Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Playing Hooky

Yesterday I went to lunch with a colleague who also retired this year.  She did the same job I did but in a different school district and with a different age of kids.  Driving to meet up with her in a town nearby, I kept thinking that something was missing, something wasn't right, that I was going to get caught!  I felt like I was playing hooky from school.  And then when we sat down for lunch we started reminiscing, smiling and remembering kids who would run out of the classroom when the fire alarm rang yelling, "Save me, save me!!!" Or the kids who would burst into my room like a whirling dervish with a wide-eyed paraprofessional hot on their heels and who I'd have to clear the room for ("Excuse me, Mrs. Green, you might want to go work with Jennifer elsewhere right now.") as I turned down the lights, and settled the child next to the aquarium in the quiet corner with a book to calm down.  As we went on with these really great and warm memories, I started to miss my work, the kids, and wondered if I had retired too early.  My friend and I worried/wondered about how certain kids would do (did the staff remember what notes we made, comments we made about a particular student?  did they care?)  and reflected on how many years we had done our work (and done a good job) and the fact that now, poof, all our expertise and experience was no longer used.  And just as I was starting to really miss my work my friend took a deep breath and said, "But I don't miss the chaos of scheduling, the struggle to get some teachers to understand who kids with challenges really are, the consuming nature of that kind of work, the unending paperwork and computer data entry........"  And, I no longer felt like I was playing hooky.  I felt like I had spent many years in the work I was meant to do and happily moving on!

No comments:

Post a Comment