This happens every night, just about.

I eat dinner on the couch. I turn on the news or Bob’s Burgers. I have a plan to do a couple of things afterward. And then I wake up two or three hours later, sore from sitting up on the couch. Then I try to sort out the things I need to do before getting ready for bed. Often, this will take me past an ideal bedtime, and the uncomfortable couch sleep means I’ll have a hard time getting to sleep again, too.

Teaching has always been like this, to a degree. Most teachers that I know leave it all on the field each day. They go home spent. I remember hearing a behavior specialist saying, “You shouldn’t be going home tired, they should.” Okay.

This year is something special, though. I’ve written about this some already, I know.

I’m in a classroom. That means I’m projecting my voice through a mask all day. I’m aiming to project my voice to twenty-one kids who are spread as far apart as physically possible. Each student has a desk shield made of cardboard, and thin plexiglass on their desk, partially obscuring their view, serving as an added barrier to my voice. In other words, I have to speak up. I’m slowly relearning how to teach, how to work with the kids in a way so I’m not just dancing and using direct instruction, but it’s been difficult to figure out.

That’s enough. It’s a lot. Throw in last week’s attack on the US Capitol, and the intelligence that’s saying we can expect armed demonstrations in all fifty states between now and the inauguration, and I don’t even know what to think. It’s overwhelming. It’s scary. I’m angry.

But most of all, I’m tired.

I don’t have any solutions or ideas tonight. I’m not here to complain, or to ask for solutions. It’s helpful for me to write down what’s frustrating me. It allows it to exist without being something that just exists, bouncing around inside my head. And I don’t know, if you’re reading this, maybe knowing that someone else is saying some of the things you’re feeling will help for you too.

Take care of yourself, reader. You’re lovely.

A closeup drawing of a woman’s eyes, drawn on a background of words from a book page.
A closeup drawing of a woman’s eyes, drawn on a background of words from a book page.

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