I just sent the following today to all my colleagues and supervisors at Twin Rivers Adult School:
These past few years have been quite challenging, and since receiving my initial layoff notice this year from the district, it has given me much time to reflect about what is important to me. With the stress of the job, I have realized that my personal health is a critical factor to my ability to benefit the world. While I do not currently have any acute medical conditions that I’m aware of, I do have some chronic life threatening conditions, including high cholesterol, class I obesity, and intermittent high blood pressure. These conditions, combined with stressful work have a sufficiently high probability of leading to heart attack and stroke, that I do not wish to let them linger. One only needs to look at former Adult School staff who lost their children to heart attacks, to realize how serious these conditions can be.
Given that for the rest of this contract year I do not have any other classes that I will be instructing and that our teaching contract allows us to use medical leave for medical appointments, I am choosing to complete an intensive proactive medical plan to address my current medical issues which will include education, exercise, diet, and evaluation of my progress. This month of intensive focus should lead to improved health habits, that can extend my lifespan, and so I have arranged for daily medical appointments with my health care provider to do these activities. While this will reduce my future CalSTRS retirement benefits, I have come to realize that retirement doesn’t do me any good if I’m dead.
I do not know whether or not I will be employed with Twin Rivers next year, and even if I am, I will not be taking on any of the additional duties I have been doing, and will only take on those duties generally expected of a teacher. Thus, I will also be working on transferring all of these additional duties that I have taken on to others, which I will generally work to do in an educational fashion, to help point people to appropriate resources to solve their problems, and also provide additional knowledge if it isn’t currently documented. Staff should email me with any questions, as I will not be using my personal cell phone for work related calls, and also it is important to have written documentation of procedures so they can be referred to in the future.