A good education is everyone’s right and good education can only be dispensed by a good teacher. It so becomes that when you, as a teacher, retire, you need to pull yourself together and give out the speech that helps everybody understand the true value of a good teacher.
A speech is supposed to be made from the heart. And a retirement party, with the speech, is made only once in a lifetime by anyone. Being a teacher, it will be difficult letting go of your daily routine and the regime to instill some knowledge in the kids. This makes a teacher’s retirement speech very difficult.
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Elizabeth Wharton
Retirement Speech Ideas for Teachers
To help you out, here’s a few ideas on how to write the perfect retirement speech for your retirement as a teacher with a few examples. But know that in the end, you will have to write your own if you want the listeners’ to relate. You may not have been the funniest person around, but be yourself when you step in front of the microphone and let the audience see who you truly are.
“All learning has an emotional base.” ~ Plato
Starting Your Speech
Always start off by thanking the person who spoke in your honor before you. After that, you can also thank any other important person in the audience and then the audience themselves. Thank them and then turn your words to the audience. As you start out the speech, make sure to speak in a clear voice. Well, you being a teacher, already have this quality with you. You may start with a simple quote (you can also use the ones mentioned) to get everybody’s attention or a joke to alleviate the mood. Think of it as talking to an old and dear friend instead of a silent audience, you’ll know what to say better this way. Connecting with all the people in the hall on that level makes you give a better speech and makes them listen to and remember the speech.
“Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions.” ~ Author Unknown
The main thing to do here is to keep it simple and short. A speech generally goes for about 2 to 3 minutes. If your speech is getting bigger, try and cut some parts. If your speech is shorter, use the following points to elaborate:
“A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.” ~ Author Unknown
- Get something from your memories and try to put them on paper. Something like: “I remember a time when young Ben used to get into a lot of trouble, always sticking his head into the lion’s mouth. That’s what they used to call Principal Leon back then; the lion. Anybody who went into his ‘cave’ and got out alive was pretty much a hero, even us teachers sometimes! Well, little Ben is sitting right there, with his wife Trudy and his girl Jenna, who’s got her own lion to tame now that she’s starting school next year!” A point to remember is, whenever you single out someone, make sure you do it lightly and for the shortest time possible. You may inadvertently embarrass someone or leave someone else out of the picture.
- Humor always plays an important part in any speech, and it can come from anywhere, be it an anecdote, an old memory of you with someone, a funny quote or the best kind of humor; impromptu. You can also talk about your experience as a student when you were in college, this will relate you to any of your students listening to the speech.
- You can lightly explain when and how you started contemplating about your retirement and how you started to plan the retirement ahead of you. Something like: “Anyone who wishes to contact me, I’ll be on my private island in Hawaii…. Just kidding, I’ll be on a hammock in my backyard. Any other teachers here, the kind of money we get paid to make doctors and engineers, you’d be thinking, ‘man, he has his own backyard!’ Well, yes I do!”
“A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism.” ~ Louis A. Berman
It’s perfectly alright to get a little emotional in the end, just remember it’s a retirement speech, not a eulogy. Keep it straight and sharp, but also make it a point to let the people you are going to miss know that they are going to be missed. Remind the students why they are in school and ask the other teachers to keep doing their best to do what they do everyday; create the world that we see today.
“The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without his teacher.” ~ Elbert Hubbard
A retirement is the end of one life, in exchange for another. If you’re a teacher, you may never really retire from the task of ‘teaching’ the younger generations, but know that anyone who ever did learn from your class will always be grateful for what you did, and your retirement speech is a simple matter of returning that gratitude.