Today is my last day working for the overly-large school district.
Which anyone with even the slightest interest could have easily discovered is Fairfax County Public Schools, located in the Northern Virginia suburbs of the Washington DC area.
When you tell people you are retiring (and that is the last time I will apply the “R” word to myself), the first response is “Congratulations!”, very often followed by an expression of happiness, sometimes mixed with a hint of envy, as in “please take me with you!”.
That sentiment is usually followed immediately with the question “what are you going to do next?”.
To which my answer is, “I have no idea”.
I really don’t.
I am very fortunate that I will be able to live comfortably on the welfare checks from the state of Virginia1 and my own resources, the end result of a strong saving ethic instilled in me by my mother.
All of which means I have the option to explore many paths that don’t necessarily involve earning a steady income. At the very least, I certainly intend to continue writing in this space, although the topics will likely expand beyond rants about edtech and ed reform issues, to include more of my photography efforts (inspired by Tom, Tony, Kathy, and Karen) and expanded travel experiences.
Another question over the past couple of months involves whether I am sad to be leaving.
Truth be told, a few years back a little voice in the back of my head began whispering suggestions that it was time for a big change. With those whispers now grown to a full-throated demand, I would likely be moving on about now even without this opportunity.
So, I will miss the regular interactions with my colleagues, both in the schools and our little central office group (many of whom are also scattering to new adventures as well), but very little about the “job”.
Ok, enough early morning rambling. I have a few things left to clean up in this current chapter and then it’s off to figure out what comes in the next one. Stay tuned.
1. Don’t look at me that way! Tell me that you don’t have politicians in your area who believe that teacher and public employee pension plans are equivalent to welfare. Ok, maybe not if you live outside the US.