Nineteen days into retirement, and I’m noticing that some skills required in my past careers don’t quit with retirement, which is a good thing!
Skills like zeroing in on typos. That skill will be economically beneficial if/when I seek to do freelance copyediting or proofreading.
Problem is that even practical, wholesome skills like that can have a downside…like when I can’t help spotting a typo in an inopportune context, even when I’m not intentionally trying to do so.
One good thing about retiring from teaching, after so many years: I don’t have to put myself—or any administrator–in an awkward position. Tell them what I’ve found? Keep the information to myself?
Without offending them, I tried putting myself in their positions. If I had made that mistake, would I hope some kind soul would have clued me in? (Like the Good Samaritan who lets you know when something is awry with your clothing, or there is evidence all over your face of something you just have eaten….)
Some administrators were very grateful for a typo-find; others–definitely not so.
Me to Principal (trying to be diplomatic, copyediting PTA newsletter) “If there ever were a typo in the Principal’s letter to parents, would you like to have it called to your attention?”
…Silence. (I guess not, even though there was such an error staring me in the face at that moment. His name on the letter. His reputation. So be it.)
Fortunately, and to their credit, not all Principals receive proofreading news as negatively.
Me to (another) Principal, the night before the District/State evaluation team is visiting; a visit we’ve been prepping for. “Was reading your very inspiring end-of-the-year letter that you posted on the main bulletin board. Couldn’t help noticing. It seems that the date of the letter is last year’s. With the impending visit tomorrow, I thought you’d like to know I have your back.”
I was correct. Principal did want to know; those evaluation teams check to see if the school posts up-to-date bulletin boards. The date on the letter was changed.
Am I going to miss those tricky conversations? No. Absolutely not. Among the various burdens from which I have been relieved, dealing with administrators’ high-profile typos is one of them.
Now, I’ll just have to deal with my own. …Which will keep me very busy, since, unfortunately, I make plenty of them.
p.s. Please do let me know as soon as you spot each one! Thank you!
Is there any delicate interaction with former supervisors you do not miss?