IS YOUR SITUATION TEMPORARY?
Is the problem you have identified temporary? For example, in my previous school situation, if I knew certain administrators were leaving at the end of the school year, I would not have left the school. The students and teachers were not the problem–I loved them and miss them still! Since I had never had these kinds of problems with administrators before, odds were good that a new group of administrators would have been all it took for me to be happy at work again.
If your work situation is temporary, you should bide your time if you are happy otherwise. Covid-19 has been horrible for so many teachers and librarians, but it won’t last forever. Even if Covid doesn’t go away entirely, our schools will adapt to the environment. We will figure out a way to be in-person again. I know it doesn’t feel that way, but that’s what humans do: we adapt.
ABOUT TO RETIRE?
Like many of you, I am in multiple Facebook groups for librarians and teachers. Sometimes, I see librarians and teachers who have been at it for decades and are now just looking forward to retirement in a year or two. They aren’t happy at their school, but they are trying to stick it out for just a little while longer.
If this is your situation, I understand why you might be reluctant to leave your school or your district. Your retirement income depends on you staying put. If you are in this situation, here are a couple of suggestions if you are less-than-enthusiastic about heading to work each day.
You have a LOT of experience. You’ve seen it all, and then some. I guarantee there is a teacher in your school who would love a mentor. Watch the teachers closely, and you will find this person. Start talking to them and if they seem open to advice (not everyone is), then go for it!
What do you plan to do after retirement? If you’ve been teaching all these years, just sitting and doing nothing probably sounds great…for a little while. But then what? How can you incorporate your retirement plans into your school day? For example, if you are planning to volunteer in retirement, maybe you could start that now and add some students into the mix? Or, if you plan to travel in your retirement, let your bilingual students help you start learning a new language.
If things are really tough, and you are struggling to make it through each day…just do what you want. If you are close to retirement, you’ve probably been at your school or with your district for many years. You are unlikely to be “non-renewed” at this point. So what can you do with that knowledge? Anything! Have fun at work. Enjoy your students and your teachers. Skip the stupid paperwork. Skip the endless faculty meetings. Go for a short walk every day. Odds are, no one will even notice. And even if they do, who cares? They cannot do anything but fire you, which is incredibly unlikely if you’ve been around awhile.