Moms/Teachers How do you do it?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by JenL, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. JenL

    JenL Comrade

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    Aug 1, 2008

    I took the second semester off last year to stay at home with my son that was born in January but now I am beginning to get overwhelmed by everything. I am planning to go back fulltime. I have flipflopped between half day and full day but I figure if I never try it I will not know if I can do it.
    I can't drop my little one off till 8:15 kids come in at 8:45 (takes about 15 min to get from daycare to school) then I want to pick up my son no later than 4:00 everyday (kids leave at 3:30). How do you fit in everything you need to do? I used to be at school about about 7:00 every morning (2 hours early) and now I am going to be walking in the door with the kids.
    So I was just wondering for those of you that are moms and teachers, how do you do it? How do you get everything done at school? Everything done at home? and still have time to play with your little ones when you pick them up from daycare.....
     
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  3. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    I, too, had to drop my youngest off at daycare when I went back to teaching. I gave myself only 25 minutes to get to school (the drive was 10 minutes)but there were times I had traffic, got behind a school bus, or the daycare had to speak to me and I found that I was arriving at school with the children. This so stressed me out because if I wasn't able to get things together the night before I had to scramble to get papers, files, etc together while my students were arriving. Also, I tried leaving at a set time each night and again I was stressing because I wasn't able to do things in my room that had to be done. I ended up working at home on things until 11-12 at night. Really think about your time frame before committing. What will you do if you need to meet a parent before school or after school? What about meetings that can occur before or after school? I ended up bringing my son to daycare a half hour earlier and he stayed a half hour later. My stressed was reduced and I was much happier.
     
  4. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. I, too, used to arrive an hour or more early and stay several hours late. Now I am walking out the door with the students.

    I do most of my schoolwork at night after he has gone to bed. The thing at the bottom of the priority list, unfortunately, is the housework.

    At night after school I just play with him.

    I've learned to be less of a perfectionist in my classroom.

    My son is 3 now and we have survived. You will, too!
     
  5. K3 teacher

    K3 teacher Companion

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    Aug 1, 2008

    I taught part time for 7 years. Last year was my first full time year. Our kids are 13, 9, 6, 5. I try to get to school 1/2 hour early with my own 4 in tow. I really don't get much done. I rarely go to lunch. I usually eat and work at the same time. Depending on what mood my kids are in and what activities we have that night I stay up to 45 minutes after school. I make myself leave after that time (Usually, I am ready to get my kids out of my room!). I do most of my work after the kids are in bed.

    IF you have the opportunity and you can swing it financially, go to part time. I would highly reccomend it. I loved being part time when I had kids staying at home during the day.

    But, if you are going back full time - it can be done. I work with lots of teachers who make it work and now I do too. You really do have to prioritize, though, or you will drive yourself crazy!
     
  6. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    Aug 1, 2008

    Of course only you can decide and everyone's experience is different BUT, if you can afford it I would work part-time (at least this year) if I were you. I had my first daughter in May and thought I could go back full-time the following year. It was bad. Of course, I had a horrible class and unsupportive principal and a new baby. I quit in the middle of the year and ended up staying home for two more years. I went back when my youngest was 1 1/2. I won't lie...it's still hard (they are 5 and 7) but now they will both be in school so I don't feel guilty about it. They are at the ages now though that they are into activities and so that is difficult. It's just hard to balance everything and usually it's my poor husband who gets left out! :( At least we get the summer together! :)
     
  7. ready2teachintx

    ready2teachintx Companion

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    Aug 1, 2008

    It is overwhelming at times. I agree with the other posts....prioritize! Once you get a schedule down and get used to it then all will be fine. See if your husband can move his schedule and drop off in the mornings. That would help out alot. Then you could pick up in the afternoons. If not, then you will work it out. The mornings will be a little hectic for you in the beginning. I usually stay two days a week (Tues and Thurs.) but on M-W-F I leave right when I can. If I don't get it all done, then I bring it home and work on it during the weekend. You have got to put your family first and foremost. Hang in there...it will all work out just fine:)
     
  8. Mrs.Mom

    Mrs.Mom Companion

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    I can totally relate to this post! I had my son Sep. 13 last year. I started the year, worked 8 days and was home with him. I only took 2 months...going back was SOOOO hard! I really thought long and hard about quitting. Luckily for us, a great neighbor/friend watches him 2 days, my aunt watches him 2 days, and grandma watches him 1 day. I will say though, that the school year is BUSY!! I feel like by the time I get home from work, make dinner, & clean up it's time to put him to bed. I think it will be better this year, he's a little older. I leave my house every morning by 6:15, and I get to school at about 7:00. I was always the 1st one there, and I got TONS done! I also found that if I was 1 week ahead on my lesson plans at all times, and if I had my copies and things ready I had a lot less stress!!! I got the great idea on here of buying those plastic drawers, and labeling one for each day of the week. As I got my things prepared for the following week, I would throw it in the drawers, and I felt much more prepared. I also had a file folder labeled "To be copied", and whenever a parent volunteer would pop in and want to help, I would hand it to them, or if I had a couple minutes here or there, I would take it down to the copier. I NEVER stay past 3:30. I figure, in the morning he was tired and sleepy, I would drop him off and he would go right back to sleep, but in the afternoon, I want to get home and enjoy my time with him!!! Makes for early mornings, but I would rather do that then stay late.....
    Sorry about the rambling!!:sorry:
     
  9. Nicole S.

    Nicole S. Rookie

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    I had my little one in March, took 6 weeks off, and then had to go back to school for 2 weeks. That was super tough. Financially, I had to return to school. Then I had the summer off, and returned to school when she was 5 months old. I was to be to work by 7:45 and I could leave at 3:45. I got there at 7:45, sometimes with the kids, and left at 3:45. You have to prioritize. I used my breaks to the fullest...copying, grading, passing out papers, etc. I also had a couple of students who liked to help do things. My family is very important to me, and I don't want to miss the times spent with them.
     
  10. JenL

    JenL Comrade

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    Aug 1, 2008

    Thanks for the wonderful encouraging posts...I figure if you all can do it so can I but as the new year quickly approaches it is just overwelming.
    I have debated half time but when I really think about it by the time I get there to pick him up he will be ready to go down for his afternoon nap so why not work and then pick him up when he is fresh and ready to go...and like I said in my first post...I feel like if I don't try it then I never will. I will just be teaching half time till my little ones go off to school.
    I think the guilt for me is the hardest part...just thinking about leaving him because I don't think I can stay home full time. I don't think I am cut out for that. And I love teaching...but I love my family of course. And it is hard when you get...."Well, don't you like being a mom" from people.
     
  11. cwp873

    cwp873 Comrade

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    I jobshared for two years- half pay, full benefits. I felt it was a good compromise until I got the "hang" of parenting and my son wasn't a tiny baby. If you can afford it, it's definitely less stressful. It was less rewarding as a teacher though-- I never felt I really got to know those two classes of kids.
     
  12. JenL

    JenL Comrade

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    I can see the benefit of teaching half time for the family part of it...but I am afraid I just wouldn't enjoy it as a teacher. Less rewarding like you said...
     
  13. CheleOh

    CheleOh Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2008

    Been there, still doing it.

    This is my 25th year of teaching; my daughter came in 1989, my 4th year. I taught full time while my (then) husband was in law school and studying for the bar.

    Then my son came 4 years later. I took 8 weeks (C-section) and went back in March.

    Two years later I was single.

    I don't remember much of those years. It's all a blur.

    I do know that I've learned to have TWO hats, and change them as quickly as possible. Now, my daughter is in college, so I just have to get my son to school (at 7:30, and his school is 30 minutes, with traffic, from our house). Then I drive another 30 minutes to get to my school. Thankfully, that puts me at my school at 8 and class starts at 9. That's a good chunk of time. In January, he'll be driving himself to school, and I'll have to be disciplined to get my butt out of bed and to school by 8 on my own. :)

    While I'm at school, I have my teacher hat on. I'm full-bore Ms. Teacher and I work my fanny off. Some days I'm able to stay a bit later (my son has practice, etc.) while other days I leave early (my principal is the best) to make it to one of his games.

    When I leave school, I'm Mom. I RARELY take any school work with me... it will usually just go for a ride in the car anyway, for when I get home, I'm reluctant to take it out of the car. Occasionally, I'll bring home planning materials or spend time on the web looking for ideas ) :D but I never bring papers home to correct.

    Granted, I've been teaching 5th grade for 23 years, so I've got it down to a Science, but I just work realllly hard while I'm at school so that I can enjoy my family and my hobbies when I'm at home.

    Chele :)
     
  14. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    I know I am a weirdo, but I don't like being a stay at home mom. During the summer I go stir crazy! I love going back to work every fall! It is much easier when your own children hit school. The one thing that I do that I didn't as much of before I had children is use every minute of my prep time at school. It is hard to go, go, go non-stop but I get use to it and that way I don't have to take home too much. What is hard for me are the after school events. I teach at a small school far from my home. I have to be home for my children and I just can't attend all the school events I would like to. I wouldn't even get home from some of the events until after my children are in bed. I just keep telling myself that when my children hit college I will be able to sponsor quiz bowl and do those other activities. I have to be home in the evenings for my children. :cool:
     
  15. grade2rocks

    grade2rocks Rookie

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    Its so hard, isn't it? You can do it; but I think you are on too tight of a timeframe to make it work without being stressed out.

    Realistically, I think you will need a couple of days to stay later at school to keep on top of things. Is it possible to arrange day care later than 4:00 a couple of days a week, or have dh pick up the baby?
    I find there are things that I simply must be in my classroom to do; plus there will be team/staff meetings and parent meetings that you will need to be available for.
     
  16. Kindtchr

    Kindtchr Comrade

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    I was lucky to be teaching one half-day kindergarten class when I had my children. Sometimes I brought the baby with me after school to work on things I couldn't do at home. It was challenging at first but I learned to be more efficient & organized.
    Good luck.
     
  17. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    It is tough!
    I too wear a teacher hat and a mom hat.
    When I am mom, I am not teacher...no work at home as I want my 3 sons to be my priority.
    Oh ya it's tough!
    I rope in a parent for copying.
    I found another teacher mom and we take turns combining classes for things such as BINGO, buddy reading, videos, etc.
    I work thru lunch (but have Y&R on for a little escape time)
    I have given more responsibilities to the students (cleaning, watering, errands, etc)

    Can you rope in grandparents? The kids can have 'Wednesdays at grandma's."

    Good luck but you will learn to do it and well!
     
  18. jmevno

    jmevno Rookie

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    I agree with other posters, you have to prioritize. I have 4 girls (9, 5, 2, and 8 months). Between having my teacher responsiblities and my mom responsibilities, sometimes it does get overwhelming. I typically go to work a hour and half before the children and stay 30-45 minutes after they leave. If you have to put your family first. I usually do not bring anything home and if I have to do something at home I wait until after bedtime.

    I rope in as many parents as possible to help around the classroom with filing, cleaning, preparing projects, grading, and whatever else needs to be done. I also use the students as much as possible. When we complete assignments, as a class, I stamp them and then the children put them in their folders or mailboxes. My students also help me run errands, clean-up, and things that they are able to do.

    My dh also drops of the two little ones and the other two go to work with me. My 9 year old likes to help grade papers so she will stamp them or put stickers on for me sometimes.

    I understand about the guilt. Why am I at school playing with someone else's child when I should be at home playing with my own. But I am not in financial situation where I have that ability so I spend as much time with the fam on weekends and breaks. I live fairly close to a big city so we take a lot of day trips when we can.
     
  19. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I don't have kids yet & I'm sure I can teach once I have kids, but I probably wouldn't feel like it. Right now, it just feels so far off in my life still. Bravo to those who can spend M-F for 7 hrs w/ a classroom of kids, then come home to more kids! I'm tired just thinking about it!
     
  20. JenL

    JenL Comrade

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    So just an update...I called my principal on Friday and he was very supportive. Said the decision to go half/full time is my decision and he will suport it either way...I have thought through and thought through the different situation and think if we can afford it financially then why am I thinking about it....it seems to be the best of both worlds...I can teach for me and be home half the day with the little one...I have to tell my principal on Monday but feel I have already made the decision to go part time....I just hope I won't have any regrets....
     
  21. Hamster

    Hamster Comrade

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    Once you go half time, can you get your full time job back? I would never want to lose my full time job. I went back to work when my 2nd child was 3 weeks old. I was fine. I like going to work and having a job and being mom. I would work full time if I had to pick. While you are getting up, dressing for work, dropping off kids etc. why not stay a few more hours. Half time would be more work, I think.
     
  22. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    That's great that you can decide this late! In my district you have to decide by February or so for the following year.

    I do think half time is the best of both worlds.
     
  23. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Have you discussed with your principal what the situation for you will be if you wish to go back to full time teaching? Will someone on "the ladder" now be ahead of you if there is a full time position open when you are ready to go back to full time? You are fortunate that your school allows you to make such a late decision. In my district I would have had to let them know in March so they could plan for an additional teacher if necessary.
     
  24. JenL

    JenL Comrade

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    I have talked to my principal about when and if I want to go back full time....We are hoping that the other half of my job will be filled with a temporary hire. If not, I would have to wait for a job to open at my school or get transferred somewhere else in the district to get a full time job. I am ok with that. I think this is what I need to do for now. I need to go back to work for me but seeing my son for only 3 hours before he goes to bed just doesn't seem right. Plus, I hear they are so tuckered out from daycare they just want to sleep when they get home.
     
  25. LoVe 2 TcH

    LoVe 2 TcH Companion

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    Congrats on the baby!!! I had a daughter in January as well.

    I agree with the other posts, you have to priorities. I have learned to use my time at work a lot better than I was before. I get as much of the work done as school as I can...
     
  26. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    My son is 6 and going into First.
    I had to go back part-time when he was two. Now I'm full time and keep busy as team lead, on committees, and other volunteer work but it came a little at a time.
    He is my priority and sometimes things don't get done right away or like they did when I was without children. I don't take anything home. Once I'm home, it's all about him. You'll have to use the first year you're back to find your own balance and see what works best for you. Find someone else with children that you can keep company with- it'll help.
     
  27. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    One of the things that I love about being a teacher is that I do get 2 1/2 months off in the summer, two weeks at Christmas, a week at spring break, and various other holidays plus weekends. If my children have a snow day I probably do too! When I think about other working mothers I think that I am lucky to have a full time job and still have so much time off to spend with my children. :)
     
  28. kallard

    kallard Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2008

    teacher and parent

    Being a teacher is my escape. I hope that I don't sound too negative about being a parent, but I have been overwhelmed by my 5 children...having students is much easier.

    I have fraternal triplet girls 12.5 going into 7th grade...2 of them are driving me nuts! One has many psychological problems that we are trying to get sorted out, one is just typical preteen on the negative side of the spectrum.

    I also have an ADHD daughter going into 2nd, and a son who is old enough to go to K, but who I am holding back a year.

    When I decided to have my middle daughter, my triplets were sweet and well behaved and it wasn't a big deal. Then my son came as a surprise, changed everything, and the triplets entered their difficult phase! AAAHH!
     

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