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Well, since I am now committed to at least one more year in a classroom, when I will be 69 by its end, perhaps I might accept a couple of things.

1.  I will never retire.  I will have to be dragged out of the classroom

2.  My National Board Certified Teacher status expires November 2015.  I think I can justify renewing it

3.  Being around teenagers is what keeps me feeling young

4.  Not having biological children, what I do as a teacher is my principal contribution to the future of this nation as a liberal democracy (that's a political science categorization) and this world as a habitable place

5.  Teaching remains my primary political action, even more than my blogging or my friendships with Congressmen, US and State Senators, and other public and party officials

6.  My primary yoga teacher tells me this is how I live my dharma

7.  when I retired temporarily from the classroom, my wife says I was impossible to live with, and totally at loose ends

8.  if this means I never write any of the books people urge me to take on,  I can live with it

Of course, right now others still want me to continue in my role as a classroom teacher.  At my age (68 3 weeks from yesterday) one never knows how quickly one can lose it.

Which is why I have changed my diet, lost weight, exercise (yoga, weights, and now running), make sure I get sufficient rest.

I will still be driving 45 miles each way.  I am now approaching that differently.  I take my time, I listen to music.  I reflect.  If I hit the occasional traffic jam, I have allowed enough time so that it does not matter.  

and relevant to this site - when I choose to be involved in a political issue or campaign, I am able to do so with energy, with passion, and without burning myself out.

Guess I am entitled to keep my moniker as teacherken?

Have a nice weekend.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

    by teacherken on Sat May 03, 2014 at 04:03:44 AM PDT

  •  Keep going it has multiple rewards. (5+ / 0-)

    My father was a high school math teacher, when he retired he ended up back at work teaching at a private school, when he finally left there at 66, he started travelling and started substituting every day he could when not travelling. He is 75 and still substitutes 2 to 3 days a week when he is in town.  It has kept him active and kept him from losing his mind.

    "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy" James Madison 4th US President

    by padeius on Sat May 03, 2014 at 04:12:31 AM PDT

  •  You'll (5+ / 0-)

    forever be tearcherken to me.

  •  Go ahead and die at the blackboard. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurel in CA, teacherken, linkage

    Nothing wrong with staying at the wheel until the tank is empty.  In fact, I encourage you to stay at it until YOU feel that you don't "wanna" any more.  If that means you're there until the body gives out on you - don't ever retire.  Or, retire on paper (the pension is a nice thing to collect) and teach some more.  Go for it, Ken!  I hope for you that you are able and that you still enjoy it 15 or 20 years from now.  You've found something that rocks you to the core, so you should stay with it for as long as you WANT to.

    If I was young enough to change fields and go into teaching (which would be AWESOME!), I'd demand only the last 3 years of high school as my academic and intellectual charges.  Younger students would drive me out of my ever-lovin' gourd, but the older kids have minds which are more engaging and capable and complete.  They're able to challenge their educators and keep them current and on their toes.  They're becoming more aware of the wider world and that's the perfect time to get to them for honing their critical-thinking skills.

    Of you, sir, I am quite jealous.

    Celtic Merlin

    Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

    by Celtic Merlin on Sat May 03, 2014 at 07:43:49 AM PDT

  •  I hear you, Ken (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    linkage, pvasileff

    I've taught for a long time, for the past 26 years full-time and tenured at a community college. And I teach English, mostly composition, by my own choice, even though means I spend many-many-many hours reading and responding to student essays--not always a thrilling way to spend one's time but one that provides a real service to society as the feedback helps many students learn to be better writers, readers and thinkers.

    This year the college is offering a package of  early retirement incentives.

    For the past 8 years I've had to teach with chronic, severe low back and neck pain. A few years ago, a cervical disc had to be removed and replaced with a bone graft and titanium plates and screws because the disc was cutting into my spinal cord. I have assorted pains and numbness and crappy balance, so I walk with a cane and probably soon will have to break down and get a power wheelchair to toodle around in....And I am very aware that many people have much worse to deal with, like what you and Leaves have recently been through. I remind myself daily that despite the chronic discomfort, I have much to be grateful for.

    But I have thought for the past few years that if I were eligible to take early retirement if the right incentives were offered, I would take them. They were. So with great interest I read the conditions necessary for one to qualify:

    * at least 25 years service to the college


    * at least 60 in June

    Nope. I'll be 59 and a half.

    My initial reaction was "well, damn!"

    Then--to my utter surprise--relief. I didn't have to wrestle with this choice because I didn't have the choice. And, lo and behold, I didn't really want the choice.

    I'm not ready to stop teaching. For all the work, all the aggravation, watching light bulbs go off over people's heads is the most rewarding way to make a living I can imagine. And so I don't want to quit, not yet. The spirit is still willing though the flesh hurts like a sumbitch.

    Like you, I don't have children. But I often recall what one of my professors said many years ago: when you teach, your students become your children. You live on in the DNA of their minds. And that is so true: every day I take with me into the classroom every teacher I've ever had.

    So keep on truckin', brother. I completely understand where you're coming from, and I value good and committed teachers because they make my job easier, as I try to make theirs.



    "This is a center-left country. Democrats can act that way and win. In fact, they must." -- Markos

    by cassandraX on Sat May 03, 2014 at 08:34:32 AM PDT

  •  At the risk of ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Older and Wiser Now

    repeating kjoftherock above ....

    You'll forever be tearcherken to me.

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:37:50 AM PDT

  •  It's alright, Ma (0+ / 0-)

    He not busy being born
    is busy dying.

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