Retirement - another lucky co-worker
May 22, 2010 3:48 am
Updated: May 27, 2010 9:03 pm
I've been working alongside my former school teachers for 20 years now. At first it was so strange to sit down for lunch and laugh and joke with former teachers. I'd say "old" teachers, but strangely enough they didn't get old, I did. How did that happen? When I was in school I thought of my teachers as old, almost over the hill.
Then, twenty years ago I was hired by my alma mater. To my surprise many of my teachers still taught - and they had hardly aged at all! It was amazing to discover that they were "real" people. They had children, paid bills, fought with their spouses, and most of all - prayed for snow days as much as the students did!
As the years have gone by - these teachers have started to retire. In the high school, where I have now worked for 11 years (9 years prior I was in the middle school) there are only three teachers left from my high school years. Last night was the retirement party for one of them, my Algebra and Geometry teacher. He spent one year teaching in Florida and 35 years teaching in Ohio. I knew he was a good teacher; anyone who could make me get Geometry has to be good! When I got to have the pleasure of working with him, I also got to see what a great guy he is, too.
He has started to clean out his room. Each day he comes up with something from the past. Yesterday was a school newspaper from 1989 - the 10 year anniversary. I was the first editor of our school paper, which has been award winning the entire 30 years it's been in existence by the way! He figured I might want this particular issue. On the front page is a picture of me and my assistant editors - with a story about the first "Orbiter" ever. Underneath that picture is a story about the asst. superintendent of the district leaving for a new position; written by my little sister. And, in that article, the asst. super. is quoted saying he will miss Friday night football games running the clock with Mr. Davenport - my father. My dad ran the football clock for 30 years, maybe longer. It was neat to see this paper, and I know it will bring back memories for my sister and dad, as well. It's also amazing to me - this teacher has school newspapers from 20 years ago in his classroom??!!
His party was at a Mexican Restaurant that seems to be the "go to" place for retirement parties. I've been to a dozen or so parties there over the years. The sunroom filled pretty quickly with co-workers, already retired teachers and family members of the honoree. Ken's parents came - his dad is 84, mom is 81. They were so cute and so proud of their son. In Ken's speech he pointed out that there were 7 people sitting in that room that he had taught math to over the years. Made me stop and think, and not for the first time, our school district must not be so bad - none of us want to leave and those that work there stick around for 30 years or more.
The remaining two teachers have no plans for retirement - one has now taught 39 years, the other is semi-retired and taught for 38 years. I'm not counting, or anything like that - but I'll have 30 years in 10 more years. I'm pretty sure I'll leave then - I hope the Mexican Restaurant is still in business!!