Dear Teachers. Dear Leaders. Dear Inspectors, Advisors, Specialists and Consultants. Dear anyone who dedicates their professional life to creating a better future for our young learners. Dear Educators,

The Ministry of Learning would like to take this seasonal opportunity to offer you all a heartfelt Thank-you! Not a strategic, mediated or political one. A real one. A real, genuine, authentic Thank-you.

Thank-you for choosing the one profession that creates all the others.

Thank-you for your resilience, your strength and your perseverance in the face of daily volatility and uncertainty.

Thank-you for your flexibility, your dynamism and your pragmatism in responding so effectively and efficiently to last minute requests.

Thank-you for your patience, your humility and your maturity when anger is directed towards you (wrongly, you just happened to be the nearest target).

Thank-you for your creativity, your innovation and your confidence since early 2020 in taking learning online, then off, then back again. You looked wonderful on Zoom/Teams/Meet by the way. And sounded even better. The kids loved it and adapted so well.

Thank-you for going above and beyond. For taking laptops and dongles to homes. For insisting on just one glimpse of a vulnerable child through their lounge window, to know they are safe, for now.

Thank-you for your commitment, your positivity, your good humour and your willingness to safeguard the wellbeing of those around you.

Thank-you for caring.

Thank-you for prioritising relationships and well-being over accelerated catch up (you can't have the latter without the former); thank you for being a rock in the turbulence faced by children, their families and their communities.

Thank-you for showing up day after day, week after week, month after month.

It's been a unimaginably tough 20 months but you have stuck it out. You have bent in the wind but not broken. You have fallen many times but have always got up. You have walked through chaos, complexity, ambiguity and confusion but have found clarity at the other side. You have grown. You have learned so much. You are stronger, tougher, wiser now.

The nation thanks you for your skill, your knowledge and your character.

The Ministry of Learning thanks you for adding value to the future.

Please enjoy a wonderful holiday, whenever it comes, and take a well deserved slice of rest and recovery for yourselves. We look forward to working alongside you in 2022.