Retirement, part two

I am officially a retired special education technology teacher. It feels incredibly strange, and I already miss everyone in my school, but retiring early was the correct decision for me to make. I was put back into the classroom after twenty-four years as a technology teacher, after the computer lab was closed because of social distancing and deep cleaning rules. It was a real struggle being back in the classroom after running the computer lab for so many years. So much has changed since I was a classroom teacher twenty-five years ago. I loved my students, but I never felt completely comfortable in my new role. I have no idea what the next phase of my career will be, but I am ready to explore new options.

I have been offered the opportunity to return to my school once or twice a week as a substitute teacher. I told my principal that I will start once a week and see how things go. I really disliked being a substitute when I was in my twenties, but after teaching full time for thirty-one and a half years, I may find that substituting is easier that it used to be.

Another possibility is part time work that uses more of my instructional technology skills. I have a master’s degree from New York Institute of Technology (my second master’s degree) and a doctorate from Blue Marble University in instructional technology. I may find a part time job that allows me to utilize these skills and knowledge.

Whatever the future brings, I am ready to greet it. I loved being a full time teacher, especially when I was a special education technology teacher, and now I am ready to pursue a part time opportunity. When one door closes, another opens. I wonder what I will find as I step through these new doors.

By Jeanne Stork

I am a special education teacher who supervised a technology lab for twenty five years. The lab had specialized software, adapted mice, additional adapted hardware, and picture symbol communication aids for students whose significant disabilities made it difficult for them to use the general computer lab. I taught students who could not climb the stairs to my lab in their classrooms. I also assisted teachers and other personnel in my school with their technology needs as time permitted. Before moving to the technology lab, I was a classroom teacher with a classroom computer that students and staff could use. Now, I am a semi-retired substitute teacher.

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