Those in the group who have been here since the beginning, when it was just a blog, about fifteen years ago, know the impact Robert Harrell has had on our professional development over the years. One need only visit the primers above to see his influence on our thinking. His leadership has helped us through many storms. If we got attacked (which happened often before the group became private) Robert led the defense and always won. If we got mixed up in a fight like we did once with the ACTFL FL Educators group, Robert laid waste to every argument they made. I certainly would not have grown in my own teaching without his calm and steady leadership here. A good use of time would be to search his name on this page and just spend some time absorbing the wisdom, which covers the gamut of what to do in particular situations to overall mental health in a profession where that is not a given. So when Robert emailed me with news of his retirement, I smiled broadly and with a lot of pride as I thought of what a victory his career really has been. I feel so much gratitude that our paths crossed.
Here are some of Robert’s own thoughts on this milestone:
I finally have definite news: At the end of this school year, I will be officially retiring from my position in Garden Grove [CA] Unified School District.
The e-mail confirming the retirement incentive and accepting my retirement came last night. Today I informed my principal, my WL colleagues, and my students. Among my students there was wailing and gnashing of teeth – except from the seniors, who all cheered because I am “graduating” with them.
I know that now is the right time for this, but it was a tough decision. Without undue pride, I know that many of my students have continued with German because I was the teacher. If I were making the decision solely on the basis of those relationships, I wouldn’t retire. One of the things that makes it easier is knowing that I can do more things that spread my impact over a broader area. By working on helping teachers and providing materials, I help more students than I can in my single classroom.
It’s going to be a great adventure.
Robert is also selling the new book Tina and I just finished, along with his own proven and excellent materials: