What a start. What a terrible, frustrating, horrid start. Term 1 is done.
Congratulations to every teacher, principal, support staff, administration member, cleaner, gardener and any other member of school staff who made it through, that was no mean feat!
It is really hard to write a blog – knowing all of what is going on – trying to hit the right note and build up the work without sounding glib, or tone deaf but I shall give it my best.
One thing we can agree on is that this has been a year like no other. We are now into our third year of building the plane as we fly it. We turned on a dime in 2019 when we were thrust into online learning. I think it is important to point out that while universities and, possibly others, took time off to upskill their lecturers, no such time was given to the hundreds and thousands of classroom teachers. We all just did what we needed to do. We got it done. We continued to get it done through the lock downs, mask wearing and other restrictions.
Fast forward to this year and I do not know a single teacher, which number many, that have been able to just ‘teach their load’. Every single teacher has covered classes that are not their own. They have covered duties, recess, lunch, morning, afternoon and bus. They have gone above and beyond. They have worked 16 hour days. For months. I say they, I should say YOU. You who are reading this blog. You have gone above and beyond to try and keep this battered plane flying through the unknown because you care. Your work matters. You are a dedicated, driven professional.
There are no words at this time to describe YOU, the passion and the love you have for your students. For doing your absolute best to ensure that, as much as possible, everything stays on track for them.
At this time of holidays, it is time to take care of YOU. The country found out just how much they rely on schools, educators and staff in 2019 and so many of YOU are leaving or at least thinking about it. I get that. I understand. I have been there myself. The government isn’t listening. The media bang us up at every opportunity. Undesirable behaviours are on the increase – without enough teachers we can expect nothing less. And yet, YOU power on. Because you are doing important work.
Let me just say that we see YOU. We see the work that YOU do daily. Every. Single. Day. You matter so much more than YOU know. You have students that would not get through their days without you. You are their safe place to land. You matter. So. Much. These holidays do what you need to do. Catch up with friends. Have a few drinks. Get out into the sunshine. Breathe. Sleep – for days. Try to step away from the work. Find your balance and your place of quiet. We don’t know how Term 2 is going to roll out but we know that we need YOU. Our kids do. Our parents do. Our society does. Take care of you. YOU are seen. Your work is valued. YOU matter. Thank you. Thank you for all of the people who have not bothered or thought of saying it. We will say it. We will say it again and again.
Check out other articles Cassie has written here.