Monday is the first day of staff meetings and I won’t be there. They’ll take the staff photo and for the second year in a row, I won’t be in it. Nobody has suggested photo-shopping me in and that’s fine. But when I do arrive at school, I’m there 150% and still feel like I’m part of this grand adventure, as I have been the last 43 years.
The balance between work in school and the work I do outside of school continues to ebb and flow. Between the year 2000 and 2013, I shared the job with my colleagues James and Sofia so that we each had three months off during the year. That’s how we continued our international teacher training and written the books we have. In the last five years, we all have been present for the Fall Intern program and then gotten 6 weeks off each to continue the international teaching. And now this Fall, we’ll take a year off from the Intern Program, something I suggested so I’d have enough time to write again, with as many as 3 to 5 books feeling ready to be written and lacking only time to do them. So I will have this Fall to get as far as I can on these projects.
Usually at this time of year, I begin having the school nightmares and it’s interesting being with my daughter Talia (5th grade teacher at the school), who is continuing that tradition. But my wise subconscious knows that I won’t be officially teaching at school again until January and has left me alone. Likewise my wife who retired two years ago.
The question of a final retirement from The San Francisco School (hopefully, never from my work in general) continues to haunt me and I keep wondering why some voice doesn’t definitively tell me, “Now!” I suspect once I close those doors, other doors might open that have been waiting for me and my biggest fear is wondering whether I should have done it earlier. But truly, the work with the kids still feeds me, the participation in this community still feels mostly good and short of a world tour with my Pentatonics Jazz Band, can’t imagine much that I’d love to do that I’m not already doing.
But this much is clear. Monday is the Staff Photo and I won’t be in it.