Retired Teacher and Next Steps
I am a retired teacher and working toward the next steps.
As I write this, the first week of school has arrived and I feel like I’ve been benched from the team. And I made the choice, right? I even had the Retirement Countdown app on my phone so I could answer the neverending question, “How long till you retire?” I could easily answer by looking at the app on my phone. It was fun watching the big red Xs across the months. However, I quickly realized I lost my friends and colleagues to share stories about our families, brainstorm ideas, discuss the day’s problems/solutions (ha!), to laugh and to cry with about important topics.
After 34 years of teaching, I had the opportunity to retire, which I looked forward to for a while. When I was growing up, being an athlete and part of a team was so important to me. If I was left out or benched, I felt hurt, disappointed. That’s what it feels like now- and I’ve felt lost. Just like way back when if I got benched, the hurt feelings soon became stubborn and determined feelings. (I was a teenager…that’s what teens do!) I worked harder and got back in the game. That’s what have to do now – work harder – Only this time, I have to find a new game.
Early Fall – End of the First Quarter
As a teacher I loved sharing books and author writing techniques to help my students become excited to improve their writing. They loved the creative part and our classroom perked to life when kids were brave enough to share their thoughts with others. We had fun, we laughed, and sometimes they made me cry. Tears of compassion, tears of joy, tears of surprise. I was always so proud as we carried on through the school year and more and more students felt confident in sharing outloud. It is difficult to do that – read what you wrote outloud to your peers. This is true for kids and adults.
So, as I’ve continued my journey and as the first quarter of school comes to a close, I am working toward finding a “new game” that I can participate in and focus on my passion. Books and Writing for children. This is only the first quarter, so I have time to pick up speed, right?
Some great things that I’ve encountered as I adjust to the new retirement schedule:
- I spent the first days of school with my husband on a beautiful trip. (Everyone recommended this, I do too, when it’s time for you to retire.)
- I have time to drink and eat slower. Mornings are long and enjoyable.
- I can read, anytime. And concentrate better.
- I can workout and walk my dog during the daytime when there’s less traffic to worry about on the road.
- A daily calendar is needed more now than ever. I’m losing track of the days. (Where’s the changing floormats, the ones with Monday, Tuesday, etc written on them? Oh, I need them now!)
- I have some chronic health issues which makes walking/standing difficult at times. When that happened the first week of October, I realized how grateful I was to not have to worry about lesson plans that week. Or how I was going to get to work and be productive all day with those kiddos. Teachers know what that all entails, being in and out of the classroom is not easy at all.
- Anyway, I turned a corner that week, and am slowly moving forward.
Next Steps in my Author Career
I was watching GMA and saw an author interview. Sarah Brown, the author of “The Yellow House Memoir” was talking about her book and mentioned:
We have to “train our eyes upon beautiful things and get joy from it.”Sarah Brown, author of The Yellow House Memoir
I loved the sound of that sentence. (I still have to read her book, it’s on my list!) I scratched down the quote on a scrap paper and later found the online video of her interview to listen to it again. Her message pointed the way for me. We have to figure out what’s beautiful for us, then train our eyes to notice them. I’ve been collecting beautiful sentences from other authors for awhile. I am drawn to certain lines that authors craft that make you wonder, feel immense joy or even relax in comfort. In school, I used to call these “golden lines.”
I’m a teacher at heart so, I’m finding a way to share what I’ve learned with others. I would like to help other children’s authors improve their own writing voice as well.
I’m a lifelong learner and am looking to be part of a team again. Of course I’m writing again. I have several WIPs. I’ve attended some fabulous workshops, conferences, and retreats recently. I’ll be sharing reflections on those in later posts. And, I’m looking forward to rolling out new ideas soon:
Way to Go Wednesday Author Interviews – the creative side of me is more visual and I’ve always loved digital storytelling, so I’ve started that series already. I missed the Fall interviews, but I’ll be back soon.
Art of Authors Toolbox – my monthly newsletter with a new focus on author writing tools, still including Native American, Veteran, Inspiring People Topics…in the works.
TBA– I have an idea about books and a twitter challenge, working out the details and directions now
As for now, I’m looking forward to moving forward…
Please leave questions or comments- I’d love to hear from you 🙂
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