Has it Really Been 32 Years?

There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book….” Taryn Malik

This past Monday was kind of a big day for me.

My husband sat by my side as paperwork was completed, our questions were answered, and documents were signed. My official retirement date has been set for June 1st. In all honesty, it probably won’t actually hit me until July 29th when my colleagues will return and begin to prepare for another busy school year…. and I won’t ~ the first time in 32 years.

Has it really been 32 years?

During my first year of teaching, teachers at my school still wrote on a black board with chalk and we made copies of tests and worksheets on a mimeograph. (I loved the smell of those freshly printed papers.) Things changed pretty quickly and within two years we were writing on dry erase boards and using a Xerox copier to make copies. Now we teach our lessons using Clear Touch Interactive panels  which is a huge computer and very sophisticated copy machines that print from our laptop computers and who knows what else they actually do.

Has it really been 32 years?

To help me put this in perspective I looked up what was going on in the world when I first started teaching.  The nuclear power plant at the Chernobyl plant exploded and large amounts of radioactive materials and fuel were released a few months before the school year started. Big hair, shoulder pads and high-waisted pants were in fashion. The Cosby Show, Family Ties and Cheers were popular TV shows. One of my top 10 favorite songs, “Livin’ on a Prayer” … Bon Jovi was released. The average cost of a new house was $89,430 – $92,000, a U.S. postage stamp was 24 cents and the average gallon of gasoline was 89 cents. Halley’s Comet made an appearance and Ronald Reagan was president.fullsizeoutput_2ee4Wow…Where did the time go? Where are all these kiddo’s today?  I clearly remember what a sweet bunch they were and I pray they are all living happy lives. Did I really look in the mirror that morning and like the way my hair looked? This photo was taken in the early 1990’s since I can’t locate photos from the earlier days.  But I am looking!

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The countdown is on ~ 117 days already checked off and only 63 actual school days remaining with the students ~ and yes, with a big smile I am ready to turn the page!

37 thoughts on “Has it Really Been 32 Years?

  1. Whoa from chalkboards to dry erase boards (less messy/dusty, but I’m thinking too often marked up with the wrong un-erasable markers?) to those computer panels – the 21st century version of overhead projectors? (yep, I remember them babies!)
    I know your influence on young minds and investment into students’ lives has been great…no question…However I find myself most intrigued with this living history (meant in the nicest sort of way) of physical teaching methods!

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  2. I have a friend who is struggling with this decision. She is 67 so it’s time but I think she fears the change. She may also fear the fact that her husband (already retired) wants to hop on an RV and travel all the time and she doesn’t. She’ll be making her decision shortly and we’ll see how it goes. The changes have been astonishing. I remember wooden desks with inkwells (although we already used ball point pens). Students had to clap the erasers at the end of the day. Big school satchels with heavy books. I bet those don’t exist anymore either. Wasn’t good for the back. Enjoy your new chapter and keep smiling.

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  3. It’s fun to read the comparisons between across the years you were teaching – backboards to white boards to interactive panels. The technology used for instruction sure has moved forward quickly.

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  4. congratulations to you!! 32 years is admirable to say the least. I enjoyed the tribute to the history of those years. You must have seen a lot of change in the classroom dynamics too? Also in parents-Would love to hear your thoughts on that. Now you can have the life you doing what you want and when you want to-and eat a quiet lunch too!! God bless you! love Michele

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  5. Wow – that opening photo could truly be mine — big hair, shoulder pads and all!! I began teaching (Grade 5) in a small town, rural school in 1982. I truly loved my career in education but retired when my husband did in 2015. As much as I loved school, I LOVE retirement even more. Wishing the same for year. I look forward to following your adventures ahead! #MLSTL

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  6. Well done on such a wonderfully long career doing something you obviously felt committed to and involved in. Every child who has a teacher who is connected and involved in their school life has a headstart in their learning process – and you obviously were.
    Still, the time comes when you know it’s the right age and stage to put it to rest – I was talking to a teacher friend who retired a month ago and she was surprised at how okay she was with it all and how little she misses it (especially the tough parts). She just loves waking up on a Monday morning and knowing that she has nobody that she’s responsible for now except herself and her husband (a wonderful feeling indeed!!) I hope your last months go speedily for you.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

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    • Thank you! The thing I may miss the most is the structure and routine. Each hour is planned from the moment I wake up, through out the school day ~ math and such and such time, reading at such and such time, etc. In spite of this, I am still so ready for a change. Thanks for the opportunity to share my blog.

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  7. Hi there…it’s turning a page. You will always be a teacher…
    I actually do not miss the classroom as it is so different from when I started (at about the same time as you).
    I am discovering that this life has so much else to offer. And the freedom to explore it other than at school vacation weeks is wonderful (and cheaper!)
    Best wishes. You will love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. An excellent quote by Taryn Malik! You remind me how much has changed in the past 32 years. I do remember mimeographs and shorthand. A very poignant sentence on “where are all these kiddo’s today?” I love how you came full circle with your last sentence. My quick sum up: the best is yet to come! Enjoy these last days. #MLSTL. Erica

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