Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Back in the Saddle again...

I've been gone quite a while but hope my writer's block has finally cleared! Since I last posted, I've retired from full time teaching. I had reached the magic, maximum amount of 'points' towards retirement. That combined with a toxic environment at school along with crazy, demanding schedules helped me to decide it was time! My one bright spot in the year was the final semester - I had the wonderful opportunity to mentor a former student in her student teaching experience.

After retirement, I had no plans to return to the classroom even though here in AZ there is a very critical shortage of teachers. However, at the end of the summer a friend twisted my arm and convinced me to take a long-term sub position at her school. There was an Art traveling position that had not been filled and this school just needed 3 classes covered on one morning a week. It was just supposed to be temporary but it turned into a full year assignment. It was a great school to work for: supportive admin, a room to teach in (yeah - no cart!) and I knew many of the staff from my earlier teaching years. It was a great transition for me and I'm very grateful I had that opportunity.

Near the end of the school year, I was contacted by a former principal, now District admin, who wanted murals at a district school. This building was closed several years ago due to low enrollment and was being re-opened as a Pre-K site. So that lead me into my next phase as a mural designer/painter. My two sons were available & enlisted to help get the work done in time for the Grand Re-Opening in the fall. We had pretty much free reign for design and decided on the flora and fauna of the desert.

There is a wall in the office that now contains 2 murals. An ocotillo and rising sun frame the entrance door...

A palo verde tree shades the corner, its leaves constructed of handprints by staff, students, contractors and yours truly for this opening year....

The hallway, directly behind the office, leads parents and their children to the testing room. It features numbers 1 - 10 illustrated with plants, birds, reptiles, insects. etc found in Az - here are a few of those images...

THAT job led to another school and another mural - outdoors, this time. So glad we completed this before the heat arrived!

I'm currently subbing occasionally while waiting for a call back on scheduling an interview for another indoor school mural. I'm enjoying my 'retirement' but still have ideas to share with those of you still in the trenches. I hope you'll stop in occasionally and join in the conversation!


  1. Welcome to the wonderful world of retirement,

  2. Beautiful work! Congrats on your "retirement"!


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