I am not a secretive person, but I have been harboring a secret throughout our Great Adventure. This is my true confession.
Early in my teaching career, I fell in love with presenting workshops for teachers. The first one was in the spring of 1993, when my colleague and dear friend Lorna and I presented our teaching unit, “Perspectives of Vietnam” before a large audience at the annual conference of the New England League of Middle Schools. Ever since then, I have volunteered to do countless workshops for teachers. I find it incredibly energizing and rewarding to share what I know with other teachers. This passion was advanced when I joined my school district’s Professional Development Committee, a group charged with planning educational opportunities for teachers in the district; we are also responsible for making sure that state certification laws were being followed and ensuring that all of our recertifying professionals are meeting the necessary criteria.
The setting of this story now switches to my last year of teaching before retirement. I saw a great opportunity to continue my work in professional development, and so I set myself up as an “educational consultant” specializing in professional development for schools and school districts. I also asked to fill the empty seat of “community member” on the SAU Professional Development Committee.
Yes, I want to write during my retirement. Yes, I want to play, and make art, and travel with my husband and dogs. And I am going to do all those things. I’m also going to – occasionally – continue to work with teachers. I can do this work on a very part time basis, and it may even open up some opportunities for more travel as time goes forward.
So here’s the part you’ve been waiting for: as I write this, I have returned to New Hampshire, for two days, and I’m sitting in my own kitchen looking out the window at my own garden. I have been contracted by my former school district to present a series of workshops for all new teachers, their mentors, and administrators of all five schools. The first one is scheduled for this week; I will administer the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Inventory) and teach about personality types to new staff. In October and November I will lead follow-up sessions to reinforce and extend the knowledge of type theory gained this week. After that, I will be leading workshop sessions on Multiple Intelligences.
I haven’t told more than about two or three people about going home to do this work, and at first I was having fun thinking about how shocked my friends would be to see me around town, but as I prepared to leave I decided it doesn’t have to be a secret. So now it’s public knowledge. I’m excited about this opportunity to keep my toes in the water, so to speak – but I don’t want a regular job, even part time. This will give me the best of both worlds, and who knows what can happen? It’s all good.
So this was the reason for us to “park and regroup” in Salt Lake City for a week or so – my husband and dogs are hanging out there to wait for my return in a couple of days. He lived in the Salt Lake area back in the 1960s and he may try to find some old friends and do some guy stuff, like visit the classic car museum. When I return we’ll probably stay around for a day or so — doing whatever we decide to do whenever we want to do it — and we’ll resume our Great Adventure!
Life is good.