Formerly retired teacher heads back to the classroom for the new school year

Some teachers return from retirement
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 10:24 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As the new school year kicks off, teachers and students are heading back to the classroom, including teachers who canceled their retirement plans.

Earlier this year, lawmakers changed the salary schedule for teachers and added in an extra benefit for those with more than nine years experience by giving them a raise each year instead of every three years.

These and other state pay incentives are one reason Michael Pruitt came out of retirement. Pruitt was a teacher for 25 years before retiring in 2020. He coached for almost 30 years. He said he was planning to go to another state district or to private schools, but the pandemic changed his plans.

Now, he’s back in the classroom this school year at Pell City High School. Pruitt said he missed being around kids and having the opportunity to be a positive influence in young lives, especially older students gearing up for college.

“I have my purpose back,” he said. “I realized that I’m supposed to teach and coach.”

While his love for teaching is the main reason he came back, he said the changes in state pay helped his decision.

“It definitely helps,” Pruitt said. “I mean that was an added bonus, but that’s not the main reason I came back. It’s an added benefit, because I think it is around a seven to eight thousand dollar raise, so that helps.”

Pruitt said luckily he saved many of his files and materials, so he is all geared up for the start of the school year.

Parent-Teacher USA in Hoover tells WBRC that they have seen an increase in formerly retired teachers coming in and repurchasing supplies.

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