Friday, June 26, 2009

Rather Anti-Climatic, Actually

"What's Done Cannot Be Undone" (Macbeth, V, i)

That's it. Over. A 40 year teaching career in public schools in New Jersey has come to an end. I'm adding the two years I worked as a substitute teacher while I was still in college. Enough, I think. I can no longer work in the public schools once I draw on my pension. I could teach in a private school or do consulting work, however. I could also teach night school at my former school because that's under a different system. If I miss the classroom, I might consider that option.

Meantime, my signout was rather uneventful. I saw a few of my teacher friends and associates, took my famous teaching chair out of my room along with my little refrigerator, and talked a bit to the Principal about my classroom. He has not decided how to use it yet, but he too feels protective about my wonderful neighbor teacher in the other room adjoining mine....well mine no longer.

My good furniture will probably be bequeathed to my replacement which is good as I left all kinds of pens, staplers, supplies in my desk--all if which he can use. I also told my principal I would be really interested in meeting my replacement. Gee, I might even be able to help him out a bit here and there. Got my paycheck, and my sick pay reimbursement--a nice hefty sum to use to supplement my retirement checks for a while--and headed across the school parking lot for the last time as an employee. Saw my good friend, one of the cosmetology teachers on the way out and she suggested I could come back in to be her model to demo techniques to her classes. Facials, hair cuts, make up, stuff like that--should be fun!!

Working in a vocational/technical school has been a valuable experience, and I mean that in a monetary way. The various shops around the school have always been keen to test their skills by completing projects for teachers, and when payment is required, it is minimal. My car has been lovingly cared for in the auto shop, I have had metal items welding in the welding shop, things printed up in graphic arts, clothes cleaned in the dry cleaning shop, many things built in the carpentry shops, my horse trailer painted in the auto body shop (no longer open), my barn plans designed and blueprinted in the drafting shop, my hair permed and cut in the cosmetology shop, and my tummy filled more than once in one of the culinary arts shops. As a retiree, I will still be able to call upon those experts to help me if need be. As always, I will pay for materials and supplies, but labor costs are nil. It's a great bunch of people to know, I have been very lucky to have spent so much time getting to know them.

As I've already said here, retirement won't really "hit" me until September when the new school year starts and I do not have to go anymore. So for now, I just have to practice saying "retired" until I actually get to practice doing it.

Addendum: The sun was in and out all day. I got really hot, so after I fed the Boys, I decided I might as well go over to the pool for a swim. I ate some dinner and went out. By the time I got to the pool, a big bank of dark clouds had rolled in from the west. Within five minutes, the lifeguards were closing the water so I got back into the car and headed home as the winds picked up and....the rain began. Thunder and lightning for sure, so I closed off the pasture and lured the Boys into the barn with some snacks.

Did I mention it's raining?? Again??? *sigh*


  1. Jean,
    It wasn't 40 for me, but after a 20yr naval career came to a close in 1997, I too, had the feeling it was very anti-climatic . . . life goes on for those retiring and for those still in the profession we leave behind. Certainly your stage is still lit, props are in place, and . . . action!

  2. close of one chapter, opening of another...

    my mother retired from teaching (she finished up head teacher of an infants school, that's up to 7 years old) in 1982, and i did wonder what she'd find to do and so did she... she still hasn't stopped save when forced to by the odd injury....

    been meaning so say, I love that pic you've put at the top of your blog ... they all look so sheepish as well at the state of the fence that they've created!

  3. Anonymous8:21 PM

    I never realized voc/tech had such advantages! Nice that you still get to use them.

    I retired almost 9 years ago, and the change took some getting used to - but there's more to come, and it will be every bit as interesting as what has already happened!

  4. Well now you're officially on to different adventures. It's great that you can still use the services at the school if you need them.
    The weather here is the same and it's really getting to be annoying isn't it? Have a great weekend.

  5. Happy Retirement Jean!

    Wow that sounds brilliant about the school and the services on offer wish we had something like that here. Our college has some mini ventures but they involve mouldy veg and getting your car scratched at the *carwash* bit:)