One of the changes that has happened for me in retirement, has been the opportunity to spend more time thinking about policies that are ‘shaped above’ and downlined onto schools. Maybe, ‘dropped’ or ‘loaded’ might be better descriptors, for those in schools feel a great deal comes down from on high, often with minimal notice. New policies (the words ‘reforms’ and ‘initiatives’ are often used) require those within schools to accept and implement new priorities, processes and procedures. Those in schools often have little time to respond to suggestions with meaningful input to the shaping of new ways forward, because they are too busy receiving and implementing.
Time to reflect upon and respond to draft proposals for change, feeding back into the consideration loop, is often denied. New policies often have to be implemented ‘tomorrow if not yesterday’.
I often wish, nearly four years into retirement from full time work, that I had been able to consider policy propositions then, as I do now. Retirement can allow one to become more proactive in response to issues than is the cases when working full time. To this end, I encourage those who have retired or are retiring, to remain affiliated with education. Consider proposed policy changes and developing priorities and make an input to those groups charged with their development.
There is really no need to walk away from education on the day of retirement.