Friday was a big day of reflection for me; for the first time in 13 years, I was not at a school, watching children head off into their summer break. I was at home, working on a university assignment, living a different dream. The last day of school was always a good day – students were excited or hesitant or teary or happy. They were all the things you see in students throughout the year, all compacted in to one day. One moment. The moment when the final bell rings.
The school year has drawn to an end, yet the fight for education continues.
The media and the government have turned down the spotlight wattage on education issues – the media is in search of the next big news item and the government is in search of their summer recess.
Educators are going to take time to reflect on their year, their students – both the successes and the areas that were struggles.
I would imagine that there will be educators who will reflect on something else – they will reflect on the state of education. Some may be wondering what the hell they are doing in education.
I hope that those educators, those good people who make the difference in the lives of students, hold strong. I hope that they know that what they do every day does matter. It matters to that student who couldn’t read or pay attention or understand until you showed them how to learn. It matters to the parents who wondered how to help their child, and the answer came from the educator who observed the child and found the key to understanding.
It matters to the place that education holds in society – the foundation that children need. When you look around the world, or across the country, not everyone has the gift of education. It is something to be treasured and honoured and appreciated.
The people who deliver that education – whose life work it is to effect the future by teaching our children – they also deserve to be treasured and honoured and appreciated.
Thank you to all the educators who are providing the environment and the tools for students to learn, to change, to succeed.
In case you were wondering – in case the media has made it hard to remember – you are valuable and you are valued.
Rest, relax, reflect and know – your life’s work matters.