In October 2000, I decided to leave my rewarding and successful forty-two year teaching career at the end of the school year. Like most, I looked forward to traveling, seeing more of my grandkids, and sleeping in late. However, those opportunities were not paramount in my decision-making process. My primary reason for wanting to leave the classroom at age 62 was a desire to go out while I was still on top of my game. I wanted to be remembered as effective, energetic, inspiring, and fun. I did not want to end my career as a crotchety old biddy that fell asleep at her desk during sharing time and waddled to her car at 4:00 in order to “rest up” for another day. It had been a glorious ride, but it was time to dismount and move on.
After making my decision and presenting a tear-stained letter of intent to the Board of Education, I started preparing for the end. I applied for and received a grant to plant a Butterfly Garden on our school playground. I gave my teaching colleagues most of my personal materials and artifacts that related to units of study. I allocated some of my treasures to former students who were preparing to enter the teaching profession. I supervised my last student teacher