New Year’s Day in September

This week, I am joining in Marsha Ingrao’s #WQWWC (Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writer’s Challenge). The prompt includes Learning, Education or Schools. The only rule is to use a quote. Thanks Marsha, for the fun challenge.

Once a teacher, always a teacher. No matter where you go or what you do, you can never truly get out of teaching. It’s like the Mafia. You know too much. 

If the air feels crispy and the store shelves are stocked with school supplies and Halloween decor, then a new year will soon begin. I regard the first day of school as New Year’s Day, complete with hopeful resolutions and expectations. When else are Anime backpacks and the scent of a fresh box of crayons anticipated?  

This September I am approaching the second year as a retired teacher. My teaching career spanned almost 40 years and since I was a student for 20 years prior, the first day of school was truly New Year’s Day on my calendar. I loved packing bags with new ideas, activities, and crayons,  preparing for the new crew of students and planning creative projects and activities to make learning fun and engaging. My school family of teachers provided exciting collaborations and explorations. Truth be told, the creativity teachers bring to their students and colleagues fuel the engagement and positive tone in the school. All of us were always learning.  

Last year’s COVID school opening veiled the excitement for everyone. I barely noticed the day. But this year, I am feeling empty-handed and unprepared. 

So I bought myself a fresh supply of highlighters and a spiral bound journal. There is also a new stash of pens. I like the ones that click and have a thick, cushy body and smooth ink delivery. Perhaps I will conveniently walk to the corner of my block at 7:20 am and wave to the passing buses. Most likely, weather permitting, I will sit in a sand chair on a sunny beach and jot down great ideas in my new journal. Sigh.

Don’t get me wrong. Retirement is AWESOME! I revel in the freedom from structured schedules. Writing the stories that have been rattling in my head has taken a front seat priority and fill my days. Within a year, three books will be published (BIG thanks to Stephanie Larkin of Red Penguin Books). I have learned so much! Virtual conferences, Zooming with fellow writers, and practicing and honing the writer’s craft brought me exhausting satisfaction. But wordsmithing the stories and holding and reading from my books is half the joy of writing. Sharing and inspiring my writer’s journey and learning from my readers fulfills the thrill. Kids are my favorite audience readers. Teachers are my best supporters. 

Because I am writing Becoming America’s Stories, a middle grade historical fiction series, I can offer students and teachers author presentations and writer workshops. I’ve made some downloadable teacher resources and class activities and registered with Eastern Suffolk BOCES Arts in Education. I can’t wait to walk (either in real new school shoes or virtual flip flops) the school halls, and visit classrooms filled with sweet and eager faces. There may also be opportunities to teach an adult education class and a professional development workshop next spring semester.  

It is hard to shake that teacher within me. Although the scheduling and juggling are on my terms, teaching kids and collaborating with teachers will happily clutter my calendar. The saying, “Once a teacher, always a teacher” speaks the truth. 

Enjoy ❤️.   Like 👍.  Share 😊. 


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If you had purchased a paperback or ebook The Heart of Bakers and Artists and/or Becoming America’s Food StoriesThank you!

Take a picture of you with Daily Bread and/or Becoming America’s Food Stories, and I’ll send you Reader’s Swag and add you to the Becoming America’s Stories Readers slideshow, coming soon! Kid pics are welcomed with parent or guardian permission. Don’t forget to leave a rating and quick comment on Amazon and/or Goodreads.


Daily Bread is set in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 1911. The story follows nine-year-old Lily, an American-born child of Sicilian immigrants, who wants to prove she is not a little kid. To be a big kid in the crowded tenement neighborhoods, she must tackle bigotry, bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and learn to cross the street by herself
Hope you are hungry. Becoming America’s Food Stories recalls the tales that have been told around my family’s dinner table. The histories explain the motivations over bowls of macaroni, antics play out while slurping soup, and laughter echoes throughout the dining room. Pull up a seat. There’s always room.

“If you don’t cook with love, you have to get out of the kitchen.” Florence Messina

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

16 thoughts

  1. What you say “once a teacher, always a teacher” is, I think, true of all *true* educators. As an aside, 3 books in a year – I’m in awe. I’m contemplating retirement from the day job so I can do the juggle on my terms…but I’m still not sure how that looks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Writing did not just happen. I always wanted and worked toward becoming a writer when I grew up. Retirement allowed me to focus in on a life long passion. What is your passion? Plan on brining it in the forfront when you are ready to retire.


      1. It’s writing. I’m about to publish my 8th novel, and an drafting no. 9. All while juggling family and a full-time corporate career. My aim is not to retire, but rather to retire from the day job.


  2. I bought new sandals yesterday, because one needs new shoes for New Year’s Day. LOL.
    Thanks for reading.


  3. Antoinette, what a lovely tribute to teaching. I love all the excitement and all that you have done since you left the classroom. This is a thrilling post to me. Thanks for sharing a snippet of your forty years of teaching experience. Just in that brief glimpse, I can tell you were an engaging teacher. Thanks for joining in WQWWC this week. I hope you will be back. 🙂 Friendship is next

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a lovely tribute to teaching and education. Whilst I’ve not been to school for a few years now (returned to uni late as an adult for my masters a few years back), I definitely still get that thrill of picking out new stationery (despite being an adult and able to buy new stationery at any time – haha). Great post, thank you for sharing. KL ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The tail-end of your quote is hilarious! I chuckle as I read your touching post. Again I am reminded of how much Educators do; and it never quite ends. Your influence, particularly because you write books, will persist for generations to come. I am in awe of Educators: by your dedication, your big hearts, your infinite patience. Loving Husband is a special needs Educator – I live in awe of him & his vocation each day.


  6. Oh my gosh Antoinette, I love that quote. So funny! My family used to joke that we were related to Lucky Luciano, and I’ve always questioned whether there were mafia ties though no one ever had a lot of money so probably not…lol. I’m not a teacher, but I find myself wanting to buy notebooks and pens when I see them on the shelves. lol

    Liked by 1 person

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