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Professional Development Begins with Self-care

Superintendent Joe Gothard

Dear Colleagues,

There is a lot of discussion about and planning about professional development (PD) in SPPS. In education, the term professional development is used to reference to a wide variety of specialized training, formal education or advanced professional learning intended to help all of us; teachers, leaders and other educators improve their professional knowledge, skills, competence and effectiveness by providing meaningful and relevant growth opportunities.

That’s all well and good and I encourage all of us to seek these occasions to further our knowledge and skills.

But equally important is the concept of self-care. Getting enough sleep, building in time for daily physical activity, practicing healthy nutrition are easily forgotten in the chaos of work-life balance. 

Living in a connected world has many pitfalls. The majority of us find it easy and convenient to monitor work from afar. This could mean checking email from home or other non-work environments or following social media feeds that keep work present in our thinking. Our ability to remain connected has some great advantages of convenience but it can also skew any semblance of work-life balance. 

I appreciate how much all of you care about SPPS - our students, families and colleagues. In fact, I have remarked how much you care publicly as one of my greatest observations about SPPS. I care about you too, and I want to remind you how important it is to reflect on yourself and make sure you’re seeking opportunities to develop a routine that’s right for you.

As we head into MEA weekend, I’d like each of us to focus on professional learning in the context of self-care. Take time for yourself and enjoy your family and loved ones.

I’m grateful for your efforts on behalf of our students, families and our community.

In partnership,

Joe Gothard

Joe Gothard