To say it's been a tough old term is like saying Hillary and Tenzing found the going a bit tricky on Everest.
But by the end of this afternoon, finally, every school in Scotland will be on holiday and staff will – they hope – get a chance to draw breath at this midway point in the calendar.
The goalposts keep shifting, of course, and it looks like all pupils won't now be back inside their schools until 18 January at the very earliest. For now, though, let's try to cast aside all the anxiety about what Covid will spring upon schools in 2021, and find reasons to be cheerful.
As is often the case in a crisis, there has been a huge amount to celebrate in how schools have responded to the pandemic. When I tweeted last week asking for the good news that might have been missed in those most challenging of years, I got some brilliant and heartwarming responses.
Here, then, is just a sample of the countless sources of inspiration that Scottish schools have given us in what has been, for most in the sector, the most difficult year of their entire careers.
1. The primary school nativities that went ahead (in a new, digital format) were something else
Sit back and enjoy! Sending this out with love to our children, families & friends. It's our Primary 1 Nativity Play.... https://t.co/CfUSwXCM0C— Pitteuchar East (@PitteucharE) December 14, 2020
2. As were the secondary school Christmas concerts
3. Schools have proven their value to communities like never before in recent times
Just look at this from Alva Academy.
4. We've never had a more deserving list of Tes Scotland people of the year
And there could be only one choice for person of the year.
Looking ahead: 'Teachers should stand tall as they prepare for 2021'
5. Teachers should draw confidence from how they have coped with everything that has been thrown at them
I changed school just as lockdown began, brining on the most challenging and stressful few months of my career. As a result, I am now 1000 times the teacher I once was. Much more skilled & confident. I’m now happily settled at @CHSEngDept and hopeful for next year. 🙏— Glen Fraser 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@GlenJamesFraser) December 18, 2020
6. This year's collective technology crash course will stand schools in good stead for years to come
The calmness at the end of this term and how our school has embraced technology - from virtual assemblies , virtual Advent calendars and the joy and mischief brought by my adopted elf Eric who provoked much learning and teaching through his antics in December— Sharon McLellan (@SharonMcLella17) December 18, 2020
7. Despite what you may have read elsewhere, there has been no shortage of parents expressing deep gratitude for what schools have done this year
Thank you to the staff of Broughton High School https://t.co/9tIJG3Iw2A— Broughton High Parent Council (@BroughtonHighPC) December 21, 2020
8. All in all, schools' efforts since Covid first surged in March – as this tweet succinctly sums up – have been "exceptional"
All involved really should be incredibly proud.
This year school staff should be incredibly proud. L&T online overnight, kept in touch with families, transitions & prize giving etc online, reopened schools in testing conditions and currently planning an exam system. That’s exceptional.— Stephen Kelly (@LibertonHighHT) December 18, 2020
Here's to a (far) better 2021 – but don't forget the positives that can be drawn from 2020. To everyone now starting their Christmas holiday, we wish you a very merry festive season and a happy new year.