40 years in teaching and 4 weeks to go

by Bernie
(Seattle)

OK...I have no idea if I'm actually ready but I feel that at 66 in two months I might as well. I mean I can't possibly be teaching anymore.


I Love my job, I love the kids...I teach at an independent private school and tutoring is something I'm not interested in doing.

I've been teaching courses such as Women's Studies, Ethnic Studies, Media Literacy...to students who are primed for university/college. So it's quite intellectually stimulating.

My main issue is my hearing...I have been losing it over the past 8 years and it's become more and more difficult to understand in class or out of class.

The school accommodated me with a hearing loop several years ago and it works pretty well with microphones on the desks and the sound of their voice going into my hearing aids. But it doesn't work for meetings, back to school nights, outlines with students etc.

So, this is my main reason to retire...although I have to say 40 years is a long time and some days I really get tired. I feel as if I'm ready for something new...and I realize I'll never have the love and energy that I get from my students there will be other pay offs...like not getting up at 4 something to work out at five...I've been doing that forever!

So...this will be a summer that never ends. I'm in seattle and when it's sunny I am happy in my garden...it's the rainy windy cold days that kind of worry me...and my hearing will limit me to what I'll be able to do...

I feel like I'm going into the total unknown but want to be optimistic and happy...

Comments for 40 years in teaching and 4 weeks to go

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retiring teachers
by: Anonymous

Living in part of New Zealand where the climate has some similarities to Washington state [but we have much more rain] and also being a teacher of some 40+years I appreciate the thoughts of your correspondent.

For myself being 69 I solved my problems by simply becoming a part-time teacher and at two different levels. In one job I teach at a secondary school and in the other at a polytechnic. I do very little of the extra jobs often expected of a teacher and when I am tired I take a snooze and just relax.

Have a great retirement all of you. As for me "If you come for me tomorrow and find me not teaching, I will probably be a grave man".

Welcome to the New Classroom
by: Alice/DC

I enjoyed 34 years of teaching and retired at 62. Enjoyed my students at an urban Blue Ribbon School.

Allow yourself to breathe. Choose a very special place you have always wanted to see. Mine was China.

I have also volunteered using my teaching skills with seniors needing similar information I provided to my students. Try not to substitute, it is not the same.

Most of all get to know the new you and enjoy yourself.

Love retirement
by: Linda Long Beach Ca

After you retire take time out for yourself first I have a hearing problem so you will be better to get hearing aides first then volunteer at something I'm a retired nurse so this is where I volunteer in keep your passion alive

there is life yet
by: Anonymous

My husband seems to have shared some of your experiences. He taught 46 years if you count as teaching his time in a Japanese prison camp during WWII. He was caught because at that point he was teaching English in a Chinese University in Manchuria. He taught elementary, University and high school at various times. including several years in a French Boys Boarding School.

He is now totally deaf and we communicate by gesture and notes.

We have had a great retirement doing vast amounts of volunteer work and lots of travel, both on this continent and others, loved gardening and made sure we got lots of exercise, especially walking dogs in all sorts of weather...

Your Years Ahead
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MA

Dear Bernie,

You didn't mention if you wear any hearing devices from a reliable source and instructor. Am I missing something or are you beyond that kind of help?

I am quite a bit older than you but eventually had to apprise myself of having my hearing checked and one ear was not operating well. I went to a very respected organization, was tested, and a week later my life changed after I had invisible tiny ear pieces put into my ears. It was expensive but probably the best decision I could have made.

Since I have played the piano since before school age, music is one of my lifelines and I cannot begin to tell the thrill of listening to music that made me feel transported back to my teen days. . If you want to feel young again, get the best help you can.


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