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Superintendent's News

Posted: October 2, 2020

Are You Taking Care of Yourself?

In his weekly message, Supt. Elder encourages employees to find a balance between helping others and taking care of themselves.

Are you taking care of yourself?

As educators, we tend to put others first. It's in our DNA. But when we don't take care of ourselves, we're not always at our best. 

We have to find a balance. As humorist Sam Levenson said, "As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others."

Self-care is more important than ever during a global pandemic. We need lots of rest, lots of laughter, lots of fresh air to offset the stress of isolation, too much screen time, and planning for the unknown.

The job is hard enough these days, but it's incredibly difficult when we aren't feeling well, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally.So, take some time to take care. 

Some steps you can take in the coming week:

Get a flu shot or a mammogram. The APS Wellness Team has made it convenient for you by hosting a Wellness Walk-Thru on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 8-9, from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Berna Facio Professional Development Complex. (This, of course, is a mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing, socially distanced event.) If you prefer and you are covered by APS-provided insurance, you can get your flu shot for free at any major pharmacy or your doctor's office.

The Wellness Walk-Thru is being held during Open/Switch Enrollment week. Now is the time to review your insurance to make sure you're getting the best coverage for you and your family. There are a few changes to the medical plans offered by the district, including the addition of a new health care provider. Employee Benefits has posted tons of information on its website along with helpful webinars on YouTube. You can also get information during the Wellness Walk-Thru, where benefits vendors will be available to answer questions. If you decide to make a change, you can get extra assistance at laptop stations.

Thursday and Friday also are Fall Break. For many of you, that means a couple of days off. For the rest of us, it's a slower pace – a chance for all of us to catch our breath. The break can't come soon enough. I'm sensing the stress. I'm hearing the change in tone. We need a moment to step away, to turn off.

As you head back to work, reflect on the job you're doing, keeping in mind that none of us has done anything like this before. All things considered, I'd say we're doing pretty dang good.

You're going to be okay.

We're going to be okay.

Our students are going to be fine. 

I'm not going to lie; it won't be easy. The road ahead promises to be wild. We'll face obstacles that are out of our control, problems we can't imagine.

What we can control is our attitude. What we can imagine is our strength. What we can do is take care of ourselves and each other.

Don't sweat the rest.

Enjoy Fall Break next week. I'm going to take a little break as well, so there won't be a message from me next Friday.

Before I sign off, I'd like to give a special shout out to our custodians. Today, Oct. 2, is National Custodian Day, and I can't begin to tell you how much we rely on this hard-working group of essential workers. Be sure to thank them for all they do on behalf of our students, staff, and families.