A Recently Retired Individual: Tim's Story
My vision is to teach. —Tim
In 1993, Tim was a senior executive in a large health insurance company, and, like many people in the middle of successful careers, beginning to feel a bit ‘flat’ in his work. He approached idea gardens with the idea of finding something more fulfilling for himself. The strength and clarity of his vision had a huge impact on him, and at the same time, he felt unable to fully enact it because of financial commitments to his family.
For several years, he channeled his vision into teaching another passion in his life, squash. As a champion squash player, he was able to focus his love of teaching in coaching young squash players, helping them to find ways that worked for them to make them better players.
In 2001, Tim took early retirement, and began to explore what opportunities were open to him to teach. It soon became clear that a conventional teaching job would not really meet his needs to teach in the way he liked, and in addition, would require lengthy re-education. Tim began to experiment, tutoring math, volunteering as a teacher’s assistant in several schools, and gradually becoming more clear where and how he was best able to live his vision. This clarity helped him to avoid taking on more administrative duties for which he had the skills but not the desire, and to identify the kind of students with whom he most liked to work.
In the course of his experimentation, Tim came upon a course that would allow him to combine his love of math with his love of teaching, and helped him to breathe more life and creativity into his vision of teaching. This, together with his experience and learning as a coach has helped him to create the opportunities that allow him to fully express his vision to teach. He currently tutors 8 students/week and volunteers four mornings a week at the local elementary school, and coaches squash one evening a week. This allows him the flexibility to have balance in his life, which, in turn allows him to be fully present in his teaching: he is able to allow his students to set their own pace, to be open for discovery, and to make use of creativity and play so that his students can share in his love of math.