Teachers and school staff have faced immense challenges during the pandemic, from ensuring that pupils can access remote learning to helping families to access free school meal vouchers.
Following the education secretary's recommendation that parents report their child's school over unsatisfactory online learning on Wednesday, the profession may be feeling beleaguered.
But a new campaign is making sure that teachers feel valued and appreciated for their hard work.
A charity has launched the initiative to thank teachers for their efforts during the pandemic, mirroring the movement in the first lockdown to thank NHS staff.
Coronavirus: Teachers 'have shown professionalism and dedication'
The Bedford-based charity Useful and Kind has launched the campaign using the hashtag "#thankyouteachers".
Thank you to all school staff! From remote learning to teaching in bubbles to caring for the children of key workers - we are grateful and we appreciate each and every one of you! 🌹🌷🌺🌸 #thankyouteachers #usefulandkind https://t.co/QUTfBRpdTl— Lyanne Young (@YoungLyanne) January 6, 2021
Families are being encouraged to download a template of a flower to colour in and display in their window to show their gratitude to school staff – much like how children drew rainbows to show thanks to the NHS during the first national lockdown.
Parents have already posted their children's work on social media to highlight their gratitude to schools.
Before we get on with #LockdownLearning today, we’re doing colouring. The idea is similar to the pictures of rainbows that were posted on windows in support of NHS staff during the first lockdown. This time it’s flowers to say #thankyouteachers. @usefulandkind #usefulandkind pic.twitter.com/zl1GVOE5bp— Hannah J (@HanPlans) January 8, 2021
"Teachers have faced 10 months of inconsistency and uncertainty. This week schools were moved to remote learning with less than 12 hours' notice from the government. But, throughout it all, teachers have shown their professionalism and dedication, many of whom have caught Covid themselves by going to work," the charity said.
Useful and Kind will also be sharing resources every Friday to support school staff and their mental health as they work through the latest lockdown.
Useful and Kind director Duncan Fraser said: “From day one of the first lockdown, school staff have stepped up to look after the children of key workers. Without this alone, essential services would have struggled to operate.
"But that really is the tip of the iceberg. School staff quickly responded to the need for remote learning, finding creative ways to help young people continue with their education. Even when it has been possible to deliver face-to-face learning, classrooms have needed to be redesigned, traditional teaching practices re-evaluated and learning activities adjusted to remote learning.
“And still, beyond this, we hear heart-warming stories of school staff providing essential services for families and reaching out to their wider community – delivering food parcels, sending letters to elderly residents and being a voice at the end of the phone to those in need. Being truly useful and kind.
“This campaign is to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for continuing to help our young people to bloom. We think you are blooming marvellous!”