I haven't written very much as of late. It's been a very busy last couple of months; more so than usual. As of this Monday last I have retired from 38 years of teaching science. I didn't know how I would feel about that when the day finally came. Now that it's here, I'm still not sure how I feel about it. It's kind of an odd sensation. On the one hand, it hasn't really hit me yet that come August, that little packet of information that always arrives from the school in the mail will not be in my mailbox. It just seems like the start to a normal summer break. On the other hand, I know that this won't just be any normal summer...how I'll react to that in a few months will also be an unknown.
I originally had planned on staying a few more years, but the changes that have taken place at the school, and the accompanying turmoil, have made the decision for me. Well, those changes and my wife. She says she'd like to have me around a little while longer (too much stress), and since financially I can afford to retire, then I'd darn well better do it! Of course the stress never really goes away...it's just replaced by a different kind of stress. At this point, I have to deal with the stress of the unknown. As I said to one of my seniors, it kind of feels like I'm going away to college again. Excited, but scared at the same time.
Even in leaving, I'm still concerned about my "home away from home," where I've been teaching for the last 30 years. The changes that are taking place there are tearing the community apart. I'm not necessarily saying the changes are bad (some are, and some are necessary), what I'm saying is that there has been no time for the community to adjust to them. This in itself creates stress, because no one gets a chance to catch their breath. As a result, there are a lot of people looking for other schools, but as we all know the economy is not the best.
Now obviously, you're only hearing this from one perspective...mine. The school will no doubt survive, even with all of the changes taking place. The question is, what kind of school will emerge "out the other side," once all the changes take place. Well, I do know that whatever the school becomes, it's not the same place I've worked at all these years. It's a place I know longer want to be. It's time to go.