Who am I today? If this blog on my sojourn into age will have any significance, it's important to have a baseline.
I am an educator. Although I have superannuated, the teacher term for leaving the classroom and collecting a pension, I can continue to say that. I will always be an educator. True, I work part-time for our school division as an assessment and curriculum consultant. I facilitate professional development workshops for teachers through the Saskatchewan Professional Development Unit. I even do professional writing for a publisher. So I am still connected to my lifetime obsession with teaching. Maintaining formal and official links is not, however, the main reason I can continue to call myself an educator.
My mind still orients my life around a classroom. When I read anything, watch anything, meander through shops or travel, I am always thinking of applications to the classroom. "Wouldn't it be cool to . . .?" or "Gee, I could do this with the kids . . ." My body responds physically. My tone of voice rises, my heart rate accelerates, my eyes must enlarge, and I know I lean forward. Then, a reality check--Oh . . . I guess I'm not in the classroom any more. I will have to try these ideas with teachers, and steal the trickle-down effect from conservative economists.
Make no mistake--I do not regret the decision. I have not questioned the move for even a nanosecond. I have a life again. I have bought cookbooks, and I have actually used them. At this very moment, the tantalizing sweet and sour aroma of pulled pork in the oven has transcended the kitchen into my office on its way to other corners of the house. I am getting enough sleep. I have time for people. We entertain.
In fact, I suspect that this new decade may be the best time of my life. Certainly, leaving the classroom is the most important change in my life since our first child was born. So far, I am healthy, reasonably fit, mentally and physically, and excited to be learning so much.
That's who I am. A teacher. Always.