Hi, Irene...I know exactly what you're feeling. I am able to retire...and I've been having such a struggle with this. At the beginning of the year, I gave notice to my principal that I would be retiring at the end of this year...which would give him a chance to train someone to replace me as the IB art teacher.
Well...in November, I made NBC...and realized what a difference it would make to my retirement $$$, if I worked another year. So...I told my principal...and he was pleased.
Well...during this semester, I've begun to think about it again. I want to retire, but I DON'T want to retire...being afraid that I wouldn't be motivated enough to get involved and do anything. I read Woody's message with interest.
I have a lot activities that I'm involved in...and I remodeled my studio last summer in preparation. I've had people I know ask if I would teach adult classes. I had a student teacher this semester, who is a jeweler, and he has taught me a lot about working with metals...and I've really gotten involved in jewelry making lately...along with the other art teacher at school. She and I motivate each other and we work together on own art...and are both interested in the same things. This is one reason I hate to leave.
So..........went BACK to the principal to tell him I was changing my mind again, but that I still had DOUBTS...and he asked if I would be interested in working half-time next year....two classes...no duties, no committes, no proctoring...just teaching my classes. This might be a good transition to full retirement. There's another teacher that I would pair up with at school. So, we're trying to get approval from our superintendent.
If so, I will take a metals class from the local university in the next town in the morning...and then work a half-day at school in the afternoon. And in the spring, I'll work my half-day in the morning and be through. My husband is concerned that I will end up staying at school all day, but I KNOW that I won't. If the approval doesn't go though, I will retire in June.
I will finish 30 years of teaching (all at the middle school level) at the end of the 2006-07 school year and I will be 56 years old then, too. I am not the most goal-oriented person in the world and while I look forward to retiring, I know I will feel lost, too. I have no family to keep me busy in retirement nor am I overly fond of traveling. I do a considerable amount of volunteer work and have a lot of hobbies.