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Feeling strange

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by crysys, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. crysys

    crysys Occasional commenter

    I'm retiring this summer after nearly 30 years. I can't claim my pension til November but decided that I couldn't do this anymore. Most recent jobs have been part-time which suited me well but one day recently I had a realisation that I actually didn't care anymore. That was such a strange feeling having dedicated so much of my life to wanting to make a difference and loving every aspect. I took it as a sign to quit, so I duly resigned.

    Financially, it's not the right decision but ethically I know it is so I feel quite lost at the moment. It's almost like I have lost a best friend. Does this sound normal? More importantly, will I get over it? Any words of wisdom will be very gratefully received. :)
  2. gooddays

    gooddays Senior commenter

    I don't think it's unusual for you to feel lost at this time, crysys. With some time and distance, you may recall more fondly the years of wanting to make a difference and loving every aspect. Be as kind and patient to yourself as you have been with your students so many times. Focus on enjoying today - buy yourself some flowers, go to a lovely shop for a cup of tea and a treat, sit in a beautiful park and read a new book, etc. Here's a theme song for your new life: Best Day by Dala. Good luck!
  3. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Really agree with gooddays.

    Take care.
  4. curlyk

    curlyk New commenter

    The job changed, not you.

    It does take a while to redefine yourself when you have been used to being a `teacher` for most of your adult life.It was a few months after taking early retirement last summer before I felt `normal` again.Missed being needed ,missed the children ,missed my colleagues and kept looking for a new purpose in life .Then I slowed down ,realised I could have fun, guilt free , relax and choose what` tasks` I wanted to do, be it crafting,volunteering, visiting places and doing things in `term time `,have a new puppy and walk it when I wanted,husband then retired and joined in this new phase in our lives. Try not to panic,re evaluate your priorities and find what makes you happy. I have just organised a grand reunion for the staff and pupils ,now aged 50 plus , of the first school I taught in. We had an amazing time catching up and it made me see that I may have touched a lot of lives in a positive way over the course of my career, so all those years of teaching were,in fact,worth it.

    You can make this next phase of your life a positive and rewarding experience ,rediscover old talents, see old friends and value what you have done those past 30 years as a teacher.

    .Enjoy xxx

  5. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    i feel a bit like crysys. I retired on an early leavers deal at the end of March. How could I refuse the money they offered me to go?

    I had lost the joy. Too many days with too many kids and standing outside in the cold, in the hot, no resources, constantly trying to upgrade environment with nothing, ridiculous assessments and data. Behaviour was so bad with the SEN tots with no support. I came to the point where some afternoons I felt like putting my coat on and going home. The last day I spent with an autistic child - just wandering around the outside area and wishing I had something for him to play with........It is good to remind myself of this otherwise I would be beginning to regret leaving.

    I have done some jobs - like sorting out the linen cupboard and throwing stuff away. Still got a bit to go. Got some major house renovations ongoing. I have to remind myself that that is what I am doing at the moment. Otherwise I feel like I am doing nothing and am nobody.

    Now the warm weather is here I am telling myself that I am on holiday and that it is OK to just potter. I have been for a free swim today. Mr Nelly is also recently retired and he is finding it easier than me. I wish he would go to work a couple of days so I could be alone. I sent him to buy jelly today and find a fruit bowl in the charity shops and he was gone a good while and I got lots done. I have bought a bike. I have not had a ride on it yet. It is a symbolic bike I think.

    I will do something, but after the house refurb work which ends in October. Then I can offer some voluntary work for my ex employers which might be some work in outside play areas, or maybe some singing sessions for young children. I am not going to rush into this as I know that I do need some time to adjust. I think it is forging a new identity that is the hard bit.

    And unfortunately, I do need some time to heal. When you give something your all, it is hard to find the bit that is left at the end.
  6. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Aw Nelly that's really heartfelt. You've got a touch of teachers PTSD I think. I'm not suggesting it's on a par with what soldiers suffer but you have been hurt . Look after yourself and build in plenty of nice treats big or small to sooth that bruised ego. You are allowed to slow down, it's not a sin. Are you sure you want to go back to volunteer at your old place of work. I wouldn't. This time could be about a new you.

    My neighbour fell and hit his head on the very day he retired. He has been unconscious for the last 4 weeks. Think on......
  7. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    That is very true. I certainly wouldn't go back to my old school though, the parting was not pleasant.
  8. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    My last place treated me well and wept when I left, as did I. However, the current financial situation for those kind of settings is very grim. Cut backs you know. There was a previous setting where I was horribly bullied. I am still traumatized about that situation.

    i would go back to one of the other sister settings in the organisation and help with children a little. Or the outside play areas. I have plans to make mud kitchens etc. Maybe I will maybe not. I will drift a bit I think. I have just moved around 5 tons of timber, half the old roof spars and such. Saving for burning and for projects. I have bought some nice power tools as my leaving present to myself. And a work bench with two vices. I have plans. Hobbit houses and raised beds. Number lines maybe.

    I think we have all been injured. We should have left with blessings and honours. We leave with our tail between our legs. Wisdom and courage and skills but no longer wanted in the brave new world of education.

    My friends who have retired told me that I would get my life back. However, it does take some getting used to. Maybe I'll get organised. Maybe not.
  9. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I felt the same, and in some ways I still do! Definitely, the experiences of my last few years of teaching have made more cynical in my dealings with others.

    What I really resent not having was the pleasant, well-rounded end to my career that I have seen my colleagues have, over the years. I would have liked to have made the halting speech at the end of term, all that sort of thing. As it was, I was just edited out, and that was it! I suppose this is what the Americans mean by 'lack of closure'.
  10. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    OH JR that is it! Lack of closure.

    Which is why I have to think I am holiday rather than "finished". Used up, Burnt up. on the scrap heap even.

    At least they had to pay me to go away. Ha!
  11. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    NO!! You surely don't mean that. For God's sake give yourself a slap!!

  12. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    'Edited out' exactly!

    When I went off sick because I couldn't stand any more I told people I felt like I had been written out of the plot. Neither HT or any SLT ever contacted me from the day I went sick to when I retired, none of them came to my retirement do (not held in school at my request) I just ceased to exist for them - after 27 years in the school - it still hurts.

    I would add that the previous HT, who I worked with for 19 years, came to the meal and expressed outrage at what had happened to me.
  13. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    That is what happened to me, Inky. As other colleagues had experienced, as soon as I started to have health problems, I felt that the SMT scented weakness and 'went in for the kill'. Global eczema is not life-threatening but psychologically it is very damaging; imagine what is like to look at yourself in the bathroom mirror and see a pizza smiling back at you! Instead of being supportive, the SMT 'piled on the weight' until I buckled. Only an 'on the ball' solicitor got my a reasonable severance package.

    Like you, not so much as a card from the management when I was off sick, or a even a nod of appreciation when I was coming into school wrapped up in cling film, under my clothes. I asked if I could come into school to say goodbye to those few colleagues who were left, only to receive an email informing me that if I attempted to come on school premises, the police would be called to remove me. That sort of gratuitous nastiness really made feel bitter.
  14. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Oh bloody nora!
  15. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    This sort of treatment was par for the course for those of us who were the victims of what became known as the 'great cull'. I got off very lightly, compared to some. There were ridiculous 'Glienicke Bridge' exchanges, which took place at the school's rear gate, where leaving teachers, who were not allowed back on site to collect their belongings, were handed these in cardboard boxes by the caretaker.
  16. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    Blimey, calling in the police is a bit much! That sounds awful.

    My belongings were smuggled out by a TA and a teacher colleague as I didn't want to go back and get them.
  17. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Its such a shame when folks,who have dedicated their life to service in this way, are treated in such shabby ways.No longer do we have the care and thought that used to abound.Instead we have a sense of clear them out quick and give them no chance to say anyting negative or destructive to the system..

    i just hope that those who treat folks in such a way get the same treatment.....I wish them no good feelings or intents.....for me its a sign of the deterioration of the state of management in some schools.
  18. curlyk

    curlyk New commenter

    What an appalling situation to have to face at the end of a long career.!!!!.In one establishment where I had worked part time previously,I know of several older colleagues who left this school under very sad circumstances, one bullied out of their job for being gay, one for having mental health issues.If we teachers dealt with, or spoke to pupils the way staff get treated by management in some schools, we would be sacked on the spot.Sadly for the school, the teachers and the pupils involved ,this school,whose management dealt so shoddily with its staff ,is now being closed and the Head has been made redundant .Horrible to say it ,but what goes around ,comes around.

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