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Re: [teacherartexchange] the new adventures of the old art teacher (retirement)


From: Woody Duncan (woodyduncan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 12 2007 - 10:37:34 PDT

A very interesting exchange here - let me add a twist. The real
change most art
teachers fear or look forward to is RETIREMENT ! ! My addition to
this thread
is below these excerpts from Anne's original posting.

On Aug 11, 2007, at 6:31 PM, Anne Carman- Hendel wrote:

> This is my 29th year of teaching. For the last 21 years, I have been
> teaching elementary art. I have always hoped to teach secondary
> again before I retire. ..............
> ........................ (as I feel somewhat like the
> character on the TV show The New Adventures of The Old Christine.) I
> am 50 and the last time I taught junior and senior high I was in my
> 20s. It is not the first time that I have changed levels but it
> has been a long time. I am also happy that I will have another art
> teacher to talk with every day as we tend to be isolated on the
> elementary level. Having taught K-12, I feel I understand how one
> level feeds into the other.
> Anne C-H in Illinois

I have been retired from teaching MS art in Kansas City for four
years now.
I suggest that each of you plan for your retirement. It can be
exciting or a
dreadful bore. It should be more than just another change - it's for the
rest of your life. And, I'm one who does not take to change well. I
want the
furniture in the same place forever. Just ask Frani, my wife of 44
years, who
I tell that I've stuck it out because - I don't like change. Careful
"that's a joke"
she is really the best thing I've got going.

Of course you must get your finances in order. Start as early as
putting money away. Every state is different. I get Social Security,
Retirement and we have mutual funds from my 403B and Frani's 401K.
And Frani had a real job with a pension and Health insurance that went
with retirement. So we are comfortable and do not need to work. My
is to squirrel money away where it will grow over the long run. Put
it in
a 403B or a Roth, or both. If you work after retirement, do it
because it
brings you pleasure - not because you need money.

Now the important question. What will you do with your time ? Where
will you do it ? You can relocate - but where ? and why ? These are
individual questions which I can't answer - but, you need to ask.

I drove west every June to paint in New Mexico - so my choice of where
to live was an easy one. We have been in Albuquerque three years now.
We love it and adapted well. If you think about moving to a new area -
I'd suggest renting for a year to check it out before jumping in.

I'm active with New Mexico art teachers to some extent - I built a web
site for them. I've presented at
state conferences. I've got time to paint now so I joined the New
Mexico Watercolor Society. I'm now the president. Things move
quickly when you volunteer. I signed up to be a docent at the
city museum and went through two years of training. I love
giving tours and especially learning about all the new exhibits.
But, mostly it's making new friends who share the same interest.
So, think about what you will do after teaching. It's an important
change and can be the most rewarding part of your life.

When people tell me to "have a nice day", I respond - "every day
is a wonderful day: I'm retired."

Think about this important change - even if it's 20 years off.
Or teach forever - it's your decision. I left at the top of my game,
rather than burn out. I've seen too many burned out teachers
who hung in way too long.

Woody, Retired in Albuquerque

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