My blogs from the past three years are indicative of the process I have gone through to get to this point. The decision: Retirement on December 31, 2013! I am happy and excited and relieved.
Why do I think this is the right time? For many reasons from my perspective and from our program's perspective.
1. Jim has several lectures and other events scheduled this year and I want to be free to travel with him. I have only four personal days and those would be used up quickly.
2. I want to be free to participate in our grandchildren's special activities: confirmation, recitals, ball games, graduations.
3. A new Test Assessing Secondary Completion is coming in January 2014. Much professional development is being scheduled. I am not threatened by its predicted complexity, but I am not eager to work towards this new goal.
4. Our department has hired several new, competent, and enthusiastic younger teachers. The classes will be in good hands.
5. I have very few students this year for unknown reasons.
6. I can get Social Security and the Teachers Retirement Fund pensions. In fact, I am past the dates they are available. I will be paid almost as much as when I was working.
What are my concerns?
I have worked almost all my life. I have considered myself a teacher along with being a mother, wife, organist, etc. I like to tell people that I too work and have a life outside my home. This is a matter of pride with me.
I will miss the feedback I get from students. Just this week one wrote in an email "Your a wonderful person." I know--she needs work on contractions! Another left saying, "I actually like this class." I don't get that kind of praise from my children or grandchildren. Jim--he is very affirming and for that I am grateful!
I will also miss the easy opportunity to know I am doing something worthwhile with my life. We hear sermons about service and pray that we can find ways to serve. This is given to me daily. I will need to find other ways to give to others.
Later I will write about the actual steps I have taken towards retirement in the last week. All is falling into place!