Now, What to Do?

On December 22, 2021, I walked away from my career as a public high school music teacher in California.  I want to make that clear – in California.  If there is a person in another state who wants a competent / proven high school music teacher or a conductor for your ensemble in another state?  Contact me.  If there is a person connected with a private or charter school (I know Dean – SMILE), contact me.  I do plan to use this current time as a “sabbatical.” My resume is solid, as are my references. 

Since my first day (July 3, 1989) of teaching high school music in California, a lot has changed, including not limited to: 

  • We now know who teachers vote for.
  • We now know who teachers sleep with (well, as far as gender).
  • We now know that we are not a melting pot but a salad bowl (cute – yet, irritating).
  • We have more parents divorced.
  • We have more fatherless homes.
  • The number of homeless children has increased.
  • The number of awful drugs has increased. 
  • The fallout from the RESPONSE to Covid-19.
  • Restorative Justice / Practice 

In thirty-three years of teaching, a lot has changed.  A lot of change that leads others to say to me, “You need to not be here (Pinecrest High School).”  “You need to leave Jesus Christ in the parking lot.”  “You cannot tell your students, ‘I love you.’”  Now, what to do?

So, when a public-school teacher in California retires, the age 62 seems to be the “Gold Ticket.”  The “Gold Ticket” is pretty much a full paycheck.  I would have “earned” over $7,000 a month.  I had seven more years left to get to the “Gold Ticket.”  Well, I never went into teaching thinking, “I gotta make it to 62 so I can retire comfortably.” 

Wasn’t my goal.  Now, that I am 56 years-old … what to do?

There are some major decisions that I am going to have to make.  I am sure you will face similar decisions or at the least “major decisions.”

Now, what to do? 

If you cannot be you, you know what to do!  BE YOU!  And, if being you does not match up / align with the group and that group will not allow you to be you (Saying to my students, “Thank God I have awesome students” / while there is another teacher who has the rainbow flag in the classroom / while there is another teacher who has the BLM-inc. flag in the classroom), then my suggestion is to walk away.  When you walk away, there is a very SOLID chance life does not all the sudden improve. 

Well, my life hasn’t all of the sudden improved… yet.   

  • February 5, 2022 – no job. I have applied for five different jobs and not one interview.
  • February 5, 2022 – friends have faded away. No pity parties.  Just what happens.  When you put all your eggs into one basket (your career) and you decide it is time to walk away, you have the chance to be alone / lonely. 

Now, what to do?  Here is an answer.  

Well, as you know because I have made it clear that this (blog) STREAM THAT FEEDS “Lake Paul” is my “Christian Stream” – my podcast is the “Education Stream” – my YouTube will be the “Leadership Stream” – I turn to my Christian faith. 

As I sit here typing this (it’s still called “typing” … Correct?), I have found that Spotify has a cool “Jesus Movement” channel (it’s still called “channel” … Correct?).  So, I have my cool “Hippie Christian” music.  My cool ambiance.  I am settling into the environment I have chosen.  Nice. 

When I feel like “Now, what to do?” mood … I go to my Bible. 

My theme for today is … Lord, what to do? 

There is so much on the internet that is EVIL, but there is so much on the internet that counteracts that evil!  I typed “Lord, what to do?” and look at what I found!! 

My mood right now?  Reading the first part of this article, I know it may surprise you.  My mood right now is I need hope. 

On January 28, 2022, my friend Chaplain John and I had an amazing meeting in Visalia.  At the Café 210 (that place has a cool story – BTW), Chaplain John and I met with around six members of the community.  Wow!  First thing I noticed was how much they love Chaplain John!  Seriously.  The vibe was LOVE. 

I introduced my vision of offering seminar:  John C. Maxwell’s THE 15 INVALUABLE LAWS OF GROWTH.  The response?  EXTREMELY POSITIVE.  “We can do this.”  My body felt goosebumps (which for me is the HOLY SPIRIT / God)!

Chaplain John and I walked out of that meeting so exuberant!  HIGH FIVE!  “THIS IS GOING TO WORK!”  We have the chance to do something special for many special people!  We get to add value to people’s lives!  

So, again, I sat at my computer.  I typed in the search engine: “Lord, what to do” and this is what I found…,your%20ambition%20to%20lead%20a%20quiet…%20More%20

Then, I looked at the eight responses and the one that touched my heart today (in the future, I see me referring to this site):

  1. A Verse for Hope

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:23-24).

Hope is one of those words we use a lot in Christian circles. It’s kind of the one thing we all hold to as we wait to see what will happen next. We expect God to answer and work things out for our good. But on the other hand, we know there will be trials and struggles along the way. When those roadblocks come and you find yourself asking, “What should I do now?” Keep doing what you know to do. Keep encouraging others that God is absolutely faithful. He already knows what is going to happen, so keep holding onto to hope.

BAND TOGETHERVISALIA team is going to need hope.  Right now?  We are so “good.” Emails back and forth are full of vigor / positivity.  And I HOPE that will continue to and at the same time, I know “…there will be trials and struggles along the way.  When those roadblocks come and I will find myself asking, “What should I do now?”  Keep doing what you know to do.  KEEP encouraging others that GOD IS ABSOLUTELY FAITHFUL. 

And that is my message for me and you!  Keep doing what you know you need to do.  KEEP encouraging others that GOD IS ABSOLUTELY FAITHFUL. 

I am going to encourage you and me to believe / have hope that for every NO there will be a yes and maybe more than ONE yes (smile).  Right?  Until February 5, 2022, not one job interview for a teacher who has had incredible success.  Money is super tight.  Yes… We have savings, but now … with no paycheck coming in at 56 years-old, that savings will go fast; especially with this super hyperinflation, February 5, 2022, Diana (my wife) came home on Thursday, “This block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese?  SIX DOLLARS!”

Yet, with all the “No’s” in my life – I KNOW… I KNOW… I KNOW that God already knows what is going to happen.  When, I took the “risk” to leave in the middle of the school year / retire six years “too soon” (the albatross of the CAL-STRS), God knew that was going to happen!  He wanted that (my decision to leave) to happen!  I did it.  Now, what to do?  Keep holding onto hope. 

Thank you for reading this.  I hope this helps you.  Please share it.  If you need me, let me know. 

To help you and me, several verses on HOPE! 

  • Hebrews 3:6 – But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house.  And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.
  • Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see
  • Hebrews 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 
  • 1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now these three remain:  faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.
  • Romans 5:2 – …through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
  • Romans 14:23 – But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. 

If you are in Visalia, CA / have friends in Visalia, here is the information for our event (we are still working on the price for the event(s):

  • April 29 – 7pm-9pm Cafe 210 SOMETIMES YOU WIN SOMETIMES YOU LEARN for TEENS  Super SUPER important to understand… this SOMETIMES YOU WIN SOMETIMES YOU LEARN for TEENS is SECULARThe material is focused for ALL TEENAGERS WHO WANT TO LEARN THAT FAILURE IS MEANT FOR US TO IMPROVE!  Drink / Snack / Book will be provided (Cost yet to be determined.  The BAND TOGETHER-VISALIA Team is looking for sponsors.  We want the cost for participants to be as low as possible!) 
  • April 30 – 8am Registration; 9am-3pm First Presbyterian Church of Visalia… Super SUPER important to understand… this THE 15 LAWS OF INVALUABLE GROWTH is SECULAR.  The material is focused on ALL PEOPLE WHO WANT TO INTENTIONALLY GROW! The church is in a convenient location and Cafe 210 (providing lunch) is right next door.  The seminar will include a lunch / book / materials and you help provide the ‘GOOD TIME (smile).’  (Cost yet to be determined.  The BAND TOGETHERVISALIA Team is looking for sponsors.  We want the cost for participants to be as low as possible!) 

If you want to go or help sponsor others to attend, contact me at   Again, if you feel led to help support this event, we are looking for SPONSORS.  Great way to advertise your business.  Great way to share your HOPE for a better world!  Thank you! 

Final thought:  if you are interested in hosting your own THE 15 LAWS OF INVALUABLE GROWTH (or one of the several other John C. Maxwell books, INCLUDING BIBLICAL BASED MATERIAL), let me know.  This is my future.  Would love to have you be a part of a great future for you and me!