Yesterday was the last day of the weirdest school year I have yet been a part of. I feel like I haven't been "Miss Garrard" in her usual role in months though I've worked continually throughout. In the UK there seems to be a culture of teacher under-appreciation. We moan, we're lazy, we get a 6 week Summer (which we don't get paid for), we don't care etc.
Yesterday our senior leaders led a presentation which nearly had me in happy tears. Looking around the gym at 30 fellow members of staff (another 30 were in the hall, another 30 in the sports hall - they linked us all up via Microsoft Teams). I saw an exhausted team of dedicated professionals who badly needed to hear this message:
What followed was over 30 minutes of upbeat music and slides we'd all put together for each other thanking each other for the support, the passion and the kindness we'd shard over the past year. My face hurt from smiling.
Yes, it's been a tough year. Yes, I'm scared to go back in September. Yes, I'm really excited to teach Space to year 7's and Ecology to year 9, yep, even Rotational Forces to Year 11! I'm burned out and eager to get some me-time but you better believe I'm probably going to spend a couple of weeks planning lessons and organising school trips and an after school Science programme. Not because I'm paid to, not because I'm being forced to, but because I'm not alone in thinking of your kids as my kids when they enter my classroom and I truly want the best for them, especially during the COVID-19 madness we're all living through right now.
It's my pleasure to be part of this crazy department of professional, dedicated and inspirational people!