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My Favorite Teacher...
My favourite teacher was my grade 5 teacher. I was a slow learner as a child, had suffered the loss of my grandfather at five, been hospitalized for kidney problems during my first year of school and my family moved from New Zealand to Australia when I was in grade 3. We lived in a mid-high socio-economic area to start with. These teachers had no idea what to do with me, so I was sent to remedial classes each morning. We soon moved to a lower socio-economic area, but my mother continued to take me to my old remedial classes.

My grade five teacher, Mr. Enkleman, asked to speak to my mother one day. He told her he did not believe I needed remedial classes, explaining the time I was losing was putting me farther and farther behind. He said if I needed extra help, he would provide it. So my mother took me out of remedial and Mr. Enkleman worked hard to ensure I always understood the lessons. School work was still hard for me and it wasn't until high school things started making sense, but it was Mr. Enkleman's efforts that turned my life around!

I now teach in the same low socio-economic area that this life changing incident occurred in, and have two mainstreamed special needs children in my class. Because of Mr. Enkleman, I know the difference in the lives of these children and others I can make - this is what I try to do each day!

Sandy Smith - Brisbane Australia

My favorite teacher was Mr. Harry Simmons. He was my Data Processing teacher in High School. I had his class in my sophomore year. I was not doing well in most of my classes. I don't know what he saw in my behavior or demeanor, but he somehow knew that I need some guidance. He took me under his wing and watched over me until I graduated. I will never forget him. He was the one who gave me that extra push even when I didn't need it :o). As fate would have it, his sister is the Principal at my school and his granddaughter is in my class. I hope that I can do for her what he did for me. He is the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of all Time).

Teachers.Net Survey...
by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
Another informal survey:

We asked educators about their plans for retirement (how soon, after how many years) and whether they plan to seek other employment after retiring from teaching. Here are some of the responses we received.

I plan to retire in less than five years. I'm 50, and have taught 27 years. Why? I'm just weary, I guess. I still love the kids and love teaching. I'm a little tired of "jumping through the hoops," but my decision to retire soon comes more from within than from outside irritants. Phil
I can retire in 9 years, and I will. That will make 27 years total. I don't want to seek other employment, but finances might make it necessary. I will only be 47 when I retire! I then plan on writing, gardening, and probably babysitting grandchildren. Rita
I entered the profession at 36 so I expect to be able to retire around age 61. If my health is good and energy level high, I expect I will work in the classroom as long as possible. Teaching demands a lot of energy so who knows...? My hope is that I will retire due to age NOT health. After that, I think I would like to volunteer at the children's library. Kim
I had planned to temporarily retire after this year, and return to college to become a computer tech in the school system. However, after learning how much less they are paid than what I currently make, I can't afford to. I'll probably teach a couple of more years but not where I've been teaching for the last 21 years. We're on our 4th principal, and I don't think that he and I match up very well.

Also, I have noticed that the students' behaviors and attitudes have deteriorated considerably in the last couple of years. We have recently become grandparents, but our granddaughter is 760 miles southeast of where we live. We've found a buyer for our house and have taken several weekend trips in an attempt to find another town to teach in. Our latest interest is in Tyler, Texas. So if anybody from Tyler reads this, we would appreciate any info that you can provide us about the school systems there. "Goose"

I will only be 58 when I plan to retire, but my husband will be 65. Both of my parents worked until their health failed and then could not enjoy the time they had together. My husband and I would like to have some time together while we can still travel, etc. Glenda
Teachers are definitely not getting the money or respect that they deserve. in addition to this, teachers are in a classroom with 25 or more students, some with learning disabilities. Teachers are not qualified to handle this type of situation. I'm going through my master's right now and I am not confident that my one class in special needs is going to help me. Yes, I learned techniques, but seriously, it isn't going to make a world of difference. I do not plan on teaching very fact i want to do the minimum so that I can get into administration and help to revamp the education system. JuJuBee
I could collect about 2/3's of my regular pay without working...I could then have freedom to explore things I've wanted to do for awhile--provide inservices, work on my writing, and bum out and sleep in. I retired at 53 so it is nice to be relatively young to be retired. I'm in good health. I continue to be a state trainer in Six Traits and in Civics/Government for KS Social Studies. My book for ASCD (2 co-authors) is in progress and will be published next year. I write for several internet sites, keep 3 webpages, and monitor the KS Six Traits and KS Social Studies mailrings. I stay busy, but I work when I want to. Ginny
I plan on teaching another 10-12 years until I'm 60-62. I can't see teaching first grade when I'm much older than that! I will have in about 25 years so will not have the greatest pension so I plan on subbing for at least a few years. Hopefully, I'll be able to support myself on my subbing and be able to invest at least most of my pension. Cheryl
When I retire it will be determined by financial conditions, unless some health issues pop up. I teach in one of the lowest paying districts in the state. I have to teach longer to be able to receive a pension that is closer to that of my peers in neighboring districts. After retirement, do I plan to seek other employment? Yes, if I am able. Mary/PA
I am only 32 so it is hard to think about retirement yet. I have been teaching 10 years already and am still loving every minute of it. I will be thrilled if I am able to teach another 25 years, but will stop as soon as it stops being fun anymore!

The school I am at right now has at least 6 of 12 teachers ready to retire in the next 3 years, including the principal. Catherine

I expect to teach for a total of 15 years (6 more years). Teaching is a second career for me. Previously I was (and to some extent still am) a freelance writer. I want to retire when my youngest finishes seminary (or if he decides not to go that route, I'll leave in four years.)After retirement I plan to work on my Ph.D. I'll still be a little shy of 50 and would like to spend some time working with new teachers. I cannot imagine not working or not being in the education environment. After having shared my plans, I've got to say that I've finally gotten comfortable teaching science and math, so while the above scenario has been my plan for a long time, maybe everyone will graduate from college and grad school and I'll just stay where I am -- energy and patience permitting! Bitsy
My goal is 20 years (Teaching is a second (or third) career choice for me so I will have stinky retirement plan esp in Indiana. I plan to teach about 14 more years. (Maybe I will have paid off the third college tuition not to mention mine by then!) By then it will be age that determines my retirement - I will be early 60s and would hope maybe I have a grandkid or two to play with. At the rate my kids go however, maybe not! I certainly hope it isn't health. MY biggest concern is my husband is 10 ors older than I and that he not be having health concerns either. Some of my teaching friends have been forced to retire due to family member's health needs rather than their own. After retirement? Maybe some consulting/writing work and I will probably continue to write and be published. (we are talking little bits of financial gain here not the great American novel - sigh!) I would not sub except for specific teacher friends. My retired friend subs for me and two other teachers in the building and it works for her. uni
I took early retirement in 2000 at the end of my 25th year of teaching. I was only 47. What determined when? Age, but not my own. My husband is considerably older than I am and self-employed, semi-retired. We wanted time to travel and do the other things we wanted to do without my being tied to a job. Also, we wanted to relocate to another state in which I am not credentialed. I would have to go back to school for several courses to get my credentials. U.R.
I have 8 years left until my 30 years is up! However, my teacher-husband retires in 3 (you see - I had the babies and stayed home a few years). The ONLY reason I will retire and possibly retire early is due to the buracracy in our district - and in our state. I live in Washington, and the train just keeps rollin' down the track toward a certificate of mastery for a graduation requirement instead of a diploma. It's very politically driven and is not only based on a statistically unreliable and invalid state-wide mandated test, there is no plan in any school district that supports the remediation necessary to "graduate" kids. It's also an unfunded mandate from the state - and they are offering no solutions. It's nuts. I quit going to the district meetings to resolve the conflict between state mandate and implementation several years ago. Hopefully our state Supt of Public Instruction will see the writing on the wall and GO AWAY. If all that really DOES come down the pike in 2008, I'm outta here...just sick of the BS. Let teachers teach, kids learn, and hold us accountable. Our school and district isn't broken, and doesn't need fixin! Tchr4Truth
I might retire after 30 but only if I have something else to do. I am not one to stay home and keep busy. I need routine for my mental health. I'll teach at least five more years and then I'll see how much I am enjoying it and how I am handling the stress. I think when I do retire it will be partially my financial situation. I am trying to get my mortgage paid off early so I have the option to retire in five more years. The next consideration will be my view of teaching at that point. Will I still enjoy it? WIll I still be effective? Will I be mostly positive or negative about the job. After retirement I will have to do something (for my mental health). I will want to work with children in some capacity. Debbie
I'll retire with twenty-five years in. Just can't take the mess with administration any more. Love teaching the kids. Despise fooling with folks that don't have a clue! Linda
2 more years. My husband is older than I am and he retired 4 yrs. ago. I would like to retire so we can travel, and pursue other adventures! Many days I would like to retire tomorrow because of the politics in the school, the added expectations put on us teachers, the attitudes of some of the teachers, the way the school runs under the non-guidance of the new principal.

BUT, I love to teach, I love the atmosphere in my room, and the kids are super! They keep me up and going! I will be 55 when I retire, my insurance will be paid for by the district until I am 65. I will have a nice pension and hope my health stays good. Work after retirement? I will see how it goes after I sleep in for a week!

Seriously, I cannot see myself doing nothing. I have thought about this many times and I have some plans in the back of my head. They are developing and we shall see what comes of them in 2 years! Sunrise

I've actually been teaching 29 years....but only have 25 in my retirement system. I will only be 57 if I retire at 30 years.I would retire tomorrow if I had to stay under my current administrator...but she has SAID she will retire after next I'm hanging in there until after she is gone. Hopefully health won't be the reason...or financial ( I didn't marry another teacher!). But stress definitely is a factor. As I get older it gets tougher to bounce back after the next set of stupid legislation and mandates (unfunded of course) comes down from on high.Perhaps it's age..but I long for the days when I went in my classroom, shut the door and actually taught without worrying about checking a list to see if I've covered all the benchmarks. I long for the days when I didn't hear the words "YOU'LL NEED TO KNOW THIS FOR THE TEST" coming out of my mouth in every other sentence.

siighhh... BUT....if things changed a little...the stress of paperwork and administrative duties lessened...I would probably stay in it longer. I still love the the kids....ummm...can usually put up with the parents...LOL. But...bottom line...I'm probably out in five years because I don't see the current trend toward testing the stew out of kids changing.

I would hope my health will be such that I can pursue other employment or educational avenues. I love to learn and hope to keep my mind and body active after retirement. Tallytchr

I expect to teach a total of 35 years which means 30 more, longer if I still enjoy it and have the good health to do it. Hopefully I will retire because I have the time in, and not for other reasons. I told my husband a long time ago that we need to have some savings and investments because when I retire, I'm *done* working! I want to spend the rest of my life sleeping in, reading, and crocheting. If I were to do anything, I would try to start my own business. This area desperately needs a yarn store. ;-) lee/sped
I'll teach at least 2 more years. Retired teacher hubby fixes meals/cleans(sorta)/shops so I can collapse at the end of the day. I'll retire when I don't like it anymore. (Unless a health issue presents.) I'll never get to the 30 yrs because I stayed home with babies, and then tried to return during a huge furloughing time. Subbed for 14 years!!

Taught 3; subbed 14, some full time; 17th contract yr in K now equals 34 yrs in education! whew...think I need a nap! After retirement? I may seek further employment...or volunteer....or play! Mare

I wanted to teach for the rest of my life and I am in my 40's. The state where I am in will not recognize my BA even though I have over 15 years experience in private school. I went down their road for the past 4 months...getting recertified through their program. But during that four months, I was 'in the classroom,' being paid as a 'teacher' but was doing "NOTHING"!! A teacher in my same grade level "took" my kids and did everything. I reported this to my principal and to my supervisor of the state's program but nothing was done. They messed up my pay 5 times in 10 months... so I said.. 'That's it!' And now I am going to be a Director of a Nursery School Program (I got the job in less than 4 days). I guess I won't be teaching, but at least I will be working for the money I get. I just think it is so sad...there are those of us that are good at what we do, and want to teach... and we are often pushed or fall by the wayside. tsk tsk. Teacher Without a Class