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RE: Retired art teachers--seeking opinions on retirement


From: Kevan Nitzberg (knitzber_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Mar 23 2005 - 21:15:20 PST

Well stated, Lia, and no shoe leather taste!

I think I am in a similar situation as you are although I am a year older
and 19 of my 32 teaching years were spent working outside of the public
school system so no rule of 90 is anywhere in sight. I also have found that
since I hid that 50 year mark, I have just begun to rethink and retool what
and how I teach in ways that I don't think I ever considered prior to that.
A big part of that may well have been spending several years also working at
the district level as a fine arts facilitator that gave me a much broader
view of how what I do actually impacts students in ways I had not considered
before. Having been back in the classroom full-time for the past 3 years, I
also have found myself much more re-energized about what I do, which has
allowed me to pursue a lot of different directions in my work in the
classroom with my students in addition to continuing to pursue other
opportunities that are connected to art education at the state and national
level that impact what I am able to do as an art teacher.

At my current rate of speed, retirement will be only something that I would
consider should I be physically unable to teach any longer. As much as I am
enjoying my Spring Break on our hobby farm at the moment, I am still working
on our state art education spring newsletter edition, catching up with
reading I need to get done for a course I am taking and creating material
for the lessons I will be bringing back to school next week as we go into
the final 2 weeks of the quarter. My latest joke with my students (it may
actually only be half a joke), is that at some point in time I will be
creating a class project around redecorating / designing the walker I may
need to bring to class in order to continue in my chosen profession!

I am actually considering exactly what that lesson might look like and
should probably get to work on designing an assessment rubric to go along


-----Original Message-----
From: lia []
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2005 9:00 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Re: Retired art teachers--seeking opinions on retirement

Ok....I am going to stick my foot in there where it might not belong. Let
me say first that I am not retired. I am 53 years old. Nor am I a teacher
who has had enough permanence in one district or place to consider
retirement when many friends my age are. So maybe I am just having this
viewpoint because I will have to work long past normal retirement
age. That is, if I am lucky enough to have the health and stamina to do
that....and if I can keep my job. Never-the-less....I think a great deal
about this topic and aging in general.

I do think the decision "to retire or not to retire" must be based on a
"know thyself" basis as well as an economical basis. For some people,
Woody is a great example is perfect....and I have seen others where
it is not. No amount of advice, good or not, can or should replace this
type of inward looking. Our personalities and personality types, our
interests, our support groups and communities, our families and friends,
our health, our financial status, as well as all of our former life
experiences effect both how we age and how we retire. The advice you have
been given here is good and solid....but it comes from someone else's life
experiences. It is those experiences that drive much of what we are and
how we behave. They effect how we get old and how we retire. Most of the
people whom I have observed do it successfully.. .. have laid a careful
foundation and plan long before they have that retirement party. Inward
looking is not easy thing and of course all of this murky stuff is what
makes the journey interesting ...whether you retire now or wait a bit

Respectfully, lia