I hope you’ll forgive me for banging on, yet again, about my impending retirement. It’s just that at the moment it is the most significant happening in my life! There are still two weeks to go (eight working days), but on Friday I definitely passed the point of no return.
My retirement celebration evening was a wonderful occasion. Although I wasn’t looking forward to it, but my colleagues (past and present), governors, past students and parents all came along to make the evening a very special occasion.It was also the day that pupils and parents were informed of my retirement, via l’hebdo, our weekly newsletter. Tomorrow should be interesting.
I’d been very worried about my acceptance speech but I managed to keep them entertained! As usually happens on such occasions my Headteacher was very generous in her praise of my teaching abilities, then the deputy heads lightened the proceedings by performing a science sketch.
Nat and Richard
I wanted to use my speech to highlight, in a light-hearted way, some of the failings of the current system, which are a function of political dogma rather than for the benefit of our pupils. This is generally true regardless of the party in power. However, the primary focus was for me say thank you and to reminisce over thirty five years of teaching. Someone had mentioned that my replacement, Emily, reminded them of me. I can’t see it myself as she is young, tall, slim and blonde!! Well, I suppose I am fairly tall.
I calculated that over the past thirty years my travel distance to school has been over 140,000 miles and I’d spent nearly five months in the car driving to work!
The gifts were wonderful. A new camera and a magnificent fragrant rose called Charles Darwin, which was apt, as he one of the scientists I’d quoted (or possibly even misquoted) in my speech.
Today we had lunch with my good friends Corrie, Barbara and Sue. Corrie is married to Gordon, the Headteacher who appointed me. It was a very special meal, not only for the delicious food, but also for us as a group. There were echoes of a very French lunch; we started at 1.30 and finished at 7.40!!
Apart from Dave, Sue’s husband, we are all retirees! We have a tradition of buying a joint present for each other as we retire. Sue and Barbara were given stone benches, Corrie a bird bath and I was given a lovely squirrel proof bird feeder and some Zanzibar lanterns.
We used my new camera to capture the afternoon.
Although we are very much looking forward to spending more time in France, I shall miss regular contact with these dear friends who have been such an important part of my life for so long.
Charles Darwin said that it’s not the fittest nor the most intelligent of the species which survive, but rather the ones most adaptable to change. I’m sure adaptability diminishes with age, so this is the right time for me to hang up my lab coat and goggles.
However, I’m hoping that it won’t be hard for me to adapt to retirement. What do you think?
I wonder what Charles would have to say about this…