11 episodes

I’m James Sturtevant. I taught for 34 years, I’m in my 60’s, I’m in great shape and I feel fantastic. I’m a certified health coach and my objective is to help retired educators make awesome health and lifestyle choices. That’s my mission in coaching and the mission of this podcast.

Each episode will feature a topic that is highly relevant to retired teachers. I’ll either interview an engaging and relevant guest, or I’ll fly solo.

Each episode will follow this template:

1. I’ll identify a problem
2. I’ll expose you to some solutions
3. I’ll encourage you to take action

Hey…we’ve worked hard to get where we are right now. A lot of people envy us. But finding retirement bliss can be tricky. Let me help you learn to love being retired.

The Retired Teacher Coach Podcast James Sturtevant

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

I’m James Sturtevant. I taught for 34 years, I’m in my 60’s, I’m in great shape and I feel fantastic. I’m a certified health coach and my objective is to help retired educators make awesome health and lifestyle choices. That’s my mission in coaching and the mission of this podcast.

Each episode will feature a topic that is highly relevant to retired teachers. I’ll either interview an engaging and relevant guest, or I’ll fly solo.

Each episode will follow this template:

1. I’ll identify a problem
2. I’ll expose you to some solutions
3. I’ll encourage you to take action

Hey…we’ve worked hard to get where we are right now. A lot of people envy us. But finding retirement bliss can be tricky. Let me help you learn to love being retired.

    Episode 11: Moving Forward After Loss…Starring Roger Roberts and Carol Weiss

    Episode 11: Moving Forward After Loss…Starring Roger Roberts and Carol Weiss

    I used to quip that we all have a shelf life. But we don’t age in a vacuum. Our cherished loved ones are vulnerable too.

                   If you live long enough, you’re going to be confronted with catastrophic loss.

    This loss could be from the natural attrition of old age, or could be the result of unanticipated accidents or illness. Potential targets could be a spouse, a sibling, a friend, a cherished pet, or even your children and grandchildren. It might not be a death. It could be a divorce or an estranged relationship. If you’re a retired educator, you probably will experience loss.

    I have two dear friends both of whom have experienced catastrophic loss. Carol Weiss lost her husband three and half years ago. Roger Roberts lost his wife just seven months ago. Both of these wonderful folks had been married for roughly fifty years. In this episode, Roger and Carol bravely and transparently discuss their ordeals.

    This is a heavy episode. It might not be for everyone. I also want to put out a disclaimer. Roger and Carol are people of faith. It becomes obvious early in the interview that faith is a primary coping mechanism for both. I am cognizant that some audience members might not be so inclined. I respect this. I can tell you that if I pass before my wife, she will rely heavily on her faith. If she passes before me, I will take a more secular approach to grieving.

    Regardless of your religious disposition, the authentic emotions expressed by both Roger and Carol are universal and beautiful.

    Oh and one other caveat, both Roger and Carol make a number of local references that I’m certain will mean nothing to most listeners of this podcast. We all live in Eastern Delaware County in Central Ohio. When you hear certain towns or schools that sound unfamiliar, no worries—familiarity to these places is not germane to their stories.

    If you've experienced catastrophic loss, perhaps this episode will help you. If you haven’t, you probably will. Just maybe, you’ll be inspired to take inventory of the amazing living and breathing people in your life.

    What you can do About it:

    Reach out to a friend who is grieving.
    If you’re grieving, seek a grief counseling group.
    Share this episode with someone whom it might help.

    Congratulations on completing this episode. It was an intense one. Please go and enjoy the wonderful people in your life.

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Episode 10: Maybe, you should Keep Teaching...Starring Michael Brilla

    Episode 10: Maybe, you should Keep Teaching...Starring Michael Brilla

    The Problem:
    Some educators fail to inventory everything they like about teaching before they retire. 

    In my last episode, I interviewed Penny Sturtevant, an educator who’s on the verge of retirement. In this episode I’ll interview Michael Brilla, a middle school Social Studies teacher from Eastern Pennsylvania. Michael is in his early 40s and is mid-way through his career. At first blush he would not seem like a relevant guest for a podcast geared toward older and retired educators. But I solicited Michael because he experienced a mini retirement and now he’s back in the classroom. 

    From 2019 to 2021, Michael was a technology coach in his district. He had the option to stay in that role or return to the classroom. He obviously chose the latter and this episode is why he opted to return, everything he missed in exile, and what his triumphant renaissance has been like. This is an important episode for two segments of my audience:


    teachers who are debating whether or not they’re ready to retire
    retired educators who are missing the students and the experience

    Even if you’re not in one of these two camps, I’ll bet you know someone who fits one of those descriptions. Share this episode with them. If you’re a retired educator and are missing teaching, please make certain to listen to the What you can do About it section at the end of the episode. I toss out some ideas. 

    What you can do About it:
    This will be an usual offering in this section because I really had to create two lists based on audience needs. 

    If you’re an educator trying to figure out whether it’s time to retire, you’ve probably done a lot of evaluation. But, how much have you interviewed others who know you? Make certain to interrogate family, friends, colleagues, administrators, and even trusted students. Ask them what they think of you retiring and then be prepared to listen. You may learn interesting things about yourself. 

    And if you fall into the category of a retired educator who misses teaching, consider ways that you teach again but with far less demand. Consider these options:


    Assistant coaching
    Volunteering 
    Teach a hobby 
    Learn a skill and then teach it to others
    Become an adjunct instructor
    Start a book club

    Don’t be in a rush to retire if you’re not ready. And if you are retired, there’s no reason you can’t still teach. Investigate a new venue. I did and I love it. 

     

     

    • 40 min
    Episode 9: Confronting Retirement Anxiety...Starring Penny Sturtevant

    Episode 9: Confronting Retirement Anxiety...Starring Penny Sturtevant

    I retired from k-12 teaching in May of 2019. In February of 2019, I was teaching away and not yet planning on drifting off into the sunset. Everything changed that month when our school board announced that they were offering a buyout to veteran teachers to ease labor costs. Suddenly, I was presented with a lucrative option that I wasn’t anticipating. I took my school board up on their offer and I only had three months left in the school year to second-guess myself.

    Penny Sturtevant, my lovely wife, will retire in three months. We recorded this episode in February of 2022. It’s a time capsule. My objective is to record another episode with her next fall or winter where we can check back in with her. But the focus of this episode will be her mindset now. Penny became a mom in 1981. She’s had a kid under roof or a job since then. We’re now empty-nesters and in three months she’ll be retired. This will be a massive transition for her and comes with a degree of anxiety.

    The Problem:
    Retirement is a major life change and some anxiety is expected.

    Hear Penny articulate her concerns and hopes. I’ll wager that you relate to her message.

    What you can do About it:

    List all of the things that make you anxious about retirement (liabilities).
    List all of the things that excite you about retirement (assets).
    See if you can utilize any of your assets to solve your liabilities.
    Please reach out to me at theretiredteachercoach.com.

    It’ll be fun to check back with Penny next fall or winter and see how retirement is treating her.

    • 24 min
    Episode 8: Don't Give Up on Mobility...Starring Tiffany Wilmot

    Episode 8: Don't Give Up on Mobility...Starring Tiffany Wilmot

    I sometimes watch my grandchildren move, and bend, and squat and I get nostalgic. My grandson effortlessly plops down into a full sumo squat and he can remain there indefinitely. My granddaughter sits comfortably with both legs fully contacting the floor and bent back towards her so her ankles rest right beside her hips. It’s easy to witness such youthful displays of mobility and get discouraged, but please don’t. They’re just young people doing what comes naturally. You used to have the same capabilities, but now as a seasoned adult you probably can’t perform such feats.

    And this dear listener, teases the problem. Mobility is important, but when it comes to the ability to move freely and easily,

    many older adults become discouraged by their advancing stiffness and just stop trying.

    This exacerbates everything. It doesn’t have to be this way.

    And this is where Tiffany Wilmot, who’s a 58-year-old educator and entrepreneur from Nashville, makes a dramatic appearance. Tiffany started teaching group fitness classes at age 16! What I love so much about this interview is Tiffany’s transparency in terms of coping with aging and declining abilities. This is an accomplished woman, but she’s humble and real and goes through the same struggles as you and I. But Tiffany is all about mobility. Her passion shines through and she wants you to keep trying, keep experimenting, and not to give up.

    As I describe in the interview I’m committed to mobility, but I got tired of doing yoga. I love and respect yoga, but I got bored doing sun salutations and down dogs. So, I created my own mobility routine. So can you! Now, six days out of seven, I do a diverse ten-minute mobility routine soon after waking. I didn’t dream up these routines, I found them on YouTube. I love variety. Here’s a link to one that I do frequently which is great for those of us who do a lot of work at a computer.

    What you can do About it:

    Check out the book Movement by Gray Cook.
    Conduct a 10-minute mobility routine hunt on YouTube.
    Try a yoga class.
    Take an inventory of how you feel after a mobility routine.
    Take at least one walk today.

    It’s easy to look at young supple folks and get discouraged. But you need to consider how wonderful you feel after practicing some mobility. That’s your body telling you, “Please keep doing this.”

    • 47 min
    Episode 7: Own your Morning...Starring Russell Doup

    Episode 7: Own your Morning...Starring Russell Doup

    Back when I was teaching, I can vividly remember dark winter mornings being jolted awake at 6 AM by my alarm. I can also remember fumbling away at my clothes and mindlessly shaving and then packing up to head for school. I also remember feeling something similar when I was a student, but being a teacher is higher stakes. You’re the show, and if you’re off your game, it’s miserable for everyone. I can particularly remember one bleak morning many moons ago. I was getting ready to walk out the door and before I left, I patted the heads of my two dogs. They were both comfortably ensconced on their shared dog bed. I always felt bad when I left them each morning. They really loved me, but not this morning. They looked too darned comfortable and stared up at me with indifference. It was particularly annoying because they were spooning, which was understandable because the temperature outside was frigid. Their contentment was annoying. I thought, Dang—I would actually trade places with my dog today. When I retire, I’m going to sleep in as late as I want. I didn’t used to be a morning person. 

    Well, as I explained in Episode 4, my post-employment sleepfest hasn’t materialized. But, although one wouldn’t guess this from the first paragraph of this narrative, now I am a morning person. I like mornings. It’s quiet. I feel energized. I get my best ideas in the morning. I like to workout in the morning. I’m productive in the morning. But even though my mornings were pretty solid, they lacked structure. Routine is important for a retired person. And this is the problem for this episode:

                                            Retired folks still needed some routine. 

    To help solve this problem, I’m going to utilize an unlikely resource. Russell Doup is only 29, he's wise beyond his years. He and I have an informal book club and we frequently share ideas and workouts, as well as books. In this episode we evaluate Robin Sharma’s fascinating book The 5AM Club. And what’s a book club without wine? Russell and I decided to have a glass or two while we yakked about this book. This is a great read for a retired person. 

    Russell played on the 2014 National Championship football team at Ohio State. He’s a certified financial planner at Maxwell Financial Management in New Albany, Ohio. Oh, and full disclosure, he’s also my nephew. 

    What you can do About it:

    Create a book club of retired friends.
    Read Robin Sharma’s book The 5AM Club.
    Buy a great bottle of wine. Russell brought Dueling Pistols. I highly recommend it!
    Sip some wine and discuss how you could apply his ideas to your mornings. 

    If you’re like me and you can’t sleep-in much, you may as well capitalize on this magic part of the day by creating an awesome morning routine. 

    • 44 min
    Episode 6: Entertain Entrepreneurship…Starring Steve Comstock

    Episode 6: Entertain Entrepreneurship…Starring Steve Comstock

    When it came to creating an episode on entrepreneurship, which means starting your own business, for a retired educator, I knew exactly whom I had to talk to. Steve Comstock was a public educator for over 3 decades. For most of those years, he was a head basketball coach. In retirement, Steve mobilized the diverse and extensive skill set that he cultivated in his years in education to become a successful entrepreneur.

    And this last statement teases the problem for this episode and for many retired educators.

                      Our valuable skill sets, the ones we developed as teachers, go underutilized in retirement.

    Now some listeners may have zero interest in becoming an entrepreneur and be inclined to stop listening to this episode. NOT SO FAST! I would’ve absolutely fallen into that category just 9 months ago. And yet here I am, not even a year after holding such a disposition, running my own business. How in the world did this happen?

    Steve went through a similar discovery journey. Be open-minded while you listen to this fascinating guy. Be cognizant of your thoughts during the episode, and in its aftermath. A paradigm-shifting eureka moment may be just over the horizon. Maybe you’ll start a business and maybe you won’t, but I’m confident this interview will change your outlook.

    Here’s Steve’s website: stevecomstockhomes.com

    What you can do About it:

    Make a list of all of the skills that you utilized daily in the classroom.
    Take this list and circle all the ones that you did well.
    Take this list and underline the ones that you enjoyed.
    Make a new list comprised of the skills that you circled and the skills that you underlined.

    Once you know what you’re great at and what you enjoy doing you can start searching for, or start creating, opportunities.

    Here were my motivations to become the Retired Teacher Coach:

    I loved to…


    work with students 1 on 1
    create lessons
    share my passions
    simplify complex ideas
    utilize technology
    produce virtual presentations

    I realized that I missed doing these things and becoming the Retired Teacher Coach evolved from crafting this skills inventory. Please give this activity a try and be open about where your list could take you.

    • 47 min

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