I became eligible to retire a couple of years ago, but I simply figured I could stick with it for a while longer - just because I still have a passion for the profession and for my fourth graders. I didn't feel I had perfected the craft, and I longed for continuing chances to do so. There are so many areas that I can still improve.
But here we go: I am officially announcing the plan to leave the classroom that has served as a second home for 27 years. With 32 years under the belt, I am hanging up my chalk. That doesn't mean that I'm leaving town, though, and it does not mean that I won't be involved in education. I am exploring opportunities to do public speaking and consulting in the field, as well as conduct professional development and work with elementary education majors in local colleges and universities.
Additionally, I will maintain a relationship with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, which has named me a master teacher. I will have more time available if a temporary, contracted job should open up with the institute. I can also write more books - both fiction and nonfiction, and I can serve the church more - both as a preacher and in the development of new materials and media. Of course, I will continue to donate plasma off and on, as well as get some more outdoor time around the house and exercise around the neighborhood.
With one child off to college in 2022 and another entering junior high, there is always a need for earning some extra cash, so if anyone knows of any high-paying jobs that don't require special knowledge or skills beyond fourth grade, where I have spent a large portion of my life, please let me know about them. I could use all the help I can get.