Academic journal article Educational Research Quarterly

Retirement Continues to Elude Me

Academic journal article Educational Research Quarterly

Retirement Continues to Elude Me

Article excerpt

I am serving in my 47th year in education and love every minute of every day on the job. Noel Coward, the great playwright and composer said, "Work is more fun than fun" and that's how I've come to feel. It wasn't always this way. At different times in my career I couldn't seem to wait for retirement. I was tired or bored. I was feeling burnout or was simply becoming cynical. I felt I was losing the excitement that I had always had in education, that it was changing too quickly to suit rne, and that I was becoming an educational dinosaur. However, these feelings were intermittent and usually didn't last more than 24 hours before I returned to normal.

Actually, I've had a wonderful career. I was a teacher at age 23, a principal at 26, a Superintendent at 9 29 and Associate Commissioner of Education at 39. Never mind that my first principalship was of a two-room school. I taught downstairs and the one teacher I supervised taught upstairs. Also, my first superin tendency was of a one school elementary school district and I was principal/superintendent and was also my own secretary. I have loved every minute of the moves through school administration to positions of greater responsibility.

When I first retired ten years ago, I was offered the position of Regional Sales Executive for New England, for a multi-national company. I did that for three years and enjoyed it tremendously because my job was to meet with school superintendents and college presidents in an effort to sell them our services. I felt as though I had not left education because we still discussed the issues facing school administrators. At the conclusion of my sales "career" I was offered an Interim Superintendency in Maine that lasted 18 months. This was followed by interim positions in Massachusetts (14 months) and New Hampshire (21 months).

Incidentally, if you are 60 years of age or older and serve one year or longer in some states, you are eligible for a state pension. As a consequence of my interim positions plus my '"regular" pensions, I collect pensions from 5 different states and make 130% of my highest superintendents salary in retirement.

When I finally retired for the sixth time, I wrote a private autobiography of 502 pages for my children and grandchildren. …

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