A long-time English teacher from Foothill High School, Patricia Barrett, may be retiring. Let’s take a look at what is coming for her and her story over the years.
With such a long teaching career, there is bound to be plenty of schools and environments for a teacher to be in. What has Barret experienced throughout her career?
“I started teaching in 1979 in Winchester, New Hampshire, where I was born and raised. In 2013, after having my masters, I left teaching at the high school venue and I taught at the college level full-time for 3 years,” Barret said. “I’ve been teaching high school in California since 1997. In this district the first high school I taught was Rio Linda High School and I have been here at Foothill since 1999.”
Overall, Barrett has been teaching for 43 years. To put it in perspective, her teaching career has been longer than foothill highschool students have been alive for. What inspired her to start in the first place?
“When I was 16, I was teaching Sunday school to a group of Catholic second-graders who were going to be making their first holy communion. I was a musician and I went into their second-grade high school to teach them songs for their first holy communion,” Barret said. “I remember going home looking in the mirror thinking for the first time I looked beautiful, my eyes were sparkling, my cheeks were rosy. I felt energy, and I followed that pathway into college”
As most people know, teachers get a lot of complaints. With so many complaints, it’s easy to question, what is the good part of teaching? What are things teachers are proud about?
“I am proud of the seats I have apparently planted, and how students have grown due to my interactions, my reports, whatever I have offered,” Barret said. “We don’t always know what we have done well and how we have really changed somebody’s life”
After all of this, what is Barret searching for from retirement? What caused her to retire from teaching High School and what would it mean to retire from teaching?
“I still want to teach. I’ve just outgrown the teaching lifestyle. The lifestyle is the day before working until 5 in the evening, having a few hours at home for family, friends, pets, and personal relaxation,” Barrett said. “So when I say I don’t want to retire from teaching, I want to retire from the lifestyle. The lifestyle being all of the extra hours that are above and beyond the classroom which creates emotional, mental imbalances, they often have an impact on physical breakdowns such as asthma, aches and pains, and migraines.”