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2020 – What a year!

That seems to be the greeting, the refrain, and the topic that fills those awkward gaps in conversation.

And yes. What a year 2020 has been. A strange dystopian time that has both dragged and flown and curled its way into the deepest recesses of our fears.

It has changed our plans, altered our routines and called us to question those touch stones we had always assumed to be solid.

It has made us stop. Take a breath. See the beauty around us. And yes, it has also highlighted what we desperately need to tend to.

Collectively we have been exhausted, confused and exhilarated at the possibilities of new ways of living.

We’ve appreciated the down times and the quiet times and the lockdown times, to take stock and re-evaluate what is truly important in our lives. Many of us have been thrown into an uncertain future.

We have socially distanced and masked up. Turned on a pin, realigned our chakras, reinvented our roles and relinquished much of our personal space to a virtual workspace of crowded coffee tables, makeshift boardrooms and Zoom. (Come on – how many of you have re-arranged that bookcase in the background to look oh so intelligent and edgy…)

We have developed new classroom and meeting protocols – let’s not scare the horses now! Pants are optional if you shoot from the waist up. Shut the door on small children and pets unless distraction is otherwise required.

And then there is school …

2020 has seen many of you clip along wide corridors devoid of the bump of bodies and the buzz of gossip and laughter. Gaze over empty quadrangles with not a hint of lunchtime litter for the breeze. Peer into lonely classrooms without a sea of faces peering back.

This kind of silence was once jokingly the stuff of dreams – but you need the bump of bodies and the laughter and the support of your colleagues to really connect and understand that what you are doing is making a difference.

So this year when the school bell echoed on time, each day, to nobody in particular, we want you to know that what you were doing from home, or in your classroom did make a difference. Your support made a difference to your students, to your colleagues and to the families in your community.

Teachers have never been as appreciated as you have been in 2020. Just look at the memes!

All of us at Work-Ready would like to say a big THANK YOU for the hard work you have put in. We say it every year, and we mean it every year – but this year we mean it even more.

As 2020 draws to a close it seems we are waking to something a little brighter. In some states and territories we’ll soon be allowed to dance again, and not just in the kitchen! So take time over the holidays to dance, RELAX and (borders permitting), spend time with your loved ones.

Merry Christmas and we will see you in 2021!

Tracy Marsh and the Work-Ready Team