Well, we have passed the pointy end of the year – and where did that year go?

Exams are done and dusted, marking and reports will soon become a memory and the schoolyard has all but emptied of seniors – only the stragglers remain.

There are classroom cleanups with skips overflowing, casual dress days, and activities (vaguely tailored to meet curriculum demands) to occupy the hands and minds of the remaining throng. The weather is warming with the promise of the Christmas break and the mood is one of mellow exhaustion.

Even the panic you have been pushing down since the middle of term one is beginning to subside.

That panic would probably disappear altogether if it weren’t for final staff meetings crammed with planning, expectations and farewells to colleagues. And then there’s the uncertainty for some of gaining classroom space, permanency or even a contract in 2020 …

And there we have it. Even in the wind down to the end of a hectic year teachers still can’t quite relax and enjoy the reward of a job well done.

But rest assured; the 2019 school year has been a job well done!

You won’t hear that in the half-baked headlines that trumpet the impending doom of educational standards. You won’t hear it in the misinformation pedalled by talkback shock jocks. You won’t even get a sense of it as you try to negotiate fair pay and conditions. Remember – they are all running on an agenda that has little to do with the efficacy of schools and the well being of the school community.

The 2019 school year has been a job well done, and you will hear it from those who matter the most.

You hear it in the voices of concerned parents as you return a phone call or send that quick reassuring email. You understand it as you swap stories, share ideas, and lend a supportive shoulder to your colleagues.

Most importantly, you have glimpsed it a hundred times throughout the year with your students. In those ‘AHA!’ moments when something finally falls into place. In the times when a stray comment dissolves your classroom in uproarious laughter, and you will see it as you watch your students exit the school gate with more confidence than when they entered at the start of the year.

Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

When you leave school on the final day of the 2019 school year, do so in the knowledge that you have made a difference to the lives of your students, and in the working days of your colleagues.

When you return in 2020, Work-Ready will be there to take some of the weight off your careers education preparation. We will be packed with the same great resources, plenty of updates and so much more.

So whatever, wherever and however you are celebrating over the summer break – relax and enjoy. You deserve it!