I hear this question frequently, often followed by, “teacher, author, consultant, webmaster . . . how do you do it all?” My response has always been that I love every bit of it and none of it seems like work.
However, last spring I finally realized that I can’t do everything and do it well… even if I do love my work! Over the last year, I’ve been struggling with how to be a great classroom teacher while continuing to develop high-quality materials to share on my Teaching Resources site. I had a terrific class, and we had a great year together. But my time away from the classroom was stressful as I tried to juggle everything else in my life.
So after 29 years of teaching, it’s with mixed-feelings that I’ve decide to take a year off from the classroom to devote quality time to other projects. Fortunately, I’m eligible for retirement on September 1st so I don’t have to take an unpaid leave of absence. I'm not even thinking of this as a retirement, though, because I’ll be returning to the classroom for the 2011-2012 school year.
I know that I’ve made the right decision. but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one. In my heart and soul, I’m a teacher and I’ll always be a teacher. I love writing books and developing lessons, but what I enjoy most is taking those materials into the classroom and using them with kids. But this year I’ll have to rely on other teachers to keep me in touch with the classroom.
Someone asked me the other day, “So what will you do with all your free time after you retire?” I just laughed because I know that I’ll be busier than ever! I might be officially “retired” from the classroom, but I’m certainly not retiring as an educator! Maybe I’ll get a little more sleep, but not much more! In fact, please don’t congratulate me on my retirement because I’m viewing this as a leave of absence. I’ll definitely be back in the classroom!