Maternity Leave question

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by djmondi, May 24, 2011.

  1. djmondi

    djmondi Comrade

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    May 24, 2011

    If you have been on maternity leave before, what things were you still expected to do on your maternity leave while not getting paid? I've had to continue with lesson plans (which I expected), but I was also told I had to drive to the school and do retention conferences with parents and now my principal wants to know why I only did 3 and not one for everyone below grade level. I breastfeed my baby so at the time if they were only one reading level below grade level I did not bother with them. I'm not getting paid so I can't afford a babysitter right now and I can't afford the gas to drive back and forth, plus I need to feed my baby when she wants to eat. I would've had to spend an entire day of my time at the school in order to do all the conferences, and then hope that all the parents could come that day. I'm just frustrated with all of this and want to know if it's like this everywhere:) I have to drive to the school and meet with the principal to tell her why I only held 3 conferences (and not one parent showed).
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 24, 2011

    I don't think I'd be okay with doing that much stuff during my leave. I think it should be sufficient to write some general plans and maybe come in at the end of a grading period to enter grades and do report cards. Much more than that seems excessive and unrealistic.

    Do you have a union rep you can contact?
     
  4. djmondi

    djmondi Comrade

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    May 24, 2011

    I'm in NC - there are no unions. The lesson plans don't bother me too much because we plan as a grade level and adjust them to our needs (and I worked ahead knowing I'd be out), and I can do those from home, but when you have a class of 19 and 17 are below grade level from the start (we have a very high ESL population and very little parent involvement), there is just no way I can keep driving back and forth - and I'm not about to take a newborn and a 2 year old with me for my own sanity. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who finds this excessive though. Thank you for your reply:)
     
  5. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    May 24, 2011

    When I was on leave...not paid either... I had to do 2 weeks of plans then the sub took over. I didn't do any report cards (which I was not happy about because the sub used "I" like it was me making comments & it wasn't). When I came back from leave I had to do conferences...which I had to justify her report cards.

    I think you are doing is a bit excessive. You have that many conferences that you have to do?!?! I could see maybe for you low ones if you needed to be there, but if you didn't do report cards then your sub should do the conferences.

    GOOD LUCK!!!
     
  6. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    May 24, 2011

    When I covered for a maternity leave the teacher I replaced had done nothing. No plans left, no info left, nothing at all. She had her baby a week early and I guess she had hoped the baby would not be early. During the time I was there we e-mailed a few times mainly about crucial stuff she had at her house (science fair projects) but other than that, it was all done by me.

    My coworker was out for 6 weeks and she left plans for the first few weeks and then after that someone else from our department just passed along the group plans to her sub. So her sub didn't have to plan, but neither did my coworker.

    While on an unpaid leave you seem to have an awful lot of work to be expected to be done by you.
     
  7. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    May 24, 2011

    MsMar... I also told my sub to call... she did a few times & even came over once or twice...
     
  8. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    May 24, 2011

    For my first leave, for 30 days, I had all the plans and copies and report cards done before I left on May 3rd.

    For my second leave, left at Christmas and again, did most of the copies for the first few weeks, and left an old plan book, but it was the same girl who did my first leave and I loved her!

    However when I was on my third maternity leave, I did not a thing! I was on leave for crying out loud!
     
  9. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    May 24, 2011

    I covered a maternity leave this past fall semester and the only thing the previous teacher left me was her binder that had copies of worksheets and things -- no detailed lesson plans or any of that stuff. When you are on leave -- especially UNPAID leave, you should not be doing things other people are being paid to do. Enjoy the time away!
     
  10. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    May 24, 2011

    For the 2 leaves I have covered the teacher left a general idea of what to do for the remaining time (both were end of the year) and it was my responsibility to plan, grade, and do report cards.
     
  11. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    May 24, 2011

    That is ridiculous! You are on maternity leave, you should be home, not thinking about work!

    I have filled in for 7 teachers on maternity over the past 5 years....none of them had to do report cards or conferences, or plan for that matter....a couple did leave a week of plans.

    I'm also surprised to hear you do not have a union...which is why I guess it is acceptable for them to expect this of you.

    .....what if you were home with the flu? would you be expected to do the same?
     
  12. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    May 24, 2011

    I did one week's worth of plans and that was it. I would contact my union rep or if you are not in a union I would read your contract regarding maternity leave and the duties expected of you.
     
  13. djmondi

    djmondi Comrade

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    May 24, 2011

    Thank you everyone for your responses!

    Janlee - we don't even get a contract. If you don't hear anything at the end of the year, you are assumed to have a job for the next year. We don't sign anything and we just get a piece of paper (which is copied for all the teachers) saying at this time you will be in the same position next year blah blah blah. Some days I'm ready to move back north, except there are no jobs there:(
     
  14. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    May 24, 2011

    How do you not have something that defines your job, duties, expections, sick days, contracted time,????:dizzy: Maybe you don't technically sign a contract, but I gota believe there has to be something in writing that defines your duties as a teacher.
     
  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    May 24, 2011

    When teachers are on leave, they aren't expected to do anything--no planning, evaluating, reporting, conferencing. A sub is being paid to assume their responsibilities--all of them.
     
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    May 24, 2011

    When I covered a maternity leave for 3 months the teacher did not leave any plans at all. I got a note from her saying what books I was supposed to use. That's it!
     
  17. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    May 24, 2011

    When I was on maternity leave, I was expected to have all my lesson plans for the entire leave to the principal before I left. However, because maternity leave is technically part of FMLA, I was not allowed to do any work-related activities, including checking my email. My principal handled any conferences, grade entering, etc. Check with human resources at your central office.
     
  18. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    May 24, 2011

    I believe you may be able to file a complaint or at least talk to the FMLA about this crap you are "expected" to do. I took leave over thanksgiving/christmas break so thankfully no conferences. However, a teacher friend of mine had her daughter over conferences and did NOT come in to do that at all! We also have grades this week and she is VOLUNTEERED to come in to help the sub. The "long term sub" is the one RESPONSIBLE for everything. Except, we were required to do at least a week of lesson plans in advance. I did 5 weeks of lesson planning but....I had crap for a sub who did NONE of it. What a waste of time. Sorry to the sub in here that posted there was nothing left....unfortunately, it's probably because of subs that cannot be counted on as why that's done sometimes.

    But yes, contact FMLA!
     
  19. djmondi

    djmondi Comrade

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    May 25, 2011

    My maternity leave is definitely FMLA as I had the paperwork filled out so I have contacted them this morning (waiting for a response) as well as the human resource person for our county. I tried to have all of my lesson plans for the 10 weeks done in advance, however, things change and we hadn't planned math out that far so I have to go in each week and make adjustments before I send them to the sub. I'm also going back the last two work days only because I knew they would make me come out and do my files and clean up my room so I figured I should at least get paid for it.
     
  20. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I'm so sorry to hear about this!

    I left a week or so of plans and my phone number and email address. I have a co-teacher, so my sub wasn't completely on her own, plus my sub had taught in my exact position last year.

    I didn't do anything while I was out and you shouldn't have to either!
     
  21. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    May 25, 2011

    No contract to sign, nothing in writing. Wow! What would prevent your district from making you work 12 hours a day or for that matter having you come in to do curriculum work on a Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday. This is one reason I am so thankful to be part of a union.
     
  22. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I obviously haven't been out on maternity leave. However, one of my 2nd grade colleagues was out this year for leave (I think it was about two months) and she only left plans for one week. The sub had to do the rest of the planning, conferences, report cards, etc. herself. We (the rest of the grade level team) checked up on the sub pretty much daily, and she seemed to have done a great job during her two month period.
     
  23. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

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    I do believe you are being taken advantage of. We are only required to leave 2 weeks of plans. If you are on unpaid leave, they cannot expect you to do the things you are describing.
     
  24. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 26, 2011

    Things are handled differently at my school, so I'm only guessing here.

    Isn't maternity leave technically considered to be disability? Are other people out on disability expected to come in and do their jobs, while receiving only disability pay?

    Any time I've been out for an extended period (following Brian's adoption, Julia's birth, or my mastectomy) I've left very detailed lesson plans-- it's hard to get someone comfortable covering math, especially upper level math. But beyond that, I was home for the time I was supposed to be home--no conferences, no reason to go to school.
     
  25. MrsLilHen

    MrsLilHen Comrade

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    May 26, 2011

    This makes me mad for you! I'm out on Family Rearing Leave right now - and I've been told I'm not ALLOWED to work at all... Meaning, I volunteered to still be a part of a committee, but I wasn't allowed since I'm technically off. I have to kind of sneak around the few times I've gone in to help people with things.

    Another thing is that it is a good experience for the sub to do the planning, etc. It's ALL part of the job!
     
  26. djmondi

    djmondi Comrade

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    May 26, 2011

    I've worked for a principal before that said she could keep us as long as she wanted to as a meeting dragged on to 6pm. We've had mandatory workshops on Saturdays as well as two makeup days this year on Saturdays. Compared to some places, we work what would be considered a holiday too. Not major ones, but we don't get Columbus Day, Presidents' Weekend, or Good Friday off.
     
  27. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Oh my gosh! Your principal sounds like the devil (sorry). Perhaps it's time to start looking into a different school for next year.
     
  28. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

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    Do you work for a charter school?
     
  29. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    That's the reason why I work for a school district with a union. Our contract states that our meetings can only last a certain length of time. We've had staff meetings that have lasted over the allotted amount of time and teachers have gotten up and walked out! No joke!
     
  30. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    May 29, 2011

    I did not have to do anything while I was out! I did write the first weeks plans and left a general outline of the remainder of the year. The sub did also email me a few times, but more for the "where could I find this" or "where do you want me to leave this for you" type questions!
     
  31. djmondi

    djmondi Comrade

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    No - just a regular public school. I emailed the HR lady and never heard anything back from her and it's been at least a week now. I emailed my principal to ask if I was going to be paid for all this work and got nothing back. And I'm still playing phone tag with the department of labor. Oh well, there's only 8 days left of school and after two high risk pregnancies, this may be my last baby:( If I'm lucky enough to have another some day, I'll know for next time!
     
  32. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    When I was on maternity leave as a teacher in NC, my six weeks of leave were paid. I made basic outlines for my classes and wasn't expected to do any of the extras - faculty meetings, p-t conferences, etc.
     

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