I have been thinking of retiring for the last year or so, but I love teaching too much and planned to teach probably another two to three years. I have great kids and teach in a wonderful school. Unfortunately, however, because of the terrible economy, my school district is laying-off over 500 teachers.
500 teachers will lose their jobs in a school system that has never layed-off teachers.
Last week I turned in my retirement papers and will end my 32-year career next week when my seniors graduate. I wanted to stay, but it’s hard to justify holding on to my job when I know that my retirement will allow another teacher to keep his or her job. I know many teachers who dream of the day when they can retire, but I’ve never been one of them. I thought I would teach until someone had to drag me kicking and screaming out of my classroom.
I never thought I would have to leave because of the economy.
I wanted to keep teaching, but sometimes we just have to walk away and make room for the younger teachers who follow us.
This week is hard as I bring the semester to a close with my seniors. Next week will be even harder as I say good-bye and watch them walk across the stage at graduation.
In all of my years of training as a teacher, I learned volumes about how to walk into a classroom and begin my teaching career. I never learned, however, how to lock my classroom and walk away at the end of my career.
Lord, give me strength!