I'm exhausted by budget talks. Budget talks. Budget talks end with lost jobs, lost pay, bigger classes, less supplies, more work and stress. So much stress. The cuts we must make will go so deep, will hurt so bad... I have trouble understanding how we come back to normal. Will there ever be normal again? Every time we cut, things don't come back in better times. We have rooms in our schools that were used for wood shop, home ec, photography... cut in hard times... and never back again. So when we lose media specialists, when classes go up to 38, 39, 40, 41... we will ever see a return to now? Or will this become the norm? I long for classes under 30. A classroom I can walk around easily in, the time to meet with each student, the energy to grade a set of tests in one evening. All I see ahead is exhaustion.
And with it all comes guilt. Guilt I can't be happy it's not worse. We're not losing 12 days like a near by district. We haven't all been fired like the teachers in New Jersey. We aren't left without a contract and about to strike like some other chapters in the state. We aren't wasting precious classroom time to fight for basic rights like the teachers in Wisconsin. But really-- if I'm supposed to be grateful because my district has managed to avoid falling that far into trouble-- we have depressingly low standards for what qualifies as job satisfaction for educators.
I love my job so much. I love being a teacher. I love it. And I'm good at it. But after meeting with the principal, meeting with the union, and meeting with the staff... all to discuss... really depressing prospects... I'm tired.