I've been pondering on my future a tad lately.
I'm not the sort to have a five year plan. But time is passing.
I'm in my late 50's which means, as a teacher it's getting closer to the time that I need to think about an exit strategy from the classroom.
I don't want to hang on beyond my use by date and I do want to leave while I'm still loving it (which I mos' definitely still am).
The Cool Cat Teacher blog (by Vicki Davis) had a post recently headed 'When is it time to quit teaching?'
Pretty good question.
When IS it time for me to quit? Time to retire? Time to have a change of scenery? All of these things are examined in Vicki Davis' post.
I especially liked what she had to say about burn out:
Burnout or breakdown happens to many teachers who have a long and storied history of greatness. Sometimes principals and administrators have to play the role of the doctor in this example. If you can offer a sabbatical, consider it. A great teacher is hard to find. If you can help a teacher re-find their own greatness, you’re doing the person and your school a big favor. Sometimes great teachers don’t need to get out, they just need a break so they can rejoin the ranks.
I'm in my thirty-third year of teaching and although I'm not at burnout or breakdown stage, a sabbatical would have been great for me to get my juices flowing from different challenges but this is not available to me in my current school.
But still, a gap year is not just something for the younguns to consider.
I had a break from classroom teaching when I went to consultancy positions in the Middle East and it was a great experience.
Not only that but it rekindled my desire to get back in a classroom and a desire to be part of a staff room again.
What will happen in the near future? Like all of us, I have no idea. I do feel that I have at least one more big challenge in me though before I hand in my white board markers.
I'm keen to see where that might come from.