Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Retirement? Full or Half Day? Mt. Everest, anyone?
The past three weeks have been "crunch-time" for me. I am one of the world's worst decision-makers. I can't postpone and think through any kind of decision. I am a "do something even if it's wrong" kind of girl. And oh, so many many times in my life, it has been... very. very. wrong. This month I had to decide about next year's employment. In Missouri retired teachers are allowed to teach full time for two years. We draw both our salaries as full time teachers AND our retirements. Sweet. That two years is gone for me. Next year is where the ribbon hits the road....or however that saying goes. I have basically two choices: retire (which I really can't afford due to more than double insurance costs since I chose to retire seven years ago).... or teach full or half day. I believe I could find a half day school, but my school doesn't have an opening for half day next year. A move like that would allow me to draw half salary AND my retirement still... Teaching full time causes my retirement checks to cease with June's. Ah.. that's quite a chunk of "free/earned" money.... What to do? But I love teaching in the system I am "in" at the present time. I loved my five years at a different district, but what I really hate is change. It took me about two years to fit in there and has taken about these past two years to feel totally at home back in this school. I've taught in this school for 29 of my 34 years.... Most of my students are children of former students, as I've said before.. And that fact totally "floats my boat." So teaching full time gets me about 7,000 dollars less over the next 18 months.... than teaching half time... go figure? I think it sounds crazy, but I am going full time unless there would be an opening for half at my school... I told my principal today that with the $7,000 dollars I am "losing" I could have purchased a package to scale Mt. Everest. And honestly, no offense to the adventurous souls out there, but that sounds really, really HORRIBLE.... People pay good money to white water raft, safari in the torrid desserts and muggy jungles, bungee jump... parachute from the sky.... scale mountains, a la Everest or McKinley.... or K-12, 2 or 4.... Those all sound absolutely dreadful... so.............. I am opting to "spend" my imaginary, not earned money on the greatest adventure of anyone's life: teaching. I know in my heart if I quit, I'd be crying all summer because that's what I did seven years ago. I just love teaching. When I see a movie or learn a fact, I am immediately thinking how to incorporate that into a lesson plan.... I love my kiddos... I love my room. I love my subject. I love holidays at school... I love summer vacation and Christmas break and snow days... I love grading papers... Whoa@ Hang on there, Tex... It's late. I better calm down and get some sleep before I hear myself "love that first hour jabberwocky class!" (The students who did their own lunch count, attendance and sat quietly yesterday when nobody remembered to watch them... I had a flat tire yesterday and had called in.... Wasn't that wonderful of these kids?)... Yeah, I love them, too... I always did think money is overrated.