55-25 and my 40th Birthday

Julie Nariman PrincipalThe 55-25 retirement option

In my third year of teaching when I was 24 years old, there was an option to sign up for “55-25.”  “55-25” was an early retirement option for educators, which meant that once you turned 55 and had been teaching in the system for 25 years, you could retire early and receive 50% of your average salary.

I remember several veteran teachers asking me if I had signed up for 55-25.  I barely registered their question. I figured, there’s no way I’ll still be in education in 25 years.  Continue reading

Drugged with notes

Notes pictureI started my teaching career in September 2000 at Intermediate School 33 in Brooklyn, a school that has since closed.  I was hired to teach 8th grade English at the same time as Sara Milstein, both of us recent college graduates who quickly became friends.

On the first day, we introduced our rules to our students.  “What happens if you break them?” asked a student.  We weren’t sure.

The first several months of our teaching careers were an exercise in containing classroom chaos, and many times, we ended the day in tears.
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