Saturday, March 23, 2013

I'm Not Retiring, And You Can't Make Me!

Are you an "old" teacher?
Are you one of those teachers people think they have the right to ask, "When are you going to retire?"

I had that conversation with a 20 something colleague recently.
I wanted to respond to her question by stating, "None of your business.", but I was polite.
I said, "When my mortgage is paid, or I get really, really, tired of this job."
She was persistent.
"That might be soon, the way things are going."
My response, "I love teaching, I love what I do."
She went on.
"Yeah, but... ", I won't bore you with the rest of her sentence , but that's where I ended this inane conversation.

Maybe I'm just being oversensitive, but I believe that just because I am in my 50's.
Just because I have 28 years under my belt.
Just because sometimes I ache where I never ached before.
Does that mean I have to retire?
And no, I don't want out of the classroom.
And no, I don't want to be an assistant principal or a principal.

I love what I do. I love my students. I love teaching!
I detest standardized testing, "fake" PLC's, and the beatdown teaching has been taking from those in the "don't know a damn thing about teaching" department, but I still love my job!

Someone told me that I was asked that because younger teachers are worried about losing their jobs because of budget cuts. So, I should quit my job? Give up my career? Nope, not happening!

I don't know how many years I have left. But as long as I still have the enthusiasm for this job. As long as I can give my kids 100% most of the time. As long as I do my best to stay current, and keep learning, I'm not going anywhere.

I'm not retiring, and you can't make me!:)

photo credit: Philip Taylor PT via photopin cc


  1. While I'm not a "dinosaur" like you, I have been teaching for 15 years, and the 20-something rookie teachers never cease to amaze me. They seem to know EVERYTHING I have learned in 15 years and then some! I am glad to hear you (politely) stood your ground!
    Justin- Writing Pad Dad
    Writing Pad Dad Blog

    1. Yes, that's another blog post Justin! :)Dinosaur? No way! LOL

  2. Stay in your job as long as you can. Your students need your life-time of experience and skills. Stay healthy and enjoy your summer breaks. A retired teacher.

    1. I'm here to stay!(Well, as long as I can).

  3. I get that all the time! Even if it weren't for my kid in college, a huge mortgage, and no savings (nasty divorce... I once had a nice "nest egg") I honestly can't see myself NOT teaching. I love every day with the kids. (Ok, not every second, but most of them!)

    Sally from Elementary Matters

    1. Hey Sally, I feel the same way. Love,love, love teaching!

  4. I retired at the end of the 2012 school year. I was 66. I have friends who are older and are still teaching. Everyone is different. Teach as long as you can. You are a treasure. BTW you will know when it is time to retire.

  5. Hip, hip hooray! Good for you, I also love my job, I am 51 and just finishing 20 years. I love going to work "most days" and I'm so excited about all the technology that is available now and all the great changes. Keep up the great job, love following you.

  6. I taught 35 years and I finally had to throw in the towel. The last year of my teaching, I had five autistic boys. I had a sweet little gi rl reading at 1.8 in grade 6. I had one EA. I had a variety of learning disabilities that required remediation. It took me so long to do the IPPs. I was teaching grade 6 and was faced with provincial achievement tests. In May I had a student join the class from South Africa and another one from The Virgin Islands. I had to get them ready for the standardized tests. I was exhausted from working 70 to 80 hours a week. I just couldn't do it anymore. I was sad to leave teaching. I really enjoyed it, even with all the challenges, but my health was suffering and I was developing terrible anxiety over all that I had to accomplish and was just too tired to do. I am enjoying retirement and glad that I am not facing three years of 0% pay increases and budget cuts. I wish I could find a small part time teaching job, but nobody in my new city wants to pay an experience teacher in these economic times. Keep on enjoying teaching. I really don't miss the fake PLCs. I am glad it was not just me.

  7. I think teachers should work as long as they choose and as long as the love it they should do it. Although retirement is one perk to being a teacher so you can spend more time with family and enjoy watching the product of what you helped create.

  8. Being a teacher is very rewarding and I think you should do it as long as you love what you do. Retirement is nice though because it is a chance to watch the product of what you helped create and spend time with loved ones.

  9. I just found your blog and I love it. I am green. I have been teaching for a little over 6 years. I want to be that teacher who has been in the game for 30+ years! The hard part about teaching is that I come across very FEW teachers with a wealth of experience. We sit in meeting after meeting and discuss what we are going to do at the next meeting. But, really, we are all so new at everything that little gets done. It is frustrating. Imagine having to have a mentor to has had LESS teaching experience than you have! It does not work. I look forward to following and gathering some wisdome along the way.

  10. I just discovered your blog and I find this post very interesting. As a very new teacher, I am very impressed and inspired by teachers who have been in this profession and still find it so rewarding after 20+ years. A lot of new teachers like me often discuss how amazed we are that teachers have been able to stay in teaching for so long. I work in a low-income district and the pressure of the job, standardized test expectations, and behavior concerns are a lot to handle on top of just figuring out how to actually teach academics. I'm glad you were able to answer that colleague in a polite way, but I would consider what it is like to be a new teacher today versus your experience 20+ years ago. Even 20 years ago, being a new teacher was challenging, but the atmosphere in public education was very different. I would take that colleague's comment as a way to reach out to someone she probably respects. In today's public school education system, it is hard for a new teacher to imagine having the steam to push through 30 years of administration breathing down their neck and never having the time to get comfortable doing what he or she REALLY set out to do: work to make a difference in the life of children. If she asked you that question, it might mean that she is worried that her dream of being a teacher is not panning out the way she expected. I would be concerned for her, not annoyed with her.

    Saying all that, I am glad to see that you love your students and job so much! That gives us new teachers hope!

  11. Am inspired by both this mature and long-enduring teacher and the young need-reassurance (as I see it) teacher! M a teacher, have been for 20 years and I love it! I am at my best always with students, during holidays I miss them. I feel blessed and privileged to be imparting knowledge to them at this, their juvenile age.

    But, I must admit, it is getting more stressful by day. The administrative part of it, the training workshops that are seldom helpful, the socio-economic and political challenges we have to deal with are wearing me down.
    One day I feel like quitting, the next I am feeling so much gratification from the experience I get from interacting with my students. They just need love!

  12. Hello. I too am that teacher who is often asked, Are you retiring soon? I too answer politely. But NO, I am not yet ready . This is my 30th year, and in my state I can retire with no penalty at 60 years old, and 30 yrs. experience. Now I am 58. Really. There aren't many professions where people retire at 58. Most of my business friends plan on working until 65. No one is asking them anything.