About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chalk Dust and Pencil Shavings

I get excited every year at this time. On the first Tuesday after Labour Day, all the kids go back to school, usually excited to see all their old friends and meet their new teacher. Even though I'm officially retired, I still return to my old school several times a year and keep in touch with former students and colleagues.


I've actually already been to school; last week, I had a meeting with my friend Cathy who is the Learning Assistance Teacher and one of the new teachers who will have one (or maybe more) of the students I tutor. After our little meeting, off I went to the Dollar Store to pick up some supplies. It was so much fun looking at all the fancy pencils, erasers, stickers, magnetic alphabet letters, prize toys, and more. I came out of there with a big bag worth almost $20.00. It now sits on my dining room table waiting for me to organize everything in preparation for my first student who will come on Wednesday.


I do miss teaching in the classroom, but I do not miss all the "extra" stuff that goes along with the job, especially report cards and meetings meetings meetings. I love to work with kids one-on-one and an hour just flies by. I'm hoping to have about 5 or 6 regular students this year to keep my hand in and to keep my mind busy with researching how best to assist them. I'm also hoping I'll only have to take off two weeks after I eventually have my back surgery. Having the kids come for their lessons will be something to look forward to while I'm still housebound and will also keep me from getting depressed.


I used to love the smell of my classroom first thing in the morning before the kids would arrive. But now, instead of waking up early to arrive at school an hour ahead of the students, I can sleep in until I'm totally refreshed. I can sip my coffee as I read the paper at a leisurely pace and do the daily crossword. I can get my grocery shopping, laundry, and other household chores done in the mornings and even have time to occasionally meet a friend for lunch or go and visit my grandchildren. If I go out, I'll be home before rush hour in plenty of time to set up the lessons for the afternoon.


And I'll have my evenings free without having to worry about marking, lesson plans, report cards, parent/teacher conferences, or "Meet the Teacher" Night. (We used to call it "Meet the Creature Night.") This is the life!

Now for a bit of Teacher Humour:

Murphy's teaching laws:

1. The clock in the instructor's room will be wrong.
2. Disaster will occur when visitors are in the room.
3. A subject interesting to the teacher will bore students.
4. The time a teacher takes in explaining is inversely proportional to the information retained by students.
5. A meeting's length will be directly proportional to the boredom the speaker produces.
6. Students who are doing better are credited with working harder. If children start to do poorly, the teacher will be blamed.
7. The problem child will be a school board member's child.
8. When the instructor is late, he will meet the principal in the hall.
9. If the instructor is late and does not meet the principal, the instructor is late to the faculty meeting.
10. Clocks will run more quickly during free time.
11. On a test day, at least 15% of the class will be absent
12. Murphy's Law will go into effect at the beginning of an evaluation.


I'm so glad I don't have to worry about any of that anymore! Retired Teachers still have Class!

Post of the Day

28 comments:

RiverPoet said...

My niece is a teacher in a rough school in Houston - her choice, because she is the type of person who wants to save every student. I can't imagine having that gift. She loves her job and relishes the challenges. They started back to school weeks ago, and I know that she's been up to her eyeballs since then.

The smell of pencil filings and chalk dust? Still makes me smile. I loved school and had some really great teachers. I'm sure you were excellent at your job....I can tell you miss it, no matter what you say.

Peace - D

Pauline said...

Perhaps I shall tutor after I retire - it sounds a great way to keep one's hand in without all the drawbacks.

School started here last week so I already have the first three days under my belt. Working with second graders seems to be my niche. They're still excited about school, still in awe of things, still cuddly. During the year, their hugs are the best job perk I know.

Daryl said...

A motto you should make a sampler or pillow of ..

:-Daryl

jenny said...

I just started teaching full time---Kindergarten. We began on Aug. 14th---really early! I have always loved the beginning of school---as a student, a pre-school Mother's day Out teacher, and now as a Kindergarten teacher. It's great.

I like your take on your life now---you get to do all those things you love!

Bcwillow said...

Amen Leslie - Amen! I feel the same way!

david mcmahon said...

G'day from the Yukon, Leslie,

What a wonderful post - it reminded me of getting ready for each boarding school year!

Ruth D~ said...

I'm so going to like hearing the school buses rumble down the street while my head is on the pillow. My first official day of retirement is Tuesday. I'm smiling, and I just might sharpen a pencil or two and take a sniff, but I'll be smiling, that's for sure. :>)

leslie said...

Hi riverpoet, yes I do miss it, but it was SO exhausting!

pauline - yes, I do miss those hugs from the girls and the high-fives from the boys.

daryl - great idea, if only I did embroidery.

jenny - I'm sure you'll be a wonderful teacher and enjoy all those little ones.

Heather - Amen indeed! ;D

David - g'day back at ya. Boarding school - I wonder what that would be like.

Ruth - have a cuppa java on me Tuesday! I'll toast you that morning! :D

Katney said...

I like that last point--Retired Teachers StillHave Class. We need bumper stickers!

kissa said...

I miss the bustle and noise of the Primary School classroom. I loved the challenges that came with the job well not the paperwork and endless meetings just the children which is what the job is all about after all. Whiteboards just don't have the dust of blackboards or that awful squeak of chalk on board after all.

Jo said...

I always feel as if this is the first day of the New Year. Everything is so new, and I instinctively go out and buy new "school clothes".

And yes, retired teachers still have class! :-)

leslie said...

Yes, josie, I feel the same way - always have and always will. I already bought my new fall clothes - biggy baggy Tees to go over my lovely "corset."

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Yes, indeed we do. I much prefer the small groups I have now. Sounds like you had fun in the stationery store!

Ellee Seymour said...

I know you must miss your former life, but I'm glad you are able to enjoy how relaxing life is now.

PERBS said...

I tutored a 2nd grader one summer and I really enjoyed it.

Prayers for yoru surgery to be successful and also some for you to get the students you want for tutoring.

Drop by my new blog.

Paulie

Susan said...

Hi Leslie,
You must miss those teaching days. But like you say, you dont have to bring your work home with you anymore! As a kid, I always loved going back to school.
You have a beautiful family, thanks for sharing those photos. I am so pleased for you that both your girls are doing well, especially after the scare you had in the spring! Glad to know all is well.

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