Today was my last full day of work. I was awake and ready to go very early. I knew it was going to be a long cleaning day. No new lessons to create. No papers to grade. I was surprised as time for the morning bell to ring approached there were no other 6th grade teachers around. I discovered there was a last minute 6th grade meeting for next year’s schedule. I was not invited. For a half a moment I felt a bit slighted. Then I felt glee knowing whatever drama was happening I was not going to be a part of it. Then I felt bad for the rest of the 6th grade team. It seems that because we are overstaffed by one teacher the district will not replace me. This throws a monkey wrench into the entire 6th grade and science department for a variety of reasons. I feel bad that other teachers will be negatively impacted by my retirement. I see why I was not invited to the meeting.
My work spouse is worried about next year. It is going to be his final year and needless to say he wants it to be as easy as possible. I put in my two cents to encourage a good outcome for him. I want nothing but the best for him. With all the drama going on I felt a bit odd. Like an outsider looking in to what was happening and not allowing myself to be dragged into the chaos. I was happy it was not my circus. I am glad I am retiring and I know what is supposed to happen will happen.
I actually left my classroom during lunch today. That is not my norm. I joined my 6th grade team for a group birthday celebration. It was the last birthday party I shall share with these great people. I now get to look forward to get-togethers with the retired teachers.
I stayed at school until 5:30. I was on campus just short of 12 hours today. I cleaned and purged and sorted items most of the day. I want to leave after the minimum day tomorrow with nothing left to do. I want to know that I left the classroom better than I found it. I want to have my sweet memories of the past 35 years in my head and not memories of cleaning.
At 11:30 tomorrow I will have completed 35 years of teaching in public school. I have had moments of joy and sadness. In my career I have tragically experienced the deaths of a few students and teachers. I have shared the joys of teachers as they married, had children, and advanced in their careers. I have shared so many wonderful experiences with staff, teachers, parents and students. I am thrilled that I have seen such growth in so many young people. I shall miss these connections.
I am 100% sure that I am making the right decision for me. I look forward to new joys and experiences. I have a plan. It is to not make any specific plans.