Maternity leave, being a good teacher & mommy

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by lotusblossom, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. lotusblossom

    lotusblossom Companion

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    Jun 10, 2008

    Next year will be my 2nd year teaching. My first year was (as most are) very hectic and I worked late hours often.

    I am moving from teaching Kindergarten to teaching 1st grade. I am currently 14 weeks pregnant - due December 3rd. I plan on taking December - February off and returning in March.

    I am worried about several things:

    -How difficult will it be to transition to teaching a new grade level? What can I do to make the transition as easy as possible on myself?

    -How can I plan adequately for my long-term sub?

    -How can I be a good teacher & a good mom when I return in March? Are there any tricks to planning or setting up, so I don't work crazy hours but I'm still getting everything that I need to done?

    I would appreciate ANY and ALL info, feedback and reassurance ;)
     
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  3. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jun 10, 2008

    Well, congratulations!

    I did not teach when my kiddos were little, so I can't advise you there. I would say that moving from K to 1st should be pretty smooth. The kids start out the year still kindergarteners. You will do some review of K concepts for 2-3 weeks, then dive into first grade!

    I spend the first weeks getting to know the kids, setting the classroom routines, and evaluating their reading levels. My best advice would be to stay in the moment and don't worry about what is months away! :eek: And get those little guys trained to the classroom routines quickly! This will help you, them, the sub, and your re-entry. Try to get the schedule and routines down like clockwork, without a minute of lag time.

    Welcome to first grade! You have a big advantage - you have worked with younger children and will probably have realistic expectations.

    Come to think of it, having set routines at home now and when the baby gets here will help also. Set a month of menus, repeat each month. Set a day for each chore, like our pioneer mothers. Try (!!) to get the baby on a schedule (I don't really believe in this but the baby will have to be on a schedule if you are going back to work - some people swear by getting the baby on a schedule, but I am more of a pick-him-up-whenever-he-cries kind of mom!).
     
  4. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jun 10, 2008

    For the sub, I planned so that the sub knew what new to introduce each month or so. Then I also knew what I was returning to. I kept it simple to allow him room to do his own thing yet I also left him all my materials for him to pick and choose from.
    Math example:
    December: telling time
    January: money
    February: fractions

    Social Studies example:
    December: Christmas around the world
    January: map reading
    February: pioneers

    At home, I do 1-2 chores a day.
    Mondays: floors
    Tuesdays: bedsheets & pay bills
    Wednesdays: dust & errands
    Thursdays: bathrooms & outdoor chores
    Friday: pick up and put away
    Saturday: shop
    Sunday: prepare meals
    Daily: laundry
     
  5. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jun 10, 2008

    First - I would take this off your list :2cents: This may sound harsh but most LTS will recieve teacher pay for which I believe they should do the planning. At the very most, I would do as Rabbit suggested but no more. I would check with your principal to ensure your LTS is a licensed teacher and if so, allow your LTS to teach :)

    Next, how close are to your school and childcare? I was able to work out a deal with my principal that I could go home on my preps and lunch hours while my children were small. This helped me out more than I can ever say and I will be forever grateful to my principal for allowing me that opportunity. Do you have childcare lined up yet? If you don't, I would spend the summer investigating and finding the best childcare that fits for you and your husband. You should also be thinking and planning on how you will manage when your children get sick - which one of you will take off from work or have a backup sitter just in case of sickness.

    I don't know any tips or tricks other you must establish a rountine that works for you. My best tip is to establish a bedtime rountine and bedtime which allowed me to spead quality time with my daughters without worrying about my list of things to do and know in my head that at 8:30 I could start on my school work. If I couldn't get it done between 8:30 and 11:00, it would have to wait until tomorrow.

    Best of luck as your continue with your pregancy :love:
     
  6. scooter503

    scooter503 Comrade

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    Jun 10, 2008

    I have been a LTS for someone on maternity leave...she actually took a leave of absence for an entire semester. My experience with LTS is that the regular classroom teacher usually leaves plans for the first week, and after that the sub is on his/her own. When you return, they should have a week of plans for you (subject to your changes, of course). The teacher I filled in for did leave me a general idea of pacing/things that needed to be covered for each subject, and all of her materials. I was free to pick and choose the things I wanted to use.

    How involved you are (or aren't) is really up to you. If you tend to be a control freak, you may want to make yourself available, letting the sub call or email you when needed. Let me know if you have other questions (I've LTS four different times and can give you a subs view on stuff).
     
  7. educator

    educator Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2008

    Declutter and streamline.

    Determine what HAS to be done. Have a place for everything, and make sure that when it isn't in use it is in its place. Make sure that you don't have a lot of "unfinished" projects when the baby gets here (nothing depletes patience like holding your child and thinking that you really need to finish painting that door!). This seems like a small thing, but it does wonders for keeping you destressed.

    If you have your home running like a well oiled machine, and do the same for your classroom........the baby will be a joy. If you find yourself fighting for sleep, trying to fold the laundry and comfort the child as dinner is burning on the stove...nothing will be a joy. You will be FRAZZLED!

    Congratulations and good luck.
     
  8. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    Jun 10, 2008

    I was a LTS, and I was responsible for all the planning. The teacher I subbed for didn't return, and so she left me her plan book from the previous year, and I planned with the fellow second grade teachers. She also left all of her resources for me to use. I knew what I needed to cover, but she didn't, or nor did I expect her to leave any plans. Most LTS do it to get into a district or school, so they are more than happy to plan, grade, etc.

    I would advise leaving detailed student bios, really helped me, communicating with the parents your plans and introducing them to your sub, and allow the sub to observe or sub for you on the days that you have doctor's appointments. It should make the transition much easier!
     
  9. scooter503

    scooter503 Comrade

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    Jun 11, 2008

    I agree with buck8teacher. For my last long term, I observed two days, subbed for all her doctor's appointments, and then also came in on her last day (she had a scheduled c-section). The kids were pretty familiar with me by the time I started full-time, and for the most part our transition was really smooth (I actually had a few parents thank me for that at the end of the year).
     
  10. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Jun 11, 2008

    I returned to work when my son was 1. It was difficult at first, but the balance came. What I did was do school when I was at school and that gave me focused time when I was home- it was/is all about my son. Another thing I did was do school stuff late at night when my son was down for the night.

    I am team lead for my grade level and have a new teacher taking time off until October for maternity leave. The sub and I have already started planning and I will be the support system for the sub while the classroom teacher is away. My goal is to help the sub in anyway possible and let the new mom focus her energies on that. Do you have any support system for your sub and you?
     
  11. Stacey23

    Stacey23 Rookie

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Congratulations!!

    The only advice I want to give you, is enjoy your baby while you can. I had my daughter last June and went back to work (second year) when she was six weeks. I was very lucky in the fact that my mom has her during the day instead of sending her to daycare. But I have to tell you, one thing I learned this year, is how important she is to me and how I need to enjoy every moment with her. I left work at 3:15 almost every day this school year and went home and spent time with my daughter. I graded papers etc, after I put her to bed at 7:30. I found that almost everything at school could wait until I got back the next morning. I can't believe that she is almost a year old now

    I think as teachers we have a hard time putting things aside and not being perfect all the time, and this is something that has taken me a long time to learn. But like I said, just enjoy your baby while you can, they grow up fast, and before you know it, they will be coming to school with you
     
  12. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jun 11, 2008

    And graduating and going off to college! Honestly!
     
  13. lotusblossom

    lotusblossom Companion

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    Jun 11, 2008

    This is all SUCH wonderful advice, thank you so much for taking the time to post all of it, everyone :)

    I was up late last night worrying (unfortunately) and something hit me - if I am taking 12 weeks of Family Leave off during the holiday season, do the holidays count as part of those 12 weeks? Or can I kind of patchwork my unpaid Leave days off w/ my normally scheduled paid holidays?

    Does that make sense?
     
  14. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Don't start bonneb :lol: I have been 2 full weeks without thinking about "going off to college"
     
  15. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    Jun 11, 2008


    Yes, check with a district HR representative. They should be able to clarify this for you. I know snow days didn't count into the teacher I subbed for maternity leave since the district was off.
     
  16. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Check with your district about your lts. I've been in districts where teachers were expected to plan every minute, have everything run off, and to grade the papers the kids did while they were gone! No kidding. Hopefully, your district will be more teacher friendly than that. I never thought that was fair since that equals doing work that you don't get paid to do.
     

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