70 Years in the Classroom: One Teacher’s Career

By Katie Ash — January 16, 2008 1 min read
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There’s an AP story up this morning about Naomi May, who began teaching elementary school students when she was 18 years old and is still teaching today--70 years later. That’s longer than a lot of people live! She’s now 88 years old and has been in the classroom long enough to teach some of the grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, of her first students.

Ms. May was so motivated to teach that even after she retired in 1981, she couldn’t stay away from school. “I live just across the fence and I could hear the bells,” she says in the article. “They always needed substitutes, so I started doing that.” Twenty-seven years after her “retirement,” she still teaches every day. Now she works with English-Language Learners, teaching them vocabulary and tutoring them in other subjects.

If this story interests you, you may want to head over to They have a lot of great stories, blogs, and tips from teachers about staying motivated in the classroom.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.