To the headteachers


1 min read
18 Dec
18Dec

In this, our final post of a tumultuous year, Lisa Pettifer writes as a teacher and sums up perfectly the mood of the nation, as she so poignantly thanks headteachers for all that they have done.

You’ve spearheaded Teams and Zoomed assemblies, donned the masks and dished out the sanitiser. You’ve stepped up and out, and never missed a beat in your march ahead. 

You’ve juggled staffing, found wiggle room in budgets, you’ve maneuvered the one-way systems and manhandled the furniture. Heads, there’s pretty much nothing you haven’t done in the last three, six, nine months, and we’ve watched you in awe. 

You’re on the corridors, maintaining calm, you’re in and out of classes, supporting and supplementing, you’re shepherding at break time, patrolling at lunch. You’ve been visible, not just in your yellow jackets, but in your absolute integrity to do the best for your communities. 

You’ve navigated the way through parents who think ‘this is too much’ and those who tell you ‘this is not enough’, you’ve taken the flack and passed on the praise so that we can get on with our jobs with confidence and ambition for our pupils. 

You’ve listened, explained, explored, reported; you’ve mustered and motivated, controlled and cultivated. You’ve taken deep breaths and temperatures, given your precious time, given your all. 

You’ve been there with a smile, a tissue, a nod, always to say ‘I’m with you. I’m here’. No fear has been foolish, no worry too wearisome. Headteachers, you’ve worked wonders. 

You’ve passed on the thanks from our parents and families, never keeping it just to yourself. You’ve shared out good wishes and season’s greetings, with tireless warmth. 

Heads, you inspire, you protect and reassure, and it’s a pleasure to work for you. 

The terms have seemed interminable this year, but your strength has guided us all. We don’t say it often enough: Thank you.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


Lisa Pettifer has been teaching for 30 years and has never known a year like this. More than ever this year, she is grateful for the common sense and care-motivated leadership seen in schools up and down the country. Lisa is an English teacher based in Cumbria and has the Chartered College teaching member number 001. She tweets @Lisa7Pettifer.

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