On Facebook, I follow the Essex-Windsor EMS group and ran into an interesting post a couple of days ago. One of their group was retiring. Now, that by itself isn’t all that interesting; it’s the fact that it was announced on Facebook, complete with a video.
I was impressed with the presentation and then a couple of days later, there was another message of another retirement. The basis for the posts was the same and so I can only conclude that it’s a tradition or maybe something special because of the times that we live in. The gentlemen up for retirement were videoed from the driver’s seat as they checked in with the dispatch indicating that they were signing off for the final time and would be unavailable going forward.
What a cool way to celebrate the end of a career! It wasn’t at a big banquet but rather right where they had put in a number of years. Of course, the big banquet would be out of question these days but I was impressed and touched that they made it formal from where they had worked and spent so much time of their career.
Of course, I had to turn and reflect on education. We are living in bizarre times and so the big banquet hall would be out for educators as well. Maybe they could get a table for four?
In my case, the most memorable moment was actually at the beginning of my career. It was the staff meeting before the students arrived. It was held in the “Little Theatre”. Now, as a new staff member, I was curious. That would kind of imply that there was a “Big Theatre”. So, I went to a school map because we weren’t allowed in the building since the carpets were still drying from a summer cleaning. (It was only during the second year that I found out that nobody except newbies paid attention to that missive.) My conclusion – there is no “Big Theatre”.
The three of us newbies sat together because we didn’t know anyone all that much. But, we had kind of bonded at the OSSTF New Members meet a week before. All three of us had left the school later for different reasons. I left in the middle of the year so anything formal would have been done at the Michigan (tavern down the street) during out Friday afternoon debrief.
When I finally left the board, the big event was a meeting with my supervisor who I had to go over a list of technology that I had been assigned to do my job. She was leaving as well so it was done quickly. The day afterwards, my email address was closed. It was final. The following fall, the district did give me a clock in memory of my service. Ditto for OSSTF, District 9. As I departed the OSAPAC committee, I was gifted an amethyst clock. All of them sit on shelves above my desk and are pretty close in their time. People have commented that this is why I have music on all the time to cover up all the random ticking. Principals always got something a little more impressive.
As President of ECOO, I presented a proposal to the Executive to rectify the fact that people who had donated time and effort to the organization had never been recognized. We invited all former Presidents and conference Chairs to a presentation at lunch to formally recognize their efforts and make them Life Members. I think the Executive was completely onside with the notion that we only existed because of those who had built the organization before us.
We’re rapidly coming up to the end of the school year 2020-2021. It’s not going to end like most school years, in a building that teachers don’t pay a mortgage on. It’s going to end in living rooms, basements, home offices, attics, etc. There will be no hall rentals or even a gathering in the “Little Theatre” or auditorium at the school. There will be educators all over the province that will be calling it a day.
Celebrating a career or accomplishments should be a memorable event. We’ve done so much teeth grinding and thinking about how to recognize students for their achievements. What about those educators who have gone the extra mile this last year of their career? I guess three close friends could go to a patio for a luncheon or something. Maybe play a little Alice Cooper?
I’m hoping to hear some really inspirational ideas like the Essex-Windsor EMS did for their retiring members. Devotion to education or any institution should be recognized and indeed celebrated.
What have you got? Do you have any great signing off ideas for educators?