Happy May!

The month in Canada that feels more like spring than its official start in March! My flowers and plants are finally appearing, and I’m optimistic the trees will have leaves in the next few weeks. It’s a source of joy (despite the surprise snowfall we had two nights ago). But I’ve been enjoying spring south of the border when in Zoom meetings with POD Network colleagues who participate from their backyards!  

Connecting with POD colleagues is my emphasis this month. Our ongoing pandemic conditions can make us feel not only overworked but also isolated. But when I reach out to my POD colleagues, I feel less alone. How about you?

We have a professional network through POD that gives us access to some of the most collegial people anywhere, especially in academe. Our discussion list demonstrates this every single day as we share experiences and research to help one another. But the “network” piece in the POD Network is far richer, and I encourage you to embrace it more than ever as a source of personal energy and rejuvenation.

In our various roles, we are in the spotlight in ways that most of us have never been before. This demand for our expertise and services is unprecedented and encouraging, but it’s also exhausting and stressful as we tackle endless problems and anticipate the next set of demands. 

I know you may cringe at the thought of yet one more meeting, but if you aren’t doing so already, now’s the time to reach out to your own POD network. You know, those whom you can’t wait to see at our annual conferences. Or if you’re a newer member, your conference buddies. Or just reach out to a member you’ve never met before, like a Core Committee member. We need one another as people more than ever: make time to connect!

You can also connect via more organized POD Network activities:

  • The Professional Development Committee (PDC) continues the PODLive! Webinars: participate in the May 15th “You are (still) not alone” check-in session. 
  • Seek to create your own Mastermind Group or investigate how to join one (login via the Professional Development Committee’s access link for members to learn more). 
  • Connect with our higher education scholarship by checking out POD Scholarly Reads—share the articles with your POD network and have a discussion!
  • And later this year, participate in our annual conference, whatever the format. Many thanks for your proposal submissions! More details will be coming out soon.

In short, nurture and grow your POD network. It can bring you joy, just like spring.

Best, Donna

Dr. Donna Ellis

POD Network President
Director, Centre for Teaching Excellence
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON Canada
donnae@uwaterloo.ca