Episode 5: Leverage Experience…Starring Robert Trocchia

The Problem:

Many retired educators suffer from a loss of identity and a lack of purpose.

My guest today is awesome. Robert Trocchia is 88-years-old. Let that sink in. You’d never know it if you met him. I met Robert when he was 45. He honestly doesn't seem that different. Since I’ve known him, the power of his voice and the power of his handshake haven’t changed a lick. He is a vibrant man and a role model and mentor.

Robert is still a local icon, but in his heyday, he was foundational to both his school and his community. This man taught for 49 years. He started teaching at age 20. Some of his first students have reached the tender age of 85.

After retirement, Robert was a bit lost. So, he took action. He leveraged the skills he’d honed during his 49 years in the classroom. He held the following positions during this extended tenure:

  • Director of Music, Fairfield Union Schools
  • Director of Choral Activities, Ohio University Lancaster
  • Artistic Director, Lancaster Chorale

He built off these rich experiences in retirement:

  • National Board of Directors, Creative Arts Workshops Music Advisory Board
  • Ohio Arts Council (two terms)

Robert emphasizes the freedom he now experiences. That freedom comes in the form of being liberated from tedious expectations, but also creative freedom. That is perhaps retirement’s greatest gift.

Here's a link to Robert's marvelous book: Mountaintop Moments: Sixty Years of Music Education in Story and Practice

What you can do About it:

In the episode, we spoke about all the important skills teachers possess:

  • organizational skills
  • leadership skills
  • motivational skills
  • management skills

But these are general. I’ll bet that you could expand significantly on this list. Robert encourages you to do just that inventory.

I want every listener to be as happy and vibrant as Robert at age 88.