Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Final Pre-retirement Mr. Kindergarten Blog Post

Teaching has been my life’s work and a most rewarding career. 

In all I’ve taught for about 37 years, 33 of them at Dunham School. 

Former students—some now adults—have been kind enough to tell me that I’m the best teacher they ever had. Surely others, equally kind, have spared me stories about my being the worst teacher they ever had. For the vast majority of my students, I surely fell somewhere in between.

When I came to school early Friday morning to close out the classroom. it was sad to see the bicycle shed in the jaws of a John Deere 444K High Lift and the jumble of kids' bicycles piled in a pickup bed to be taken to recycle town.

Out with the old

As I write this today, the wall between my classroom and the Community Room will be torn down. The kindergarten room where my teaching took place is no longer there. 

I enjoyed the goodbye picnic last Saturday. I brought along our Teardrop Trailer, made in Petaluma, to suggest how I’ll spend a good chunk of my time in retirement. 

Camping Mr. Kindergarten style

Teaching is a treasure

Our teardrop trailer at the camp.

Paddling the river between Duncans Mills and Jenner

Mostly we’ll camp along the Russian River at Duncans Mills Camping Club. We enjoy paddling this part of the river that in the summer months really amounts to a narrow, 4-mile long, shallow lake that slowly makes its way to Jenner. 

The six words on the base say it all

Saturday’s party culminated with the move of the Mr. Kindergarten sculpture to my front yard in Sebastopol where it now stands. The sculpture suggests the other activities I look forward to in retirement: bicycling (yes, slowly and in regular clothes), playing ukulele, and gardening. 

Happy trails!

Be well.


Cocoa's Mom said...

I have been a reader of your blog for several years, Mr. Kindergarten, and when my own K class moved towards a more structured and academic model, I loved to read about your centers, bike riding time and those little extras that make K such a special time. I retired last year, perhaps for some of the same reasons that you are retiring! I wish you health, happiness, and a lot less stress. Thank you for sharing your classroom. : ) Christine

Dan Gurney said...

Thank you, Christine. I appreciate your taking time to leave a comment. I enjoyed teaching kindergarten and, yes, I hope to have a happy retirement. I have no regrets about making kindergarten as happy a place as I could.