Dear Andy Rooney,
I am an elementary school teacher. I am retiring this year. I am fifty-five years old.
Compared to many of my colleagues, much of my career has been a piece of cake, (although I did spend several years in the trenches.) I am not going into the stress story. It’s boring and for mature audiences only. Plus, you’ve obviously heard it before.
Your job is clean, (nobody barfs on you), clear, (just complain about something), and each episode has an end. (Show some clever responses to your last appearance and it’s over). Then on to the next show. Teachers rarely have complete closure. There is always some sad little kid, whose story would make your hair stand on end and can’t be “wrapped.”
You suggest that good teachers should not retire because we have so much to offer—so much knowledge, simply from walking on the earth for many years. You forgot or didn’t research this area; the children aren’t interested. You may not have known that they respond only to flashing electronic lights and little video people who dance to their commands. Teachers talking about multiple-meaning words, subjects, predicates, and adverbs are, in a word, “boring.”
I have so much more to say, but I will spare you.
What I do want to say is, if I had your job, I’d never ”retire.” To me, your job IS retirement. I’d love to do your job. (…and I COULD, too.)
So don’t tell us; the hassled, and often disrespected, able-to-do-six-things-at-once-because-we-almost-always-must, professional people not to retire, unless you walked that mile in our shoes. I’m exhausted.
I love ya, Andy. Need a partner?