in! xox

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  10. So excited for you, Barbara! I never saw you teach, but if the way you teach is the way you blog...your kiddos were pretty darn lucky to have you. And I'm so glad you will continue blogging and writing picture book reviews...don't forget that Susanna Hill has the link up on Perfect Picture Book Friday...and KidLit Frenzy has several picture book review link ups also. Enjoy every moment...it sounds like you will find, as I did, that life after retiring is BUSIER than it was before. ;)

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    1. Hi Vivian! Thank you for all your kind words:). I didn't know about KidLit Frenzy so I'll definitely check it out. With just two days left of teaching I'm feeling a bit sad so it's good to hear positive things about retirement. Take care!

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  11. Congratulations! What an exciting new adventure you get to embark on. I hope you enjoy your free time and spend lots of time loving on those grandkids!! :)

    Amanda
    First Grade Garden

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    1. Thank you so much, Amanda! One teaching day left. I'm excited and exhausted, haha!

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  12. Congrats on your retirement! Best wishes for your future--looks like you've got some great things planned.
    Alyce

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    1. Thanks, Alyce. It's pretty exciting;)

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  13. Congratulations! I think you will enjoy being retired! :D

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    1. Thanks, Erik! I'm looking forward to it:)

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  14. Congrats! The first grade teacher at my school retired (she will be missed but gets to hang out with her grandbabies). My favorite friend, who I have known since 3rd grade gets to fill the position! I think you should go back to blog design, so you can update my old blog:-) Have fun on your next adventure!

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    1. Thanks, Laurie! Oh...that's fun having a best friend in your school!!
      You could probably twist my arm into updating your blog -- haha!
      Thanks for stopping by and have a great summer.

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