Monthly Archives: July 2015

On Reaching 65

When I commenced full time permanent work (after 10 years of part-time or non-permanent work!) in 1974 I had to sign various documents. There was one I remember clearly.  It referred to the date of my retirement in mid 2015 – July 28th to be exact.  At the time I thought the date a ridiculously long way away. More immediately I was looking forward to teaching Orwell’s ‘1984’ in 1984. Even those 10 years seemed like a lifetime. Incidentally I never got that chance because I was in church ministry by that time.

cervantesBut today that date has arrived.  My wife sang a sleepy happy birthday to me as I headed to school, the staff at school sang their rendition and a year 11 student left a delicious cake on my desk …  and not only hasn’t that retirement arrived but I am glad it hasn’t. I haven’t been a victim of the raised retirement age, but rather, since the removal of the compulsory retirement age many years ago I am now free to continue working.

One of the benefits of being a teacher is that students keep you young and connected. Their enthusiasm for life, their idealism and their sense of justice is a great antidote to cynicism and tiredness. Even today my Literature class and I had an ’ah ha’ moment which sent a shiver up my spine.  I cast my memory back to the ‘old’ teachers of my childhood.  Some were great and, I now realise, some were desperate to get out of a profession that they felt trapped in. I thank God that I am one of the former.

I must confess that I am looking forward to Long Service leave later this year.  But I am also looking forward to more teaching – Lord Willing.

P.S. In what other profession can you dress up like Cervantes and not feel like a total chump!

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