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Retirement Row

Posted by on in What If?
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If you couldn't tell, I am pretty passionate about my job and educating kids for today's society. I've made numerous controversial comments about how people should retire if they hate their teaching job because it effects kids. Why is this such a thing for me? A couple reasons:

Back when my grandfather was a police officer, he worked in the traffic bureau before he retired. I asked him one day what he does; he said he hangs out on "retirement row". Clueless as to what that meant, I found out that the traffic bureau was the most coveted gig for those that awaited retirement; 9 to 5, five days a week, not on the road. Sounds awful to me, but for cops who don't work like everyone else, it was a dream. I eventually got to see it once I became affiliated with UPD; retirement row was definitely retirement row. 

About twelve years ago as a history teacher in EastBrunswick, I met a teacher who was absolutely miserable. Words can't even describe how miserable she was. She wouldn't talk to anyone; she just gave the number of years and the number of days she had left. She eventually got down to 30 days, and holy cow, what a different person. I could have told her the acopolypse was here, and her smile wouldn't go away. The epitome of bliss.

Thankfully I have not worked with anyone like that since then. I have worked with educators that just keep going; not because they have to; not because they want to; because they don't know what else to do. Those folks end up almost PAYING to work. Think about that - you paying to work! It makes me ill. You worked so hard your whole life - and now you're paying to work?! Awful. It's not fair to that person. If you love your job, by all means, have at it. But paying someone to work?! Not cool.

One of our secretaries is retiring this week after a career of helping our learners and staff succeed. She said it was time, and she's excited to move on to the next chapter. I could  not be happier for her. Her laugh and grin will be missed, but knowing that she'll be playing with her grandchildren daily truly offsets the loss in my book.

What's the point of this post? In my opinion, in the education profession, you've worked so, so hard to ensure our students and staff succeed. Kudos to you for making the best of it and moving on to your next chapter, whatever that is. Thanks for not being on "retirement row" or paying to work; six Saturday's and a Sunday sound pretty damn good. 

Enjoy the sunset. Onward! 

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Jay Eitner is a proud product of the New Jersey public schools. A graduate from Union High School in 1997, Jay attended The American University in Washington DC with a BA in interdisciplinary studies. He began his teaching career in Roselle, NJ teaching a variety of subjects including social studies, computers, and digital literacy. Known for being ‘outside of the box’ and for strong technology infusion, Eitner strived to make a learning environment that was student-centered, data-driven, and technology infused. Jay received his Master's Degree from Kean University in 2004 and was hired to teach 8th-grade social studies in the nationally recognized East Brunswick Public Schools. During his time in East Brunswick, Eitner has written & received over $140,000 in grants for his students. Grants ranged from podcasting equipment to creating a fully-interactive gold-rush experience, where students dug for gold during their westward expansion unit. Jay obtained his supervisor, principal, and school administrator certificates from the NJPSA NJ-EXCEL program in 2009. Administratively, Eitner has served as a middle school Assistant Principal in the Washington Township Schools, a K-12 Supervisor of Social Studies in the Hopewell Valley Regional School District, and a Superintendent of the Lower Alloways Creek School District. Jay currently serves as a Superintendent of Schools for the Waterford Township School District. He has presented a series of workshops on digital leadership, technology infusion, and student achievement. Recent awards include the 2015 national Educators Voice Award in the category of Superintendent, the White House MakerSpace distinction, and named to the National Academy of Arts & Sciences as a 2016 Educator To Watch.

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Guest Sunday, 19 May 2019