A 60-year-old teacher’s retirement speech

Aug 22, 2022

Good day,

As many people may be aware, most of us over sixty’s are retiring from paid employment. Not all of us, but a lot. Whatever suits. We are galloping into the promised sunset years. We are now throwing our energies into anyone’s guess for senior past times. You might say this old dear is now a lady of leisure, thoroughly enjoying my retirement routine in a slightly flexible way. 

Personally, apart from other jobs I took along the way, I spent 45 years, working in the education sector. It is hard to put it all behind me, but our working lives have shaped each of us.

I spent several years as a classroom teacher. I could always be relied on to print off an abundance of worksheets on the roneo machine. We were only po’ folk, could not even afford a photocopier. 

My girlfriends and I can still have a laugh about our good old days. As the chick force in primary education, our resources were based on found materials, relying heavily on blu-tac and drawing pins. We formed ongoing friendships along the way. We still enjoy our true friends, treasuring our coffee and chats. 

Along the way, I switched to private tutoring. Some things do start at sixty. I achieved excellent results in attaining my third degree, in teaching English as a foreign language. This led me to coach secondary and tertiary students and assist them to pass their own degrees. ‘P’s get you degrees!’ That is one of my life coaching sayings.

More than a few of my ex-students stay in touch via social media and emails. I have become their kind old aunty, who listens as an unofficial mentor. 

Like most educators, I can honestly say I have learnt from every student I have ever taught. It was a mutual sharing, with realistic goals set and achieved. That was a good intention. Who knows where this retiree’s direction will lead for my golden years? At the moment, I am spending golden hours being a happy camper.

I participate in my community groups, but enjoy my own company, appreciating some solitude now to devote to writing in different genres. I volunteer for a local charity, crafting woollens for the homeless in my state. 

Keeping life on Earth in perspective, we retirees can make the most of each day. We can either be very active or kick back and enjoy relaxing sunny days and fresh air.  Sunshine is free in our great Southern land until that is taxed too! Too true, optimism abounds. Mainly, for us golden oldies, health is wealth. Our main objective is not to annoy our health professionals on any given day in particular. 

Some years ago, I read a very funny book, a title long forgotten. In that book, seniors our age are labelled secretly as “GOMERS”. Please translate? “Get Out of My Emergency Room!” (You old creeps). I dare say, in these germy days, a triage emergency nurse would never look back. Doing a great job. 

It is really best for you and me to walk on the mild side of life. If we do hit the bottle, we would then be “GOMERODS”. This translates to “Get Out of My Emergency Room, Old Drunks!” We can never take for granted anyone’s health, so we must practise our safety protocols. 

Upon reflection, becoming a teacher, and coaching my students to flourish in literacy and Maths, seemed like a good idea at the time. I have needed a good sense of humour and a hide like an elephant. For example, one year, I discovered that my grade secretly called me “Dracula”.

One of my boys gave me some fangs, the source undetermined. I produced my old academic gown, and hammed it up, parading around my classroom, pretending to be Dracula. All politically incorrect now, like the olden days of bribing my students with chocolate, or games of cricket on sunny afternoons. 

Now, we can all consider that we were perfect teachers. Hilarious. Only humans, with emotions. Strange things, feelings. We had to put aside any concerns, and focus on the class in front of us. I hope you all enjoyed your work as much as I did. I wish us all good fortune in our retirement years. Let’s raise a cup of blessings for us all! 

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