If you are interested in keeping your brain active and limber as you enter retirement, you can do so by constantly seeking out new learnings. Oddly enough, one of the best ways of doing this is by teaching.

Most volunteer teachers will tell you that they learn more than their students. This is partly because your students will keep you on your toes. You may think your subject matter is old hat and boring, but unless they have been forced into the learning situation, your students will be looking at it with new eyes and new interest. With luck, they will ask questions that will force you to push the limits of your own knowledge.

Of course, if you just retired from twenty or so years of teaching, you may want to take a hiatus from that exacting task. Or you may find that you miss teaching so much that you can't wait to gather willing students around you.

If you've never taught before, or never moved out of the rigid regimentation of corporate training courses, you may face the prospect of teaching with fear and trembling. What could you teach? Who could you teach?

Let's take those questions one at at time. First, what are you supposed to teach? Anything that you, yourself, are interested in and have some knowledge of. It could be a skill gained from years of employment – maybe you could teach first aid classes, creative writing, basic computer skills, a foreign language, cake decorating, flower arranging, gun safety courses, art classes, dog obedience courses.

Do you have a hobby? Chances are there is someone who would like to learn how to do whatever it is that you do as a hobby. Do you collect stamps, tie flys, play chess, write poetry, make pottery, crochet, knit, tat or quilt? Maybe you're an amateur astronomer or archeologist. Maybe you make jewelry. Maybe you're a bird watcher or a gardener.

Do you have specialized skills? A black belt in karate or tae kwondo? Modern dance or ballet? Rock polishing, photography or gourmet cooking? Playing the piano or a guitar or any other musical instrument? Do you have mathmatical skills? Language skills? Living skills?

You fill in the blank: I could teach _____________________________________________________.

Second, who would you teach? What age group are you most comfortable with? Children, youth, adults? Do you want to stay within your comfort zone or really push the envelope and try teaching a different age group?

Most communities have organizations like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys Clubs, 4-H or community centers – all of which are hungry for short-term or long-term volunteers to teach children and youth a variety of subjects and skills. If your community doesn't have such an organization, maybe you should start one.

There are also adult education programs or senior citizens groups that could possibly make use of your skills and knowledge.

If you are a member of a church, synagogue or mosque chances are there is a class that you could teach – or you could start one.

Some communities have community-wide programs like Kansas City's Communiversity. These are similar to junior college or community college programs in that a number of different subjects are offered in classes of limited size at a particular time on a particular night (or nights) of the week for a couple of months. Volunteers teach the classes and students sign up for those classes that interest them and that fit their schedules.

Whether you work in one of the venues mentioned above, or develop a program of your own, you have a lot to offer in hard-won knowledge and wisdom. By teaching your knowledge and skills to others, you will be making a positive contribution not only to the lives of your students, but to your own life as well. By teaching, you will keep on learning.

Author's Bio: 


I am a Baby Boomer myself and a newbie internet entrepreneur focusing on the Baby Boomer generation because I spent sixteen years serving as pastor in United Methodist congregations all over Kansas. Those congregations were made up primarily of Baby Boomer or older members, so I have developed some expertise with the Baby Boomer generation. I am now on leave of absence and living in Atchison, Ks. with my thirty-year-old son and two cats. I also help my daughter, also living in Atchison, with three sons, ages 9, 7, and 22 months, while their father is in Afghanistan. My blogs are found at http://www.for-boomers.com.