Cindy Boyd has had a good run. But it’s time to move on.
The school counselor at Winterset Elementary retired at the end of the school year, after working there for seven years.
“Sometimes you just know when it’s time to go,” says Boyd, capping off a 26-year career as a school counselor. “I have a lot of other interests that I want to have the time and energy for.”
She’s planning on devoting more time to her three grandchildren and husband, sewing and traveling. She’s also interested in hospice work, volunteering at a local mental health agency and reading aloud at a local nursing home. Or, she says, she’d like to supervise student teachers or teach at a community college.
But there are things she’ll miss about her job, including the environment.
“Working at an elementary school is an ‘alive’ place — the ideas, the creativity, the energy, the caring and compassion,” Boyd says.
She’ll miss the students and the “wonderful” things they say and do, and kindergarten recess for the great learning opportunities it provides kids.
Prior to becoming a school counselor, Boyd was a classroom teacher for seven years. She was in the midst of getting her master’s in education, but hadn’t been able to find the right fit in teaching. In the mid-1980s, the state of Iowa mandated elementary school counselors, she says. And that would be the path she’d follow.
“What I really love is working with the social/emotional aspects parts of teaching,” Boyd says. She’s taught students learning skills, how to be an empathetic person, problem solving and knowing how to be a manger of yourself, your body and emotions.
Her students have taught her a thing or two as well. Humility. Joy.
“And I think probably the one that will be the strongest for me always is the ability to change,” she says.
They’ve also shown her how deeply a relationship with a child can change him or her. Relationships with children, as well as teachers and parents, can be transforming, usually in a positive way, she says.
“Who wouldn’t want to work in an elementary school?” Boyd asks.