Ministry of Learning Briefing 02/22/A17: The Ministry of Learning would like to thank you for your dedication, resilience, creativity and problem solving over the last two years. We recognise that COVID-19 still presents significant operational challenges but we are incredibly impressed with how you respond to this. You must feel a little weary, overwhelmed, exhausted? If you do, we admire your professionalism, turning up, day after day for the last two years, keeping learning going. You deserve a rest, a recharge, a chance to reflect. You are amazing. The nation is lucky to have you.

It’s great to receive praise like this. It’s well deserved. Two years ago, a couple of staff off sick for 10 days was a major headache. Now, we wouldn’t bat an eye at that. Many schools have realised they can open with half or even all teachers absent or, with the wave of a hand, switch to remote or blended learning. Incredible!

So now, as pandemic segues to endemic, we can take stock. We’ve learned the organisational craft of keeping things going with whoever shows up on the day. We’ve learned to solve difficult problems; to navigate chaos and complexity. We’ve responded at short notice to requirements and guidance. We have learned and we have grown.

One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

You will not unlearn the skills you’ve gained. You will not forget the challenges you’ve met. You will never again be the person you were in 2019 – you will forever be much more than that – because you had to be, because you needed to be.

Ministry of Learning mentors offer you the following reflection questions to ponder while you take a short break:

  • will the old challenges still satisfy you?
  • will the new educational landscape let you thrive?
  • will you seek something new and different?
  • will you seek greater challenges? And, looking back to a post from early 2020,
  • what have you lost? what have you gained? what has transformed?