#SOL23 March 31 Retirement Countdown

“Do you have a countdown?” This is a question I’ve been getting a lot lately. I’ve been counting down the days to my retirement in a variety of ways since the beginning of the school year. I have used things like months and curriculum milestones but lately my countdown has changed as the reality of retiring at the end of the school year sets in. Here are some of my current countdowns:

1. 44 1/2 more teaching days – This one is a constant countdown now since the number of the school day is announced every morning.

2. Two months and 7 days.

3. One more math unit.

4. Two more Number Corner months.

5. One more social studies unit.

6. One more haircut.

7. Two more field trips.

8. Nine more Sunday nights.


10. Six more Formula 1 races and then we get to celebrate my retirement at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal!

My Three Positives in Memory of Tim

1. A weekend visit with my son and daughter-in-law.

2. I wrote every day during the month of March.

3. Two Writing Teachers has created a wonderfully supportive writing community.

Tim 1972-2022
Part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge by
Two Writing Teachers

#SOL23 March 30 Sub Plans

Sub Plans, Sub Plans, Sub Plans

My job must be really important because it’s so much work to let someone else do it.

Sub Plans, Sub Plans, Sub Plans

I really need to get my tooth fixed but I wonder if it’s worth the work.

Sub Plans, Sub Plans, Sub Plans

Soon I won’t be the one writing them but I might be the one reading them and carrying them out.

Sub Plans, Sub Plans, Sub Plans

I hope my friends leave good ones😉

My Three Positives in Memory of Tim

1. Recess was outside both times today.

2. We got through another school day safely.

3. The sub plans for Monday are almost done!

Tim 1972-2022
Part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge by
Two Writing Teachers

#SOL23 March 29 Recess was Inside Today

Recess was inside today

and I’m angry.

“Is it because of the mud?”

they asked.

“Is it because a tree fell down?”

they inquired.

“It’s beautiful out!”

they exclaimed.

Recess was inside today

and I’m angry.

There was no mud.

No tree fell.

The sun was shining.

Threats of active shooters were called in at nearby schools.

They were a hoax called swatting.

Recess was inside today

and the children didn’t understand.

News article of our local swatting hoax.

My Three Positives in Memory of Tim

1. The threat wasn’t real.

2. I returned home from school today and every day before today.

3. We were able to go outside this afternoon.

Tim 1972-2022
Part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge by
Two Writing Teachers

#SOL23 March 28 If we were having coffee . . .

If we were having coffee we’d be sitting on my porch swing. A favorite spot when you would visit. We’d have some homemade sticky buns with our coffee for your special day. I sent some to Tara and the kids hoping having one of your favorite treats would make the day a little easier.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you we celebrated your life in early December. You wouldn’t believe the crowd that gathered. The tribute ride by your biker friends on a cold December day was touching. The kids and Tara put together a wonderful display of your life. Your oldest used his skills to make a video collection of favorite memories set to the the song Forever Young by Rod Stewart. Your youngest shared words well beyond what anyone would expect a 16 year old to be able to share after losing his dad and your girl was right there by her mom’s side greeting everyone who came. The next day we gathered at the cidery to toast you.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you you fought an unbelievably hard fight against leukemia. I know you spent way more days in the hospital than anyone should have to. I know you did all you could to fight this insidious disease and I wish this hadn’t happened to our family.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you how much we have missed you in the four months since you left. There’s been Christmas, New Year’s, birthdays, anniversaries and just regular old days when you’ve been missed. It’s been hard for everyone. Family and friends have been there for Tara and the kids. We do what we can to try to ease the pain but sometimes I know we just can’t. My experiences with grief tell me it will get easier with time and how much time that takes will be different for everyone.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that Tara has been doing some of those things to the house the two of you planned. The windows have been replaced along with the flooring and the bathroom vanity. I haven’t seen it yet but the photos look great. She had to replace the dishwasher too though that one wasn’t planned. You would be so proud of her and I’m sure it wouldn’t surprise you that she has jumped right in doing what needs to be done. She loves her new job by the way and they have been really great to her.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I miss your laugh and your dancing at family events. I would thank you for the way you supported Tara when she suddenly found herself alone and on her own when our mom died. You told me you would take care of her and you kept that promise. I would reassure you that we will all do whatever we can to support her and the kids now. I hope that brings you peace.

If we were having coffee I’d wish you a Happy Birthday dear Tim. We love and miss you.

My Three Positives in Memory of Tim

1. I was able to write this slice which has been weighing heavy on my heart all month.

2. The sticky buns arrived in time.

3. Tim brought joy and laughter to our family.

Tim 1972-2022
Part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge by
Two Writing Teachers

#SOL23 March 27 Day Off

Photo by Iina Luoto on Pexels.com

Woke up on my own.

Coffee by the fire to take the chill off the 32 degree start to the day.

Morning workout and stretch.

Late morning slicing.

Lunch date.

Leftovers for dinner.

Time with friends this evening.

Day off.

I think I could get used to this.

My Three Positives in Memory of Tim

1. A relaxing day

2. A lunch date with my husband.

3. Slicing in the middle of the day rather than at the end.

Tim 1972-2022
Part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge by
Two Writing Teachers

#SOL23 March 26 Teacher Self Care

I have to admit I am tired of the memes and articles claiming teacher self care will solve the teacher shortage. Self care will not solve this problem as there are so many things causing talented teachers to leave the profession or not even enter it in the first place right now. Recently, two fellow slicers pointed out some things I had written about were self care, so I started to reflect on what I do to take care of myself.

Here’s my list:

I get up early to have time to relax, drink my coffee and mentally prepare for the day.

I very rarely take any work home in the evening or on the weekends. (Report cards are an exception.)

Cooking with my husband each night.

Dinner out on Friday nights.

Weekly gathering with church friends.

Photo by Surene Palvie on Pexels.com

Workout at least three days a week.

Stretching or yoga though I have to admit not as regularly as I should.

Spending time at home – A much needed time of recharging for an introverted teacher.

Knitting – It fulfills my need to create.

So what are your self care practices?

My Three Positives in Memory of Tim

1. I have a three day weekend!

2. Blue skies and sunshine today!

3. I’m going to start a new knitting project today though I don’t know what it is yet.

Tim 1972-2022
Part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge by
Two Writing Teachers

#SOL23 March 25 Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

I don’t know if this is an actual writing format but the Right Now I’m . . .format made me think of this.

Yesterday I celebrated my 59th birthday. It’s a day I’ve been thinking about since I was 30 years old. The year I turned 30 my mother turned 59. It was the last birthday she would celebrate. Next month my oldest will turn 30. The closer this birthday got the more I was reminded of how much time my own mother had left at my age. I had a wonderful day yesterday with texts and phone calls from family and friends near and far, social media birthday greetings, handmade cards from students and gifts and treats from colleagues. A video call with my sons and their wives topped off the day after we returned from dinner at a favorite restaurant.

Today has been a lazy but productive day if that’s possible. A recent security breech of our password manager program prompted the need for a new password manager so part of the day was spent getting that set up. I loath these kinds of activities but it was a necessary task. We also spent some time finalizing some plans for a summer trip with friends. Many decisions needed to made and there may still be more to come but we are content with the current plan. We still need to finalize plans for another summer trip but that’s been put on hold while I slice. Thankfully it’s a gray rainy day and staying in the house was the perfect plan for the day. I heard something about taxes too but I steer clear of that kind of activity. I’ll be putting on my new noise canceling headphones and picking up my knitting needles when that activity commences.

Tomorrow won’t be the end of the weekend for me as I took a personal day rather than attend the all day training on the new reading resource we will be using next year. It seemed like a waste of my time to attend the training as I’m retiring at the end of the year. I will need to grocery shop tomorrow since I opted to not leave the house today. I’ll have my weekly check in with friends at church and probably lunch at Panera before we tackle the grocery shopping. I look forward to not having that familiar feeling of dread that shows up around 8:00 p.m. on Sundays.

I just head, “Okay I need to go do the taxes now.” That’s my cue to put on the headphones and pick up the knitting needles!

An updated photo of my knitting project from my Frogging slice.

My Three Positives in Memory of Tim

1. A quiet day at home.

2. Our summer plans are coming together.

3. I was able to sleep in this morning.

Tim 1972-2022
Part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge by
Two Writing Teachers

#SOL23 March 24 A Six Word Birthday

Texts, cards,

Flowers, treats

Feeling loved.

My Three Positives in Memory of Tim

1. Everyone made me feel special today.

2. A wonderful author/illustrator visit at school with Eric Velasquez.

3. You can’t beat a Happy Birthday with Cha, Cha Chickens sung by 2nd graders.

Tim 1972-2022
Part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge by
Two Writing Teachers

#SOL23 March 23 Thursday Acrostic

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Threatening intruder

Hearing acute

Unexpected storm

Night interrupted

Dog barking

Everyone awake

Restless sleep

My Three Positives in Memory of Tim

1. Milo didn’t bark when I let him outside this morning.

2. It’s not currently raining.

3. I’m an early morning slicer today!

Tim 1972-2022
Part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge by
Two Writing Teachers

#SOL23 March 21 Gifts from the Past

For the past two days I have been teaching my second graders about schools in the late 1800’s. We have been learning about one-room schoolhouses in preparation for a field trip to a local one-room schoolhouse later in the year. My students were surprised about a number of things we have learned about schools during this time in history.

To say they were shocked about the discipline practices and seeing a student sitting in the corner wearing a Dunce Cap, would be an understatement. They declared,”That’s not fair!” when they learned a teacher in the 1800’s couldn’t be married. “You couldn’t be our teacher, could you?”

“No,” I replied, “I couldn’t.”

We continued exploring schools in the 1800’s today and read about school supplies. We learned about slates, inkwells and Mcguffey Readers. While I don’t own a Mcguffey Reader, I do have some other school supplies from the late 1800’s that came from my husband’s family farm. I shared some readers, an arithmetic book, an English book and two penmanship books. The penmanship books are my favorite part of this collection because they belong to actual family members whose names are on the front. They also include the teachers’ names along with the dates of 1895 and 1897. The penmanship books are falling apart but the handwriting of these family members preserved in the yellowed pages are family treasures.

My students oohed and ahed has I shared these precious items that I received from my husband’s grandmother. As I was returning the materials to my desk before recess, one of my students came over to me and asked, “Do you have more books?” This one simple question communicated so much from this student. He has only been in this country since August and, while he has learned a great deal of English in a short period of time, he very rarely speaks in a complete sentences. I knew our time exploring these gifts from the past was more than just a fun activity today.

My Three Positives in Memory of Tim

1. I didn’t need to wear my coat to go to my car this afternoon.

2. I received a nice note today.

3. I got a workout in this afternoon.

Tim 1972-2022
Part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge by
Two Writing Teachers