With this year coming to an end, we have a few teachers and staff retiring. One of them is Ms. Wagner who has been teaching for over thirty years. Ms. Wagner has been working at Santa Barbara High school for 13 years but previously taught at La Cumbre Junior High School and Dos Pueblos High School where she actually had a couple of students that are now working here as well including the college and career counselor Mr. Barr and English teacher Ms. Vascarra.
Ms. Wagner’s current position here at SBHS is a teacher of Emergent Multilingual Learners or EML students, so she teaches a class called English Support but has also been a Literacy coach on campus. “I’ve supported my colleagues in instructional literacy practices over the last two or three years, so part of my job is teaching and part of my job is supporting my colleagues,” she added.
After so many years of being in education and teaching for Santa Barbara High school, it’s obvious that there is a lot she’s going to miss. “I’m definitely going to miss the connection with students. I told my students this year that I’m retiring and I feel like we’re connecting more… we went through the pandemic together and a lot of my students also had me last year so we’ve all been through a lot together. I’ve been making time to connect individually with each student and tell them what I appreciate about them and it’s been pretty emotional.” Ms. Wagner continued, saying she’s also going to miss the connection with her colleagues: “A lot of my colleagues and peers have trusted me to support them and that feels like the biggest honor, to have earned the trust of my colleagues.”
Since Ms. Wagner has been teaching for so many years, I imagine her life was very busy and stressful at times so I was very curious to ask what she plans on doing after she retires. “Honestly I have no plans and that’s by design, teaching can be an all-consuming profesión and I want to experience the open space for a while and not fill it up with lots of busyness.” Wanting time for herself after putting her energy into her job for so long makes sense. “ I feel like it’s going to be a process of getting to know myself again and knowing what my interests are and what I like, and I just want whatever comes to me to be emergent and not for me to have to plan it all out.” Ms. Wagner finished by adding that she is looking forward to having more connection with family. Ms. Wagner has three grown children, one of whom is getting married soon, and the other two are graduating from college, “I am looking forward to spending more time with my kids and hopefully in the next few years, grandchildren.” We hope that Ms. Wagner has a wonderful retirement and I’m sure she will be missed here at the SBHS campus.
[Image Credit: Ms Wagner]