Helping with Back-To-
As retirees, we don’t have to spend the weeks before
school starts shopping and planning and preparing
for our students to arrive. We can sleep in on the first
day of school. It’s nice to be able to plan our days for
ourselves, but we can remember what it felt like to
be an early career educator trying to get a handle on
everything that must be done.
Our years of experience can really be put to good use
by helping educators who are still learning to manage
routines and responsibilities. We can mentor and assist
these new educators as they start the school year.
You might decide to volunteer with a first-year teacher
at the school from which you retired. Imagine how
you would have felt to have someone come in and
do a bulletin board for you or help arrange desks or
make student welcome packets. It would have been
wonderful to have someone to proofread your first
lesson plans and offer time management suggestions.
It’s easy as a first-year teacher to be ambitious about
what you can get done in a class period and having
a cooler head would be so valuable. New teachers
need strategies to build community in the classroom
to make it an inviting and inclusive space. You’ve been
there and have years of trial and error that could now
be put to good use. No amount of practice teaching
can take the place of a caring mentor who has walked
the walk. A little time during pre-planning and some
occasional calls or emails or texts can go a long way
to encourage a new educator. You might have some
materials you want to share to make space for your
Mid-career educators need encouragement to stay the
course. This is when burnout can be a problem and
having a listening ear might be all that’s needed to
keep a good educator in the profession. A phone call
from time-to-time, lunch together on occasion and a
listening ear that keeps confidences can make a tough
year bearable. We want to keep those at this point in
their practice invigorated and motivated.
Don’t forget about those nearing retirement. These
educators often feel marginalized because of their age
and tenure, however, these veterans have so much to
offer in their last years of working. We can help them
continue to feel valued and competent. We can help
make their last year their best year.
There are tremendous contributions we can make
at the beginning of the school year. We may have
left our profession but not our passion for education.
Find a way to lend a hand or support those still in the
profession in your own way.
Toni Smith, President
Your Time Has
You’ve worked for decades in public education, giving
your best to the students and community, and now
your time has finally come to put away the cleaning
equipment, close the spreadsheets, not answer
another phone call, not cook another meal for 1000,
not drive another bus full of noisy students and not
make another lesson plan. It feels great, doesn’t it?
You can look at the back-to-school supplies sales and
not wonder if they’ll let you buy 30 of each item. You
don’t have to try to be first to the laminator with your
materials. Now you don’t have to set the alarm for
5:00 a.m., and you don’t have to bring work home.
You have RETIRED!!
Let’s give some thought to what to do next. You have
probably made a list of things you’d like to do with
your new found time: gardening, traveling, catching up
on that list of books you want to read, spending more
time with the grandkids and so much more.
You can possibly do that now, but you might have
caretaking duties for other family members to take
your time. Retirement is different for everyone and
brings both joys and responsibilities.
You’ve been a member of the Georgia Association of
Educators, the National Education Association and
your local association for years, and now is the time to
continue that membership with NEA/GAE– Retired. The
benefits are many:
• Connections with fellow NEA and GAE members
and programs, opportunities to share your expertise
by volunteering and mentoring, and NEA’s and
GAE’s political and legislative efforts to protect your
• Subscription to NEA’s bimonthly retiree magazine
and GAE’s quarterly magazine, and a variety of
member benefits, such as:
– Insurance programs
– credit programs
– loan and mortgage programs
– deposit savings accounts
– investment programs
Retired members also:
• Continue their involvement with their State
Association and the NEA and enjoy new and different
activities with former colleagues and new friends.
• Volunteer in community-based programs that help
make America stronger.
• Participate in national and regional conferences and
In addition, NEA-Retired provides its members with a
wide range of benefits through NEA Member Benefits.
One thing that has not changed is your dedication
to public education and youth. You now have a new
freedom to advocate for education and retirement
issues during the day without having to take a personal
day and plan for a substitute. You can lobby, make
calls, send emails, and have personal meetings with
policymakers, and lawmakers on your schedule. You
don’t have to worry about job retaliation or evaluations,
and your voice is magnified by being a member of
these national and state associations. We keep you
informed about what is affecting public education
and retirement and assist you with talking points for
communicating with your representatives. We identify
friends of public education to help you make informed
Now that your time is yours, remain active with the
associations. Become a lifetime member with a onetime
payment, continuing to keep your tremendous
member benefits and staying informed.
For more information, email GAE-Retired President
Toni Smith at email@example.com.
You are now the DAYTIME face on the front line. Your
time has finally come!
You are invited to attend the next meetings
of the GAE Middle Georgia Caucus
third Saturdays beginning
August 16, 2019
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
For further information
GAE-Retired President Toni Smith
678.837.1105 or GAE.Retired.President@gmail.com
~Attendee is responsible for any individual meal cost.~
Ole Times Country Buffet • 1343 Gray Hwy • Macon Open to ALL GAE members!
26 | KNOW • Volume 17 Issue 2