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(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻ or teaching 2023

Right now as I write this I am finishing my coffee and stalling. I don’t want to go to work for what will be one of the two final days leading up to winter break.

I started my career in special education in January 2020, and within 6 weeks I had an opportunity to learn very quickly as the world of education was thrust into “nobody has ever done this before, give yourself grace” while my legal deadlines did not actually care. Since then, I have been without support.

Today, I face a mountain of work ahead of me up to winter break. I have one huge IEP meeting this evening, and another tomorrow morning, and a third IEP to write. The silver lining? The rest of the year should be easier. This one. Not next. I wasn’t talking about the school year. 2024, also known as the rest of this school year, will surely be ridiculous as I grapple with not having enough staff to run my program in another district that has become hostile toward teachers.

Something has to change. A few days ago I vented to a colleague about how the system can’t keep eating teachers, we hired 5 of my role this year and I’m sure we will be doing it again next year. We have the lowest budget but the highest expectation—resource room—and we are told “collect data” but we don’t have the people to make it so we can go collect data.

It’s a shit show.

I am being consumed by this job. When I think about leaving, I am told “you love this.” and “this is your calling.” and “you’re so fulfilled.” These are the lies that we tell ourselves to keep the proverbial torch going.

We’re being gaslit.