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Strange time to retire!

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by otters258, May 5, 2020.

  1. otters258

    otters258 New commenter

    Such a strange time to retire! Normally at this time of the year there is a well-populated thread (that gets added to regularly) where all of us on the brink of our retirement count down and share thoughts. SO if you are one of this group how are you feeling? I have my pension statement through so now it seems as real as anything does these days. As a school leader not had much time to think deeply about how I feel as so many different challenges have come our way since mid March. Definitely know that I am very glad I won’t be there in September or at the point that a fuller reopening happens and the ridiculous pronouncements/demands from the DfE and Ofsted start rolling in! Because they will I am sure! Will I miss having a big send off? I’d be lying if I didn’t say a tiny bit but in the greater scheme of things I can live with it!
    Rach05, HannahD16, freckle06 and 7 others like this.
  2. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Established commenter

    Congratulations on retiring. I saw and spoke to an ex-Head who retired a few weeks ago on a cycle ride, the first time in months - they looked so healthy, fit, relaxed and human. It's great to be free to do what you want, when you want.
    Dorsetdreams likes this.
  3. mustntgrumble

    mustntgrumble New commenter

    Weird. Id planned on going phased at 59 and 11 months this December. Id bought a lot of additional pension and by going phased I'd still do some teaching, Id be bringing home more take-home pay and be able to look after my ageing mother. Good plan

    Over the last three years, I'd survived two hostile redundancy attempts. The last of which was led by a very much younger "senior" manager. Now there is a massive redundancy threat in my institution - those in their mid-40s are very concerned - including the "senior" manager. Even if he survived he knows the career landscape is not great for him. He will almost certainly have to "let go" some of his nearest and dearest in the department.

    I'm forced to work at home (actually I now do this at my mothers home - thereby killing two birds). I turned down a redundancy package some time back which at the time was tempting. If they offer me that now there's a danger I may go :). Of course - there is a recruitment freeze so the organisation needs me or else teaching can't be done. I can't broach phased or I guess HR will say yes - get teaching out of me then let me go in a year.

    The tables have truly turned - at this point morbid fascination built on a good financial foundation and the ability to pull the trigger at any time is driving me.
  4. brook123lyn

    brook123lyn New commenter

    We also going this year .... so weird to finish like this. Set homework for year 13 on the weds then never saw them again! Some I’ve taught for 6:5 years But, at the moment we are well and thankful to be so. Can’t imagine how it’s been for some of these young people .
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  5. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    I’m retiring this summer and I cannot wait- although, I’ll definitely miss it for sure. It certainly has been a strange time and I didn’t expect to be spending my final 6 months in my role under these circumstances.
    I was supposed to be moving down to Devon this year, however with all what’s going on- I’m going to fly out to my apartment in Tenerife in September (providing travel restrictions are lifted) and then return in January 2021- might be longer!
  6. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    Have you handed your notice in already?

    If I had been thinking of going this year, I might be reconsidering now.

    You could retire, only to find you have to sit at home all day doing nothing, with everything closed, when you could have been sat at home doing nothing and getting paid for it.
    christubbs likes this.
  7. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    Ouch Peter!

    I'm still in touch with many of my friends who are still teaching and who would not be amused by this comment...they are still teaching; preparing work, talking to students, marking etc etc as well as attending on rotas to look after key worker children - certainly not nothing and they do get irritated when the press/parents make such comments let alone a fellow teacher.
  8. Dorsetdreams

    Dorsetdreams Occasional commenter

    ...well I'll be honest: I'm teaching from home, some reasonably long days too, but it is a doddle compared to the real thing:
    • No 5:45am alarm to be at my desk by 7:15. It's now up at about 7:45 for an 8:30 start. Not much difference on my odd 'in' days either.
    • No add-hoc meetings stealing your meagre lunch break
    • No interminable meetings. I terminated one pointless 'Teams' meeting by starting a YouTube video (muted!) and saturating my broadband!
    • Really nice interactions with the best of the students and none whatsoever with the worst - they don't show up physically or virtually.
    Going back will be a shock!
    baitranger, Prim, tall tales and 5 others like this.
  9. maggie m

    maggie m Lead commenter

    I had handed in my notice at February half term. I had a very pleasant conversation with the Head who appreciated the long notice as teachers in our area are hard to find. I was told to enjoy the remainder of my time at the school. Six weeks later we locked down. I taught my year 13's on Wednesday and at lunch time they were sent home.Similar with my year 11's. My HoD had asked what I wanted to do to mark retirement, the department had chosen a date in early July. Then we are gone. It all feels very strange
    RepelloInimicum and diddydave like this.
  10. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    Yes, I'm sure that's what PeterQuint is angling at too...I can see how teaching from home would get rid of so much of the 'nonsense' involved -next year, if you survive(!), could be an interesting experience if remote teaching/learning becomes more mainstream.

    The vast majority of my lessons were disturbed with calls to deal with some incident happening elsewhere in the department or taking in a student who had digressed in some fashion from even further afield. Not having to deal with the minor bickering, getting the children to wear their uniform correctly etc etc I can see would have the potential to make it a much more pleasant experience.
    Dorsetdreams likes this.
  11. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    Be reassured that feeling very strange is normal.

    We had terms, in IT, relative to when you were born and bits of technology - the digital native (those born after the tech had been invented - for them it has always been part of their world) and the digital immigrant (those who have had to learn to deal with the 'new' stuff)

    So, in that vein, in terms of being a 'retiree' I am a pandemic immigrant and you will be a native - you will only know the essence of being a retiree in the aftermath of this pandemic...it will be strange for all of us but it will be 'normal' for you as part of your retirement. The difficult thing for those retiring this year is that there will be a far smaller pool of people with the same experience with which to share your feelings over what is, at any time, quite an emotional transition. I have no idea of the impact it will have on people but talking and sharing is good.
    brook123lyn likes this.
  12. Treacle3

    Treacle3 New commenter

    Yes, my wife is a primary Head in a socially deprived area and is in every day (worked all through the Easter holidays except for the Bank Holiday weekend)… the way schools were left floundering by the (lack of) clear government decisions or decisions made but with inadequate systems in place to back them up e.g. the meal voucher scheme...I could relate 2 pages of A4 on all the "problems" there have been with so often the easy get out clause of "it's at the Headteacher's discretion" laid at her door...against this background, trying to keep staff, parents and pupils happy in these unique times has been very difficult. Would say more but off to work now (not teaching :))
  13. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    Whilst I’m retired as a teacher I’m still working in a school, working from home due to the lockdown.

    I’ve just done an uninterrupted 7 hour shift, mainly on the phone, so I do know we’re not all sat at home doing nothing.

    But given the choice between retiring and being paid nothing, or working from home, increasing my pension, and being paid to do so, I know what I’d be opting for.

    Especially if I knew I either wasn’t going back at the end of it, or at least not for long.

    No offence intended.
    diddydave likes this.
  14. otters258

    otters258 New commenter

  15. otters258

    otters258 New commenter

    No offence taken!! Fortunately I have a very healthy pension pot so do not need to carry on working. There comes a point when it is better to stop saving and start spending. I need to give back to the economy after all at this difficult time!! Also will have maximum date flexibility for travel as soon as it is possible! If there is a phased return after half term the last few weeks will present different from normal pressures, juggling several different patterns of schooling for different Year groups. Oh joy!
    Luvsskiing, Prim and PeterQuint like this.
  16. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    :) Thank you, I'm not offended it was more of a wry smile as I can see exactly where you are coming from.

    I did, really, think that was what you meant and personally if I was in the same situation as I have no children to look after whilst trying to teach etc the only worry I would have would be that schools would reopen and I'd have to go in and face this virus that is more deadly for the older, male generation...but then I could also be obese and BAME for whom it appears even worse.
    PeterQuint likes this.
  17. offordj

    offordj New commenter

    After almost 38 years (well, 113 terms) of teaching, the letter goes in today. I'm head of department in a large secondary school and my last 2 years have been 0.8. I was hoping to retire on 31st August, draw my pension and then be reappointed on the 2nd September. The school were fine with this, but I also wanted to reduce my hours further to 0.5, which unfortunately doesn't fit the timetable.
    I had a zoom meeting with the head last Tuesday and said I would make a decision for today (Monday).
    The uncertainty over September (will schools be back? If so, to what extent?) has made the decision more challenging. Ultimately I don't want to be working 0.8 under conventional circumstances, but as several others have alluded to, working 0.8 with a significant portion of that at home would be more appealing.
    The much anticipated first holiday in term time (late September) also looks like it will have to be put on hold.
    Even though I can live without the speeches etc. it is a very disorientating experience; however the thought of working in what could be a potentially dangerous environment in September has made my mind up for me.
  18. brook123lyn

    brook123lyn New commenter

    Sounds like you have put a good deal of thought to this offordj - well done for making a decision. I think next year is going to be extremely stressful for all involved in schools . The person picking up my job is going to have to juggle the new and existing exam classes and will be awaiting new guidance about what may be in or off the syllabus next year. I just hope they get the support they need to manage all the different transitions.
    I do hope you’ll get a going away celebration at some point - you’ve earnt it!
    PeterQuint likes this.
  19. Dorsetdreams

    Dorsetdreams Occasional commenter

    You are probably right but I'm not entirely sure.

    When I started teaching, in a rough and quite chaotic school in the 1980's, teachers had to think on their feet and use their initiative. There was no pretence that the department had detailed schemes of work, lesson plans or written policies on anything. If your HOD got the impression that your marking was getting a bit behind you got told to sort it out over a pint. Heads found ways to get rid of staff who couldn't hack it without anything as nasty as 'capability'. We now seem to be surrounded by managers who can't make decisions without deferring to some policy.

    I think that in the chaos this is about to descend on us those who know their stuff, can improvise and want the best for the learners will manage well enough, whilst leadership who try to micro-manage will end up with egg on their faces.

    In the highly organised school in which I'm now lucky enough to work, summer term is usually spent churning out documents which no one needs or even reads. It will be interesting to see if the impending deadlines for these are dropped. I think that my be a litmus test for how next year is going to pan out.
    tenpast7, brook123lyn and Prim like this.
  20. otters258

    otters258 New commenter

    Perhaps I should rename the thread Best Time To Retire!!! Because here we go again. Two nights of poor sleep as Boris and his chums bumble around making it up as they go along, rewriting the rules (completely dumping in the case of social distancing in schools) and putting out a framework that frankly no one will believe in. Chucking in all primary pupils in for a month at the end of the year was priceless numpty behaviour. Half the class size Durr... need to double the rooms available. Hardly a challenging Year 6 meeting the standard question!!! So into school to polish up the reopening plan and only 8 weeks and 4 days to go. Hallelujah!
    Dorsetdreams and AlwaysAdaptable like this.

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