I am definitely going to wait until summer vacation to decide whether I should retire this year or not. When I am at work, I am tired and frustrated and ready to pack it in. Yet, as I contemplate returning tomorrow, I feel excitement, not dread. (OK, a little dread. I am really not looking forward to getting up at 6:15 while the house is cold and everyone in it is asleep.)
I know I am nuts, but I missed the lunacy that goes with my life as a teacher. I missed the captive audience that laughs at my jokes and reveres my teaching. I missed the kids coming to me for advice. I even missed those geometry kids whose main goal in life is to torture me and every other teacher around. Maybe I need more of a life, but I need the satisfaction achieved by getting some of the scatterbrains to succeed.
I even missed my confrontations with Mr. AP. Even when I lose a battle, I feel I am winning the war with him. He hates arguing with me because he knows he can never get the last word in. I often walk out on him with the word "fine", but he knows it is not fine. He knows that although I say he has won, he hasn't.
If I leave, I will never know if I managed to irritate this principal as much as I have irritated every other principal in the past. I will not get the answer to my son's question "Does the principal irritate you before you irritate him, or is it the other way around?" I will miss watching the young generation of teachers grow up. There are so many fine ones out there and if they can just not be corrupted by NCLB and all these standardized tests, they will be wonderful educators for future generations.
People say the best time to retire is the end of June to double dip, collect pension and summer pay. Money has never been my driving issue. While I am not rich, I have enough. If money was the issue, I would have left almost two years ago.
Vacations are good. In the two weeks we were off, I spent a week in Jamaica, saw a movie I really wanted to see (The Boy In The Striped Pajamas), saw a Broadway play (Boeing Boeing- closed today so you can't see it), shopped, ate out, saw friends and relaxed. I even got to sleep off the affects of a bad cold. But, can I do this forever? I'm not sure. I need to see how I feel during the summer, during the two month break.