Some people say life is a journey.
Others say life is a book.
I say it's a matter of perspective.
Sometimes I feel like I'm walking along a path in a forest wilderness experiencing all that happens around me.
Sometimes I feel like I'm done with this adventure and ready for a new one. And I change the scenery-maybe a nice quiet walk along the California coast.
Changing the scenery sounds refreshing, something new and different to see.
Or sometimes I feel like a chapter in my life is coming to an end and it's time turn the page and see what's in store for me.
A new chapter sounds like something exciting and different is about to happen, maybe something unexpected-a plot twist.
And that's exactly what I feel is happening in my life-a major plot twist.
Lately I've been paying attention to many signs around me, signs pointing to the importance someone is playing in my life. I've come to realize that I've also been ignoring other types of signs in a different area of my life and suddenly I'm beginning to accept that I need to do something about that.
So, I am.
There's one relationship where I haven't felt as fulfilled lately. (That's one indication something is wrong.)
So, I tried making changes to be a better me. (They haven't worked as well as I would have liked or hoped.)
I feel I have overstayed my welcome. (Indication number two.)
I haven't known what to do, or felt comfortable letting go. (Number three.)
But, I also felt financially and emotionally insecure to be on my own.
In the end, I realized I had to do what is right for me, so I have decided to take that step.
I am announcing my retirement from teaching.
It has been 34.5 years since I stood in front of a class. I have taught grades 1-6, all in the same school in the northeast corner of Los Angeles, about 15 miles out of downtown LA. I have seen many changes over the years, some good, some not so good. And many were downright questionable.
In those many years I have also seen children change, either in my classroom, or during their years at my school. Some changed for the better, some did not. I saw some in need of encouragement and I offered it. I saw some who changed later on, and came back to thank me. I have taught gifted students and some who have yet to discover their gifts.
And, unfortunately, there are those whose lives ended all too soon.
The children of today are not the same as when I first began. While there are indeed good students, the disrespect shown to us by students as young as six is appalling. A colleague once told me she has first grade students who roll their eyes at her-boys as well as girls. And they see nothing wrong with it. Respect for teachers and the school has dropped tremendously.
Parents, too, have changed. It seems this latest generation expects more from the school than my generation did. Schools are now expected to be social service providers, in addition to educators. Many parents ask for help when needed, but some demand it. Others feel entitled to it.
Teaching is not a profession you leave at the office. Teachers are mentally planning all day long. Even at home. Papers often come home to grade when the school closes for the day. (Besides, its more comfy to grade in pajamas, with your feet up, shoes off, and enjoying a glass of something you might get in trouble for at school.)
The last few years have been hard as we were asked to do more with less. Things began to change, and the situation improved. But, the winds are shifting. And they seem ominous.
All of this has taken its toll on me.
That, and getting older.
As well as the other developments in my life.
It's been a difficult decision to make, yet I feel confident I've made the right choice.
And I know the Universe will support me, as it's all for my greater good.
That's what the signs tell me.