I am quitting.
According to the Missouri Public School Retirement system that is.
When I called to inquire about receiving my contributions after 15 years I was promptly told several times that it is "quitting" not "retiring". Okay, I get the picture thanks very much. Quitting is such a harsh word to describe leaving a job you have found fulfilling for so many years. However, the word "retirement" is for those that are stronger and more persistent that I . Retirement means you have taught for at least 25 years. Retirement is a word reserved for those that have spent their entire career and life serving kids and I honestly have such admiration for those that stay the course.
I enjoyed my teaching career from Columbia to Liberty, from preschool Director to 7th grade and all of the grades in between. After a combined teaching career of 14 years I have decided to venture onto new things.
I am tired.
Nothing else exhausts me like a day of teaching. I teach the same history class to twelve and thirteen year olds all day. I love these kids. I love watching them mature throughout the year and I love seeing who they become as they get into high school. But I'm still just dog tired at the end of each day. At 51 years old, I do not have the energy to work out at 4 am and then work all day and I do not have the energy to do errands, go to appointments, make dinner and work out at night. My mental and physical health need more attention. One surprising thing is how much I desire to have more time freedom to be there for my kids who are both in college now. It's sad they do not live at home anymore, but wonderful that I am still an active part of their lives.
I am encouraged.
I cannot wait to try all of the things I never thought I would or could do. You see, when I went to college I had no idea what I wanted to do. When I thought about social work or public relations or marketing I wasn't even sure what those fields included and sure didn't know that I would be good at it. It seemed out of my reach to find a job that didn't' have an official title. So when my roommates said they were going to be elementary teachers I thought, "I can do that.' So I did. And for the most part I think i did it well. But now it's time to try my hand at some other things and here is my list:
Tutor: I tutor 4th-12th grade: https://www.laurasmithjourney.com/post/laura-smith-tutoring
EF Tours Group Leader: Summer trips for adults and families beginning in 2020 (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) http://www.grouptoursite.com/laurasmith
Rodan+Fields: See Website link below or contact me via email or phone or Facebook messenger (link below)
KC Pet Project volunteer: I get to hang out and walk dogs!
Parenting Skills Class volunteer with Hillcrest Hope Ministries: Changing the face of homelessness in KC since 1978, https://www.hillcresthope.org/
Updating our 1908 home near the Liberty Historic Square
I would love for you to follow me on social media at the following links to follow my journey. Or join this website. Thanks so much for sharing in my journey. I hope you find joy in your journey as well.
Facebook: Laura Kerckhoff Smith (personal)
Laura Smith: Rodan+Fields Independent Consultant (business)
iTravel WIth Laura (Facebook group travel page)