Veteran Finds Ideal Retirement Job as Substitute Teacher: Making a difference for students
To the students in the schools where I substitute teach, I am “Sarge.” They call me that because I retired in 2011 as a sergeant first class, after 32 years of military service.
One of my learners is a special-needs student who always gives me a salute, which feels great. He asks if I’ll wait for him at the end of the day, and he walks me to my car. Then he runs to the corner while I drive by and yells, “Go Patriots!” I’m from the South, so I yell back, “Go Falcons!”
It touches me that a student goes to that much trouble to show his appreciation and respect. That’s the gratification of substitute teaching. We touch lives, and our students know it. For a retiree like me, now that I’m out of the military, there’s no better way to spend my time.
In my younger days, I didn’t give much thought to learning, but I came to value it later. My 32 years in the Army, including the National Guard and Army Reserve, bookended a fun 10 years with a band playing up and down the East Coast. You can even see me in the movie “The Great Santini,” playing with the band at the high school dance.
And by the way, I can tell you that Robert Duvall is just a nice, normal guy. He sat with me at the piano and sang songs.
So, before I retired from military service, I went back to college, for the higher education that had been interrupted in 1969 by Vietnam. I got my bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate. I got my master’s degree in educational leadership. I got another master’s degree in history.
George Hargrove Bio
George Hargrove lives in North Cornwall Township. He and his wife, Ann, raised five sons. George contracts as a substitute teacher with the Annville-Cleona School District through A+ Teachers, www.abelteachers.com