It’s been a rocky year for education in Aotearoa. Not because our schools, kindergartens, and colleges are not doing well, but because they are under attack from the very people charged with protecting and enriching our education system.
And despite the constant nasty and demeaning remarks from those in power, our teachers have forged on, educating our children and caring in ways that simply cannot be measured.
So, to the teachers, students and parents out there who have fought for quality public education, thank you.
To every person who has attended a meeting, shared a blog post, written to their MP, signed a petition, marched, or otherwise raised their voice – thank you.
To those communities in Christchurch who have fought so bravely, often despite horrible post-quake problems, to save their local schools, thank you.
To every school staff member who turned up to work despite not being paid by Novopay, thank you.
To the brave teachers and trustees who have resisted National Standards, and all those who have done their best to mitigate the damage they can cause, thank you.
To those asking questions and demanding answers about charter schools system, thank you.
To all those who have demanded that teacher training is high quality and not reduced to a few weeks or to staff that are entirely untrained, thank you.
To everyone who has taken time to discuss with someone what this government’s policies are doing to our education system, thank you.
I want to thank everyone who has resisted the urge to throw in the towel in the face of adversity and instead has continued to do the best they can for our tamariki.
To everyone who has refused to just sit by: Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Rest, enjoy the holidays, and be ready to continue to fight next year.
Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me TeTau Hou.