Halloween Goodies! Chalkspot Teacher Store

Ugly Pumpkin, Chalkspot.com

One of my favorite classroom activities was Spyderley’s Oogly Pumpkin Patch! It was a great way to introduce my 2nd-grade students to persuasive writing and a fun activity for Halloween. Chalkspot Teacher Store also has Halloween Bookmarks and Fall/Holiday Writing paper. Stop by my store today! 

Chalkspot Teacher Store: September is Here!

Power Point sign with warm yellow back ground, clip art children saying "Welcome Back to School!"

Here are a few items to help you start your school year off right! All teachers want to make a very good impression with students and parents in September. (I know some of my colleagues have been working since August.) We have PowerPoint Presentations and desk tags to suit your needs. 

Back To School: Close to that Time!

Author TLanette Pollard as a Power Puff Girl

One more day…That’s all I have before school starts. One More Day! That’s right, tomorrow is “Back to School” for me. It will be my 26th “First Day of School.” I’m not ready! But, here it is, another new school year. Another new set of smiling students and parents. Another reminder of why I chose this career. As usual, the day will go well.  So, what’s the difference? Well… I’m realizing that I’m experiencing the last few “First Days of School” in my career. I’m not sad, just putting it all into perspective. I’ve been planning for this moment for a while. That’s why I’ve been training in computer coding. When I retire early from teaching in the next few years, it won’t be an ending. It will be the start of another career adventure. So, to all my teacher colleagues I wish you a Happy Back to School! Keep learning. 

BitMoji Black Woman with Dreadlocks waving while standing behind a blackboard that says Back to School.

Teacher Out: Last Day of My 25th Year!

Today was the last day of school for the kids! Which means…IT WAS THE LAST TEACHING DAY FOR ME! I have one more contracted day (Monday) to attend. But…today it was “TEACHER OUT!” This was the last student day of my 25th year in my district. (Wow!! Twenty-five years in the same school district!) This moment came quickly through a lot of hard work, constant stress, and subtle/overt prejudice (from a principal, some colleagues, and some parents). But I made it, and now I get to determine when I will leave to enjoy my pension and retirement career.

Bitmoji showing Black woman leaving work really fast and supplies in the air. Teacher out!

Teacher Prepping

I entered teaching as a second career when I was 25 years old. I knew then my teaching career would last 25 to 30 years. Now that my 25th year is here, it’s time to plan my retirement life. It sounds odd to talk about retirement when I’m just turning 50. However, teaching and working in the United States has changed since my grandfather and mom retired. 

The average teacher today faces more requirements packed into the same 6 hour school day. We have more special-needs students who require specialized knowledge. Then there is our current government and Republican governors who have an issue with teachers and education. That means for anyone who has 20+ years, you should start prepping for the retirement phase of your life. 

Teacher Retirement Research

I attended a Retirement Fair in our district last year. It was the best decision. I wasn’t ready to retire at that moment. However, the information our Business Administrator provided helped me to plan my exit. Now I know that based on how long my third career training takes, I can retire within 1 to 3-ish years. I will be able to supplement my pension (the money I’ve paid since my first day of teaching) with earnings from my new career. When you know that information, going to work each day can be a little less stressful.

So, if you’re a teacher in your 20th year, don’t wait until the year you decide to retire. You’ve spent your whole career researching best practices in teaching and evaluating your students. You should be researching the best practice for your retirement lifestyle. I’m retraining to work (hopefully) in Front-End Web Development. (Translation: I want to design Web Pages.) I’ve been working through tutorials on FreeCodeCamp.com. Don’t wait! Explore your retirement options before your last year. Make your “teacher-career” lead into another exciting adventure.