Friday, June 10, 2011

We love birthdays.

This is a big day for me. Not only is it my 59th birthday, it's also my last day of work as a teacher. Twenty-one years. Anyone connected to a school knows that teachers do amazing work. Teachers are responsible for lessons, yes, but also the care and nurturing of the students. The kids come in all shapes, sizes, and conditions. It is exhausting but satisfying work. Anyone connected to a school also knows that the hours between bells are just the stage show; many more hours of creation, revision, and rehearsal are required to support the "student contact hours," and "summers off" is really only enough time to recover and get back up to do it again. Thank every teacher you can find! An explanation of why I decided to retire isn't really necessary, is it?

It's time. We can pay for COBRA insurance until I turn 60 in a year then I can sign up for retired-teacher insurance for both of us. A lot of my fellow teachers assumed that I decided to retire because they thought Bryan must be doing worse. Actually, it's because he's doing so well that I knew I wanted to leave now. We want to go where we want, when we want, and stay until we're ready to leave. We really don't have a bucket list, but there are places we've never been: the Caribbean, Seattle, Maine, Minot.

Erin and Shaun are expecting their third baby in November, so we're thrilled to be able to offer them some extra hands since they'll be out-numbered. I look forward to visiting Eli and Emily at Roberts Elementary School which is between our house and "town." It will be easier for me to spend time with Daddy at Presbyterian Village, attending the monthly luncheons, birthday parties, and other special occasions in addition to just sitting and visiting. I also intend to learn all I can about the tile business so that I can be helpful. Bryan is obviously the tile guru; I want to help with logistics, organizing and finding the stuff he loses!

This morning, my friends at Mann gave a "Bon Voyage" party for Linda Berman, who's retiring too, and me. Dr. Marian Lacey, who was principal at Mann when our kids were there, came. So did Suzi Davis and Stella Hayes. Stella wrote a poem for us. Pat Boykin read "The Road Not Taken." We had a yummy spread of fruit, dips, and little ham biscuits. The cake was crafted by our very own Jamie McKenney (Jamie's Custom Cakes 501-944-3796)and was beautiful. I was given a gift certificate for some spa services :). Lots of people said very nice things; it was a lovely way to leave.

I had already turned in my grades, counted textbooks, cleared the walls and shelves for painters, and given away my desk and everything purple. Today I had the joy of turning in my keys. Let the party begin!



Jenny said...

Woo-Hoo! :) Congratulations to you, Aunt Debbie! And congratulations to Erin and Shaun also! I tried to leave a comment on her Oliver Boys blog, but Blogger is being weird and wouldn't let me. So, congratulations, Erin! :)

Bleil Family said...

Hooray for retired grandparents! But, Minot? Really? Seriously, you're not missing anything at all.

Debbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie said...

I thought that would get your attention.

Julie Williamson said...

Congratulation, Debbie!
I too retired after 21 years in the school business. You summed it up well. I knew exactly what you were feeling.

Time to turn on that song, "Toes" by Zac Brown Band and let the party more bell schedule!

Bear said...

Debbie, Congratulations on your career helping to raise the next generation. Teachers are doing more and more of that raising than used to be done and I admire all of you for it. Teaching isn't a profession for those that are truly educators; it is both a calling and a gift. Thanks for a job well done. Enjoy your new role at organizing an Engineer...hahaha....I need to come watch some of that (from a safe distance). The 3rd week of October will be a great opportunity to really get a lot done. Come see us! We're not Minot, but then again, we don't want to be either! Barett