Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Reverse Retirement

It’s February 1st and according to my own expectations that no one else asked for, I feel obliged to say something interesting. Could be about the origin of the month that almost wasn’t and the one with the most obscure name etymology. Then, of course, there could be a treatise on St. Valentine or yet another scathing look at the true biographies of Washington and Lincoln. Plenty to say about Black History month and this shortest month of the year does happen to hold the birthdays of three or four people very dear to me.


But on this first day of the month, I helped teach two classes at a school called CDS. I also taught there on Monday and on Tuesday subbed at my old school SFS. Tomorrow and Friday, I begin a seven-day subbing gig at a school called Brandeis-Hillel, which means that every day this week and next, I’m working with kids at a school. 


So I guess I’m not retired. Not a single day of golf or meeting a friend for lunch at a cafe. Instead, waking early, joining a workforce of teachers to educate children— looks like I’m a working man! But with a few notable differences:


• No staff meetings.

• No report cards.

• They can’t fire me. Or if they do, who cares?

 • A much lighter schedule than my seven classes a day used to be. And some days, done at 1:00. 

When I left SFS yesterday, I quipped to my former music teacher colleague: “Well, that was fun. And now I’m off again to retirement!”


So there you have it. I have guest classes at two more schools coming up, three if you count my grandkids' school in Portland where we will soon visit. From preschool on in these visits, my wife and I always give a guest class or two. Now my too-young-teen-11-year-old granddaughter made it clear that she does not want us to teach in her class this visit. Something about the other kids teasing her. Aargh, peer pressure! But I most certainly will  do something. She can take a long break in the bathroom.


One of my fellow retired friends asked me why I was doing things like this, so clear in his own mind that he never wanted to set foot in a classroom again and be in charge of a group of kids. Well, to each his own. My own is that I’m not done with kids (or adult teachers) yet and can’t foresee that I ever will be. Nothing to crow about, just the way it is.


So if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go plan tomorrow’s classes. Happy February!


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