Source: Sherman Publications

‘It’s the best job in the world’

by David Fleet

June 11, 2014

Goodrich-Lynne Adams had absolutely no intention of becoming a teacher.

Plans change.

Now after 43 years and more than 1,000 students she’s pretty satisfied with her change in career.

“My mother and grandmother were elementary school teachers— actually I was going to be a Methodist minister,” laughed Adams, who on Wednesday retired after more than four decades in education. “But at that time in the late 60s there were a lot of women’s rights issues going on, so I wanted to do something that could help teach others how to learn to respect and love each other. There’s no better place than with 5-year-olds. I knew I was in the right place—it’s the best job in the world. And I’m just not saying that since it’s my last day of school either.’

Adams, 65, a Pontiac native, earned a degree in education from Albion College in 1971. After graduation she was hired in the Albion School District, the same classroom where she was a student teacher during her college years. In 1978 Adams came to Reid Elementary School. With the exception of short stints in first and fourth grades, Adams spent most of her career in the kindergarten classroom.

Students have changed over the 40 years Adams has been in education.

“The 5-year-old children today know a lot more about their world than 40 years ago,” she said. “They seem to come into the classroom with a large supply of knowledge. They do still have to learn how to treat each other with respect and how to find answers to things they don’t know. The kindergarten class is the most positive place anyone can work. In a class of 5-year-olds their perspective is bright and positive. No matter what my world is like going into work I put those thoughts on the backburner. What 5-year-olds see is wonderful. One of my challenges in retirement is no longer working in a positive environment. I have to now live with the fact I am not surrounded by the wonderful students.”

Lynne and husband Rick, a former teacher who retired from Goodrich Schools last year, have a family home on Lake Charlevoix where they plan on spending the summer.

“Last year on Labor Day I told Rick he could not wave goodbye to me from the porch of our Charlevoix home when I had to head back to school,” she laughed. “So I made him come home with me in August before school started. This year it’s going to be different— we can stay both stay at the lake. So come Labor Day, I will be smiling, but may have a few tears in my eyes.”

Lynne and Rick have three children, all Goodrich alumni. They also have five grandchildren.