Today is the last day of the school year for students and staff in Northern Territory urban schools. Tomorrow marks the last day of the 2019 school year for those in the outlying and remote NT schools.

Eight years have elapsed since I retired from full time schools engagement, but the feelings engendered in the closing stanza of each school year live in my memory.

I wanted to wish all our students and school staff the very best for the upcoming Christmas and New Year holiday period. I hope that on balance, challenges you confront have been outweighed by celebrations you have been able to share with students, between staff and within the community.

There is a misnomer that does the rounds suggesting that on the last day of the school year, teachers and support staff close the door and walk off for a six week break in its entirety.  Not true, for there are the ‘under the radar’ tasks that require attention during these weeks.  However please take time during these weeks to stand back, relax, refresh, contemplate and look forward to what happens next year, without being locked into a cycle of tasks that can become shackling.

All the very best and please know that the work of schools, staff and leaders is appreciated by communities. There may be brickbats, but there are also bouquets.

In appreciation.

Henry Gray

December 12 2019

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