Friday, October 22, 2010

Go, Pat, Go! Sell, Sell, Sell! Look at Pat sell. Look at Pat make money.

(Note:  If you didn’t grow up in the 60’s, then the above title probably won’t make much sense to you!  If you did, then you will catch the reference to the Dick, Jane, and Sally reading books used in school systems at that time.)

After my last minute decision to retire (and my last minute preparation for my retirement party), I began packing up my classroom.  To some of you, that may not seem like a big ordeal.  For those who saw my classroom, you know what an enormous endeavor that was!  Just to give you an idea, it took about 6 car loads and 5 truck loads.  And that was with the vehicles filled to the max!  It would’ve been several more loads, but I gave away a lot of classroom items and furniture to friends and family.  I knew that I wouldn’t be using it anymore and it made me feel good to let others put it to good use.

All of it got deposited into my garage so I could sell it to other teachers.  My husband, Ted, was quite content on just taking it all to the dump.  Are you kidding me?  No way that I was going to let that happen!  Too much money and time, as well as memories, went into everything that I had.

I held my first “Teacher Treasures” garage sale and made so much money!  No, it didn’t come close to the amount that I originally spent, but it was better than not receiving anything at all.  My financial status certainly wasn’t in dire straights at the time, so it really wasn’t about making money.  It was more a matter of all my “stuff” finding a new home where it would be useful to another teacher.  Many of my teacher customers were young and it made me proud to know that I was making them happy by selling at such low prices.  I remember going to yard sales early in my career and how exciting it was to find good deals. 

 I had been asked to tutor a child at that time so I did pull some items to keep that I could use for tutoring.  I also kept some books to give my great- nephew, Ethan.  Funny thing, though!  Even after selling so much and keeping some things for myself, the garage still looked full!  So, I had “Teacher Treasures” Sale #2 about two months later.  I didn’t have enough space the first time around to set out all the things that were stored in my basement.  While I am basically an organized person, my basement would’ve probably landed me a spot on that Hoarders TV show.  It was absolutely unreal!  Yes, all my seasonal/monthly tubs were crammed in the basement, but there was also a ton of other things as well.  I found things that I didn’t even remember having, much less buying!  And I had this terrible habit of taking stuff down there, but sort of forgetting to put it where it belonged.  Therefore, you literally had to find a pathway to just walk around.  (Ted was convinced that it was all going to somehow start a fire, so I needed to get it cleaned out even if I hadn’t retired.)  So the basement got cleaned out and I then added even more stuff to the garage to sell.  That sale was very lucrative, but would you believe that my garage STILL looks full?  I guess I’ll go for sale #3 and make everything 50% off.  After that, I’ll be taking the leftovers to other places, but the dump will not be one of them!

                                   Teacher Treasures Garage Sale #1


                                          and more books!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nostalgic note

This is the same type of chalkboard that I had as a child.  I sure wish that we had kept it!  I love vintage school items.  They are a rarity these days.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Then and Now

I’ve always loved the chalkboard!  I had one as a know, the kind that was really large and on a wooden stand.  (Well, if you grew up in the 60’s like me then you know exactly what I’m talking about!)  While my brothers and sisters were outside playing, I would be inside pretending to be “the teacher” with my make-believe class.  I loved watching my teachers at school write on the classroom board and couldn’t wait until I got my turn to do the same.

That’s where it all started.  My wanting to become a teacher began as a child.  My desire grew as I got older and I just knew that would be my career path as I entered college.  My dream came true when I got my first job.  Graduating from high school early and having a late birthday put me in my first classroom as a young 20 year old.  I taught 4th grade that year.  Hard to believe now that I was only 10 years older than my students!  I moved on to teaching 2nd grade the following year and continued in that same grade for the next 31 years.  I absolutely loved it! 

I decided to retire this past May.  Not because I was worn out from 32 years of teaching mind you, but due to budget cuts in the school system.  You see, the county I taught in decided to pack 25 kids in a class which meant that one teacher in my grade level had to be moved to another position.  Yes, that teacher was me.  While I really didn’t have the desire to retire at that point, I also had no desire whatsoever to start all over in another grade level.  Maybe if I’d only taught 10-15 years or so, but not after 32!  SO....I made the decision to retire!

Retirement at 53 years old?  Wow!  That was a scary thought at first.  I just couldn’t imagine not teaching.  It was such a large part of my identity that I felt like I was losing part of myself at first.  What would I do with myself?  I was mad, too.  I always thought that I’d plan my retirement – like a year ahead of time.  I wanted it to be on my terms!  Little did I know at that time, it was the best decision I ever made!  It truly was a blessing!  I am so much happier now. 

Yes, I’ve moved beyond the chalkboard, but in a way I’m still writing on it!  I’ll explain that another day!
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