Old Boy Andy Larson, asks the question of what to do now?

By Otago Daily Times | Posted: Wednesday November 22, 2017

Andy Larson is chalking up last term of his 41-year teaching career, and all he can think about is how challenging it will be to fill his retirement days.

"Going from 60-70-hour weeks to doing very little — that’s the biggest fear that I have," the Fairfield School principal said.

‘‘I can remember my father when he retired.

''For Dad, it was missing the people that he worked with and not seeing his mates on a regular basis.

"I’ll miss the constant contact with people and the busy life that I have, doing 100 things in a day."

The 63-year-old has been principal at Fairfield School for the past 19 years, and has decided to retire at the end of this year because he felt it was time for someone else to "run the ship and take the school to even greater heights".

Mr Larson said he began his career in 1977, at Riversdale School in Southland.

Since then, he has taught at Invercargill South, Otatara and Elston Lea schools, and gone on to be principal at Thornbury (Riverton), Konini (Bluff) and more recently, Outram School.

"It might sound cliched but what’s kept me in it [education] is people — whether it’s the children or parents or colleagues.

"What I’ve enjoyed the most is seeing kids grow and seeing staff grow and being able to do something for your community.

"It’s like one big family."

Initially when he retires he plans to spend more time with family and take care of jobs around the house.

"It’ll give me a bit of time to take a breath and see what I want to do and where I want to go.

"I’m looking forward to having a bit more time to myself, and doing some of the things I haven’t had time to do. What they are, I haven’t set in concrete yet."

Like many retiring educators, he said he would find it difficult to stop teaching completely, and so he would probably work part-time in an education advisory role.

"One of the things I get the greatest satisfaction out of is working with other principals and helping them," Mr Larson said.

Fairfield School will be left in good hands as another Old Boy Greg Lees has been appointed as Principal. 

Thank you to the ODT for the use of this article