A couple of days ago I was asked: “What does it feel like to be retiring from teaching?”. At that point, I actually hadn’t given it much thought. Since then I have spent a great deal of time thinking about the question and, more importantly, reflecting on a truly blessed lifelong journey.
To explain my thoughts I have to start with the fact that I have never actually thought of teaching as a job. For me, being a teacher has always been a journey that has never been completely finished and a goal that has never been completely achieved. It has been a passion.
When I think about retiring I am reminded of the moment I decided to become a teacher…
It was 1963 and my mother had just married a man that would spend his life teaching me what it truly means to be a father. He had never been married but loved my Mom so married her and adopted her five children. He was a farmer and along with his brothers and friends, built a house on that farm that would become our forever home. We moved into the house right after Thanksgiving and my two brothers, two sisters and I all moved to new schools.
As a second-grader, a new house, a father and certainly a new school in the country, was an awful lot to take in. Needless to say, I was pretty anxious that first day of school. This was not helped by the fact that this was a very small community that had always been close, the kids were all great friends and they all knew my situation, and my father, much better than I did.