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Page history last edited by Teresa Almeida d'Eca 14 years, 10 months ago



I retired... early!





I hope to have planted some seeds in my 33-year career...








My new address is...





This is a daily scenario in my current life...




But so is this... because I need to stay in touch with friends and education trends





On 7 April 2009 I sent out this message to the Webheads in Action community:


Dear friends,

I've been meaning to say this for a couple of weeks, but decided that it would be best after TESOL.


I retired early in mid-February after 33 years. Four and half years of an education policy that started with total confrontation with teachers by the "S"inistry of Education and went on to a authoritarianism and gradual destruction of the education system - in my view and that of 120 thousand other colleagues -, I couldn't take anymore.


I don't plan to stop working, because I feel that I still have my share of things to give. But this time I hope it is through teacher training - doing things I like and how I like it -, and maybe also some teaching at a higher level. I will always try to pass on what was passed on to me starting in January 2002 by the Webheads. I have learned so much with this community and it's offspring, Becoming a Webhead! It cannot be laid to waste.


My current situation means that I have much more time to devote to things I like. And the first thing I'd like to do is to say that I'll gladly help with organizing WiAOC09 in whatever way Vance and other organizers think best. It's something I have wanted to do in the two previous rounds, but didn't have availability for.


I'm enjoying with my present situation. I don't have to get up early - only if I want to -, I don't hear bells ringing all morning, I don't hear kids screaming in the hallways (totally undisciplined), and I don't have to put up with the constant "doings and undoings" of the Sinister and her team. I take my daily walks with Joao, go to physical therapy, read, am online...


But I do miss my students. I've visited them on two occasions - with the cast on my leg and on a wheelchair before Christmas - and then already walking normally just before the Easter vacation. The reception both times was touching and exciting at the same time. I'm still their "crazy" teacher and it feels great inside.


Happy Easter to you all and your families!


Hugs,    Teresa



These are the beautiful and heart-warming messages I received that touched me deeply. Putting them all together is my way of saying thank you all from the bottom of my heart.



Dennis Oliver (AZ, USA)

Hello, dear friend,

... what a loss it will be for Escuela de Santo Antônio and the students there!

Yes, you'll definitely contribute in a different way . . . and probably with a different audience. But whatever you find yourself doing, I'm 1000% confident that you will be inspiring, creative, empowering, passionate, innovative, and motivating. You have my vote of TOTAL confidence!

Beijinhos para você também!


Seth Dickens (Italy)

I don't know what to say, Teresa.

Congratulations, commiserations, or just plain.. oh no! The Portuguese have

lost one of their best teachers.

Anyhow.. I hope you have a fantastic "retirement" and I look forward eagerly

to reading more from you here in our Webbyhead group.



Dennis Newson (Germany)


Welcome to so-called retirement, which will definitely be "alleged" in your


Sad to get an impression of the strife and unhappiness between the lines,

and delighted to hear how relaxed your life is at the moment.

Very best wishes,

Endless hugs,

Dennis aka Osnacantab, the Englishman in Germany 


Carla Arena (Brazil)

Dear Tere, my friend and mentor,

Just like Seth, I don't know what to say...The Portuguese government will

never understand the loss the kids of your school had...On the other hand,

we're lucky to have you around and now on an even more active basis. That's

just great! And I'm sure it will be a very fruitful new stage of your life.

Cheers from a big fan of yours!



Vance Stevens (UAE)

Hi Teresa,

.... On a personal note Teresa, I'm glad you got out from under the grind.  I

know you're an author and a thinker as well as a doer, and someone

passionate about what you do, so the Sinistries loss is the communty's gain.

I'm sure you'll continue to help us all make the world a better place

despite obstacles place by those who don't know the difference between

steering and controlling.



Aiden Yeh (Taiwan)

Hi Teresa,

Just like what everybody said it's their loss but looking at the brighter side of things you get to write again (perhaps another book?), train teachers- don't forget we still have EVOs, you know how things can get crazy over there, and it would be really, really nice to have you actively participating in webheads' class projects plus of course the WIAOC09. See? that's a lot of things to do already in your retirement :-) You're a great teacher, Tere. You may no longer be teaching in f2f traditional classrooms, but you'll still get to do it online :-)

here's another endless hug from the other side of the world,



Moira Hunter (France)

Dear Tere,

In addition to everything that has already been said, I'd just like to add that you know what they say about retirement ..... it's the busiest period of one's life!

So ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Huge hugs from France

Moira :-))))


Alicia Barnitta (Uruguay)


I know what you mean. I was a schoolteacher for just 10 years and when I decided

to stop to give way to my personal growth what I missed most was the love of the

kids, though dealing with discipline is a hard task.

You will surely compensate it with all those activities you've mentioned. That's the best

and will surely be room for developing inside Webheads, so, don't say you've

retired, just mentioned: I've changed 33 years of devotion to kids for another activity, that's

what you'll surely do.

Do keep active in the best way that makes you feel fine.

You deserve it.


alicia (Uruguay)


Sanja Bozinovic (Croatia) 

Dear Teresa,

I hope you won't miss your students so much soon and you'll enjoy the relaxed rhythm of your life and the opportunity to do what you like.

I completely agree with Vance: "so the Sinistries loss is the communty's gain.

I'm sure you'll continue to help us all make the world a better place

despite obstacles place by those who don't know the difference between

steering and controlling."

I'm looking forward to your beautiful ideas and new projects with Webheads and you know you can always see the sparkling in the eyes of us, new webheads, learning from you.




Helen Davies (France)

Hi Teresa

I think Vance summed this up so well - their loss is our gain !! You are

certainly our "crazy" teacher and we have so much to learn from you - Enjoy this

new period - but there's so much to do, I don't think you can call it retirement


hugs from France



Ismail Fayed (Egypt)

Dear Teresa and all,

First let me say that retirement means nothing really for people like you. People who are gifted with talent and motivation to keep running and lighten the road for others. In my few years as a member in this group, I always found you a good role-model of dedication and hard-work to others. For me, this means that you will keep going, and as you already said, will definitively contribute more.

Second, to Vance, I do agree with the essence of WiA. I think we all managed to achieve something that I see happening only recently. We see new CoPs, social networks, etc increase all over the world in all types of interests, but this community was one of the pioneers I think in that field even before it was fully shaped as a 'social CoP'. That's why I personally like it.

Wish you all the best personally and professionally,



Graham Stanley (Spain)

Dear Teresa,

Sorry to hear about your frustrations with the Portuguese Ministry of

Education, but congratulations on your 'retirement' - it is indeed a great

loss for your students not to have their 'crazy' teacher, but as you'll be

continuing training teachers, let's hope you'll spread some of that

craziness around to the benefit of more students and teachers.

I'm sure it's great for you to take things easier and not have to look for

ways of bending the rules to get things done - now you can really soar.




Nina Lyulkun (Ukraine) 

Dear Teresa,

I don't think it is your retirement. It is really a change of the activities

only, and, perhaps, the best one. You never can be retired as some more

webheads in our e-family. Such educators like you will work hard and share

their knowledge with others life long. Your school kids, I am sure, will

never let you feel alone like our e-community. You are need here and there,

you know that. YOU and everyone in this community are special.

Enjoy your time and stay here. We all love you and bow you.

{{{{{{{{{BIG HUG}}}}}}}}}

Nina from Ukraine 


Nelba Quintana (Argentina)

Dear Teresa, I can see that this is a turning point in your life in spite you did not look for it.

Life - like technology - never stops changing. We open new doors and close others all the time.

I am sure you will be an inspiring teacher trainner.

All the luck and my love in this new stage from Argentina.



Robert Squires (Montana, USA) 

Dear Teresa, 

I wanted to wish you the best for a long and

fruitful retirement. Your work has been an inspiration to me, as I'm

sure it has been for many of your students. 

Thanks and best of luck on all your new endeavours.



Andy Pincon (Illinois, USA)


As you and some of our other Webheads know, I have been "lurking" and reading the postings for the past year or two due to an increased workload. Your comments during my session in the last BaW2009 and this "official" notice of your retirement from public education in Portugal prompted me to reply.

We had an election in Wisconsin yesterday. One of the positions that citizens of Wisconsin voted on was Superintendent of Public Education for the state. The contest was between a seasoned education male administrator who was tied to the teacher's union against a woman, a mother of five children, who pulled her children out of public education and placed them in the Wisconsin certified Virtual Online School, where we are enrolling Gabriella next year. While the mother and proponent of Virtual Online Education lost the election and we got the "status quo" male Superintendent of Education, the mother drew 40% of the vote which is causing the "Status quo" to sit up and take notice that their jobs are not all that secure afterall.

So there is hope that although institutionalize education changes slowly, like my colleague Dr. Clarisse Croteau-Chonka says, at the speed of a glacier, we are living in an age of climate change and the glaciers are receeding at an alarming rate. This economic downturn will be forcing more changes on education administrations around the world at a time when technology will only continue to increase at the rate of Moore's Law, doubling every year, and the education climate will ultimately thaw, desparately seeking seasoned educators like yourself to provide leadership in this new mileu.

Best Regards

Andrew Pincon


Hala Fawzi (Sudan)

My dearest Teresinha,


I don’t have much to add to all the friendly, warm hearted messages posted here.

I believe retirement marks the time for more learning, production and devotion to your family (the R and the E:-). In one of the 134 Sudanese dialects, when one retires early, they say that days for fun and for “do as you like” schedule have just begun (Authentic translation!). Now, you are a woman of leisure!

I tip my hat to you!

A tight hug from Sudan



Dennis Oliver (Arizona, USA)

Dear Teresa--my highly esteemed and respected teacher and mentor and colleague and friend,

I add my own good wishes to the many which have already been posted as you move from one chapter of your life to another one.

St. Anthony School in Parede has lost a shining star who touched the lives of many, many students in fun, meaningful, and innovative ways, but you're a born educator, so I'm 100% confident that you will find new ways to continue teaching and, in doing so, to inspire all of us.

I'm absolutely certain that we'll soon be hearing about many new accomplishments from you, and I greatly look forward to learning about them.

Very, very best wishes from your #1 fan--

Dennis in Phoenix


Elizabeth Hanson-Smith (California, USA)

Congrats, Tere--

I can't imagine that retirement for you will mean that you stop doing wonderful things in the world of the Web!

All the best to a wonderful woman!




Candace Pauchnick (California, USA) 

Dear Teresa,

When I read your news I went through many different emotions then ended up with feeling excited for you. I did go through the feelings of sadness for your loss of seeing the students and anger over the school district's incompetencies but then realized you must have a sense of freedom, after 33 years that must be glorious. When you said you would be doing more with the Webheads then I realized how truly exciting this new freedom must be. How lucky for the Webheads, too, to benefit from more of your talents!!! After reading all the loving and touching responses from so many Webheads I was thinking how much fun it would be to do nothing but be involved with the Webhead activities. Now I wish I could retire!!! :-) I have not been able to be involved very much but the few times I have done some things you have always been there to support me and I appreciate you so much. You may not remember but way back in May of 2005 you were very supportive when Vance

 was helping me and Yaodong Chen, from China, do a web conference. Then a long time later I popped up again with some poems and you cheered me on again. The few times I have been able to become involved you have always been there to give support. You do so many incredible things for so many people. You have been a gift to us all and I know you will continue to make a difference in many more ways to come. I wish I could retire with you and jump right into the Webhead activties!!!

Bless you!

Candy Pauchnick

San Diego, California 


Maria Rosario di Mónaco (Argentina)

Dear Teresa,

What can I add? Only that I have been following your wonderful blogs and drawing lots of inspiration from the work you've done with your kids. And now I DO admire your courage to put an end to a situation that was making you unhappy and to look for new ways to continue growing and helping others grow. Congratulations!

BTW, I'm also very happy to hear you're back on your feet and walking normally. Kind of symbolic, isn't it?

My best wishes and admiration,



Sasa Sirk (Slovenia)

Dear Tere,

congrats and good luck on your further exploratory journeys, I'm sure you have many roads ahead. Also I think you are the kind of person who knows how to enjoy freedom so I'm happy you were able to take yours in your hands.

Wish you all the best,



Hala Fawzi (Sudan)


Why don't you put all these wonderful words on a wiki, a blog? They would create a lovely retirement gift from the webheads. Maybe adding a place for voice?:-)

Hala (Thoughts while reading the tons of the wonderful replies to "retired early" post)



You must have read my thoughts... The same went through my mind at once.


Susan Burg (Italy)

Dear Teresa,

I was surprised to hear about your retirement!  And what happened to your leg?? I wish you all the best.  This is a big change and I know your students will miss their "crazy" teacher! 

Happy Easter and a big hugs from Susan!!

...happy Easter to all!


John Hibbs (Oregon, USA)

I want to join the chorus of voices that sing high praises of Teresa.

I knew she was special long before we ever met -the first time in

Vancouver and the next in Lisbon.  I don't need to repeat what has

already been said. Everyone on this list knows she's tireless,

brilliant, kind, and exceptionally generous with the most important

treasure of all --  TIME.

Good Luck Teresa!


Barbara Dieu (Brazil)

Dear Tere,  minha irmã gêmea :-)

I totally understand your feelings as I have been confronted with the same

atmosphere and problems at school. Retired 2 years ago after 35 years in the

classroom, took a sabbatical to escape a "headsinister" from ruining my

health and self-esteem. My quick return this year just confirmed what I knew

deep inside -  once we have embarked on this path,  there is no going back

or stagnating.

See my post: http://beespace.net/kids-will-be-kids/

Moreover, I do not hold any hopes -  a sclerotic system/ structure cannot be

improved so will not spend my effort in desobstructing rotten pipes and

getting hurt while I try to do so. We've had our opportunities and moments

and enjoyed a full circle in our classes - the kids we educated will

remember their crazy teachers.

Beijos and enjoy your new time. Life is full of surprises. New challenges to

face for sure but  learning, after all,  is what makes us tick.




Vicky Saumell (Argentina)

Dear Teresa,

I feel happy and sad at the same time.

On one hand, I can closely relate to the the difficulties you have encountered for so many years. I have been teaching for 20 years and have faced similar situations, still today or even more so.

On the other hand, I am certain your retirement will allow you to choose what you really want to do and you'll be able to devote your newly-found free time to those things you love the most, webheads included!!!

Congrats and happy retirement!!!!

Vicky Saumell


Nina Liakos (Maryland, USA) 

Dearest Tere,

Enjoy your retirement!  Congratulations! You gave it your all.  Now you can do so many things you didn't have time for before.  All the best to you and Joao!




Biljana Naumoska (Skopje, Macedonia)

Happy Easter!


Have fruitful and enjoyable retirement days!




Berta Leiva (Venezuela)

Dear Tere,

I congratulate you on starting a new stage of your life with a wonderful companion as Joao is. We are not getting younger, dear friend, so we have to enjoy every day while we are healthy, intellectually active and full of energy. I am sure a lot of academic projects will come up soon and you will be able to enjoy selecting those you would love the most. You have so much experience, have been such a creative and loving teacher for so many years that any student or teacher-to-be will be lucky and honored to have you as a guide and trainer.

All the best, dear Tere. I hope to finally meet you someday. I will try my best to attend Tesol Boston next year. I am a Boston University graduate and would love to visit the city again, meet Webheads and see Sharon.

Muchos cariños, mis mejores deseos.



Gary Carkin (New Hampshire, USA)

Hi Teresa:

Saw your message on the webheads site about your early retirement. Congratulations! I think that it bodes well for more fulfilling days ahead. Life is too short to be caught in an educational cage with the sinisters. Too bad we can't free all the students, that's the thing!

And here's a link that will make you smile. It's been circulating on our EVO_Drama site.



All the best to you for all you've done and do.



Isabel Teixeira (Brazil)

Dear Tere,

You have lots to contribute to education. Enjoy your time now. And , please, be with us!




Cristina Costa (England)

Teresa - That is great news - you can now just focus on what is interesting and what really matters and forget all those internal 'politics'. It's their loss as people have been saying, but your gain as I knwo you will be bale to keep being creative and innovative.

I am only sorry for your students, but hopefully you will be able to infleunec other taechers to follow your steps. I know you will.

beijinhos to all



Rita Zeinstejer (Argentina)

Dear Tere!!

I've been following the thread about your retirement with such joy, so many people who love you and who know how hard and conscientiously you work..., what a great recognition!

All so well-deserved, dear friend, I can vow for that..., knowing you for so many years now :-))

Whenever you can, tell me more about your new life... In a year's time I'll be following your steps... And guess it's a new challenge ahead...

Besos y abrazos, y muchos!!



Thank you all!



Let me finish with a joke.

Says one retiree to another:

-- What are you going to do today?

-- Nothing.

-- Bus isn't that what you did yesterday?

-- Yes, but I didn't have time to finish...




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