What’s Up? What’s Next?

78-fall-mira-loma-croppedMira Loma High School 1978 – year one,  first year teacher. Cool Chess King blazer.

When you are nearly 61 and see 61.5 looming just a few month away, you have to start thinking about it.

Yes, that’s the word.

Retirement.

But as a disclaimer. Nothing, I repeat nothing has been or will be decided until the last possible moment. I never want to relegated to the “he’s irrelevant” pile.

At any rate the thoughts creep in and they need to be processed. This is fast approaching when I will need to either push them away or act on them.

Money. The first concern is always money. How much is enough? And how many years are you willing to keep working to get there? Christine and I have, by God’s grace, been gifted great jobs and now that Christine is working full time we have more money each month than we have had for our entire married lives.

Leaving Teaching. I have loved my career -m nearly every minute of it really. It’s been  amazing all the opportunities I have been given as a teacher. But the best part of all of it has been the relationships I have been able to have with my students.

Leaving Yearbook. 35 years of great kids. 35 years of relationships that continue. 35 years of amazing creativity. 35 years unlocking talents in kids they never knew they had. 35 years of deadlines on school nights, on Saturdays, near holidays. How every you spin it. 35 yearbooks may just be enough for me

Leaving Education. Though it doesn’t have to be, by all indicators my district is a mess. So much needs to be done on every school site at every level to meet the changing needs of our district, but they seem to be doing nothing. As the livestock is streaming out of the barn, the powers-that-be are congratulating themselves that they are cooking up a great barbeque. I see now innovative leadership who is committed the district as a whole and the change that is needed.

The Changing Face of Del Campo. In the words of Stephen Stills “Something’s happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.” For years now Del Campo has been changing. Higher percentage of kids in or approaching poverty. Higher percentage of kids who don’t have parents who are fulling engaged in their education. Fewer kids who are willing to devote the time it takes to create a high quality yearbook. Other programs on campus that are more “sexy” than spending thousands of hours creating an award-winning book. A new video production program that will have six sections each year.

Filling the void. The big issue will definitely be filling the void when the daily grind of teaching is over. What will I do with my time. what will I do with my life.

The Risk of Change. My pastor in a sermon a few weeks ago used the term “the risk of change” that really resonated with me.

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