26th March 2020
Dear fellow teachers,
Following two weeks of school closures, and an extension announced this week, we wish to express our sincere gratitude for the incredible work you have been doing since the current pandemic began. Despite the obvious challenges, you have stepped up and facilitated learning opportunities for your pupils, albeit from a distance.
We have seen thousands of examples of teachers working tirelessly for even longer than their contracted hours, to connect with the children that they normally teach in school every day. We have also been made aware of the huge efforts being made by our members supporting their local communities.
Teachers have been of great assistance to elderly neighbours and to more vulnerable members of their communities. School principals have played a massive part in the co-ordination of all of this great work, not alone supporting their teachers and non-teaching colleagues but also sending reassuring messages to parents and guardians.
We know that you will continue to play your part in the coming weeks to show the people of Ireland that our educators are among the most creative, caring and compassionate in the world. Your actions have demonstrated that education is a vital public service that remains open for business during this national crisis.
We also salute the work of other front line staff in the health sector and in a whole variety of workplaces for their bravery and courage at this trying time. We can all be proud of our actions over the last fortnight – when Ireland asked, we have all stepped up.
Ní neart go cur le chéile.
John Boyle – General Secretary