A year ago today I retired. I spent a happy three months getting ready to move to and then settling into a new life in Malaysia. Basically just a summer holiday for a teacher, perhaps a little extended. It was nice, but it wasn’t real.

Then I started teaching. Again. I really don’t have to do this, you know. I could just retire. I wouldn’t make much, but it would be enough to live on. But I can’t; I love teaching. Yes, it is demanding and tiring and even on occassion, boring (very rarely). But it fulfils me in a way that I can’t easily verbalize or even rationalize. It’s like I’m wired for it. I’m hooked on the learning environment.

I do about three hours of prep for my classes each day, less if I have to mark. And its all fun. I read scores of online articles on everything that is relevant, and a fair bit that isn’t, but just interesting. Constructing a good lesson or a good test is like painting for me, as much art as science. Then I deliver the lesson. I’m like a kid unwrapping a birthday present. I bring out each little bit in turn, and like a bad comedian, internally giggle at each little success, each point that goes home.

When a student who has been struggling gets 90% on a test, it’s like I got it myself, I’m so happy for them. Marking bores me, and the hassle of dealing with admin who are only interested in making a buck off these kids is disheartening. But I love being in a classroom, and I love to learn, and so long as those things are true, I guess I’m stuck working.