I moved to Colorado last June and truly enjoyed my environment and my new school. I was sharing a caseload with another teacher. We combined an Autism program with another program that serves students with more severe disabilities. The big focus was life skills in an authentic setting, which meant that we went out into the community a lot to practice these skills. Of course, there was academics too, but this was geared to support the life skills programming.
All was great until I got my paycheck. I thought there was a mistake, and since it was my first one, I assumed there had been days left off. Then I got my second one and realized there had not been a mistake at all. It was over $2000 less per month than what I made in my previous job and frankly not enough to pay all my bills, including my student loan. So I checked on the laws regarding leaving in the middle of a contract, found I could do it if I gave 30 days notice, and I told them I was leaving. It was too bad, especially since I loved that job, my students, and the people I worked with. In addition to this reason, I also had a personal reason to come back to Washington, so it wasn't just the money, but that played a big part.
So I moved back to Washington, contacted my previous school and they had an opening in a different special ed program. I started in November. It is a self contained program with 9 students. Most have moderate to severe learning disabilities but socially are fairly close to grade level. It has been a nice change of pace to work with students that are verbal, that can read and write, although 3-5 grade levels behind, and don't need as much support. I provide support to students in their gen ed science and social studies classes, and they are with me the rest of the day except for electives.
It has been a whirlwind of moving and changing jobs, but I am hopefully settled for awhile.
As a reward for reading this post I am including a poster and a social story about nose-picking. It's a gross habit but I am surrounded by them. This was very helpful in my classroom so hopefully it will help you, too.