Ten Days and Counting

…..retirement is close at hand

I don’t normally count down the days to the end of the school year but this year is different. I’m finally retiring from teaching after 35 years of service.

I know some teachers who when they know they are retiring start the  count down from the first day of school in September. This is not my style but as my last day approaches I’m starting to feel that my life is about to change. I’ve written three speeches for three different retirement parties that all took place in the space of one week. The first one was for my principal and good friend, M, the second one for my longtime friend, L and the third was for me.

All three parties were very different. The first one was a sit-down dinner in an Italian restaurant, the second in the nursing home where L’s dad lived and mine was also in an Italian restaurant but less formal with finger foods being served.  All were special in their own way and I loved them all.

M’s party was held at her favourite restaurant. The meal was excellent and the speeches were warm and personal. M’s family was there and both her youngest sister and her niece spoke. They were funny and touching at the same time. L and I gave our speech in the form of a report card, which the staff thoroughly enjoyed because it was a bit of a roast but in the end the message was more serious. When M spoke she talked about how and why she came to be a principal.

L really wanted her father to be able to attend her retirement party and for that reason she booked the ‘party’ room at the nursing home. There was a piano player who played the entire evening in very comfortable surroundings. There were couches and overstuffed chairs situated around the room where people could sit and talk and listen to the speeches. Friends manned the wine table and servers walked about the room with canapés. The highlight of the evening took place when L and her father sang together and at the end of the evening L sang a solo. Three former principals came to the party plus family, friends and colleagues from school. It was a very musical evening and the accolades about her teaching career, especially those about her choirs, were very fitting for a much loved music teacher.

My party was the last one, held on Wednesday of this week. It took place in a restaurant literally up the street from where I live. My husband and I had eaten there on a couple of occasions and thoroughly enjoyed the food. My family, including little Winnie, friends from years past who were now at other schools, retired friends, neighbourhood friends, life long friends and colleagues from school attended. I was especially honoured when my very first principal from 1976-79 arrived with his wife. I wanted the party to be casual and fun. The finger food was amazing, the aperol spritzes refreshing and the cake and desserts delicious. My friend P, was the MC for the evening and he kept everyone laughing. Three of my friends used the Wizard of Oz as their theme for the speech they gave about my time with them at the school where we all met and worked at for eight to ten years. There were so many wonderful speeches that it would take too long to talk about each and everyone of them. I had the best time and will never forget the thought and care people put into planning my special day.


10 thoughts on “Ten Days and Counting

  1. Must have been such a great pleasure for you meeting all your friends in this important event…
    One’s whole life comes afloat while talking to “old” colleagues , and I can imagine your emotion!
    Congrats , Mama and many wishes for your “new life” !


  2. Amazing, 35 years of service 👏👏! Wish you great last days ! And then more time for photography !! I’m reaching 30 years of working for my company in October, but there are at least ten more years to go….can we switch 😉?? Marcus


  3. Sounds a great occasion to mark the end of one phase and the beginning of another. Retirement opened new doors and lets you take on new challenges, widening horizons and skills with noo restrictions of term times or nine to five working. So enjoy to the full.


  4. Each one of these last days will be special and will fly by in a blur. Thankfully it looks like you are getting lots of photos. May I suggest you also ensure you take many photos in the school – particularly those areas that are meaningful and special to you. It might sound silly, but even your desk / working area. It’s not going to matter now, but eventually it will.


  5. Just today I have decided to catch up with your blog and just today it’s ten days from this post, so your retirement must be starting right about now! Yeah! It’s good to see so many happy events and people. I wish you all the best, as do many children whose excellent teacher you have been in all these years.


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