Here in Indiana, public schools are losing 3% or so of our general fund money. For my school system that means over $1 million dollars. Eligible teachers - almost 40 of us - have been offered an early retirement incentive plan.
I am only 58 and at first was not seriously interested. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed to make more sense to me.
I dearly love my job because of my kids, but I have been doing this 37 years. I do not want to retire not liking my job and wanting to get out. More importantly, I have so many things I can do with music to create income with that I have been wanting to do.
So . . . after meeting with the school CFO, the Indiana Teacher Retirement Fund counselor and my financial advisor I am doing it! My last day will be during the last week of May - depends upon any further snow days.
I will ramp up the marketing of my musicals to schools, do convocations for Indiana schools (one-man show about Indiana using my music), market other educational products like DVDs I will be creating, do school "Composer Visits", market a series of Indiana posters/banners for schools, and maybe open a music studio for private piano and voice.
So I am very excited to start Moman Part 2, but leaving my school home after 37 years is difficult. Some say I am an institution at Redding Elementary - a fifth grader yesterday said I was a relic! Tears have been already been shed and more will come as my students & parents find out, but I am at peace about it ( and honestly grieving about it). Next year will be my first year in 53 to not go to school. I will stay involved with my school doing a little volunteering now and then. I will help mentor the new music teacher if they desire it. Sadly, there is chance that music might be dropped from the elementary schools, but they hope to avoid it. If I had stayed, I might have had to add another school to my schedule and see the kids only once a week.
My wife is also going back to nursing after more than 20 years - not because of this alone - she had been wanting to get back in now that the kids are all gone. So lots of exciting changes for Susie and myself.