Planning for Maternity Leave

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Preschool0929, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Jul 7, 2015

    I'll be taking maternity leave for my first little one in December. I'll probably be gone January & February. I've talked to other teachers in my school, and some have left multiple binders with instructions for every possible scenario, step by step lesson plans, materials organized into weekly bins, etc... Other teachers have just left lesson plans for a few weeks and then trusted their subs to write them from then on (with assistance from the team). The thought of setting up 2 months worth of plans and instructions ahead of time seems like a daunting task, but I also don't want to leave my sub or my students in a bad place. Does your school have any general guidelines for what should be left over extended leaves? What have teachers at your school done?
     
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I'm still waiting for my principal's response on how detailed she wants, but I would prefer to eventually have the sub take over the lesson planning, my big reason (besides less work on my part) is that I don't know what my students will need and figure the teacher present will best approach their needs.
     
  4. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Jul 7, 2015

    I teach high school, so things may be a little bit different. I'm planning to be gone the entire second quarter, which makes things streamlined since we have specific things that need to be accomplished each quarter.

    For my sophomore classes, the students have to spend approximately 4 weeks on grammar and 4 weeks on Medieval British Literature (abridged versions of Beowulf, Canebury Tales, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight).

    For the first unit, I plan to tell him/her that the students must complete pages 1-45 in the grammar book, provide the test I used last year, and suggest that he uses it or create an equivalent assessment.

    For the second unit, I plan to tell him/her the texts that the students must read, that they should do at least one writing assignment per week in which they are required to answer specific analysis questions (provided in the textbook), that students need to be instructed on how to properly integrate quotes as support in literary analysis writing, and that their final assessment should be an essay in which they are required to use quotes as support.

    I have a calendar schedule that I made for myself that goes through what I would do day by day, but I only have that because I used it last year. I'll provide it to the sub in case he/she wants to use it.

    For my junior class, which I have never taught before, I plan to tell the sub to cover chapters 2 and 3 in the textbook. Thankfully, our textbook is thorough enough that the sub shouldn't require too many outside sources.
     
  5. lilia123

    lilia123 Companion

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    When I have gone on maternity leave in the past I didn't write full lesson plans but left a calendar for the sub (like a pacing guide). I just made a grid with what lessons in the teacher's guides that need to be done during which weeks. I also have never returned after a maternity leave until the next school year, so my situation was probably a little different.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Former sub chiming in here. IF the school gets a credentialed teacher for your three month absence, then the broad strokes, maybe plans detailed enough to get her through December, and then the ultimate goal will probably be fine, but you should run that past admin.

    On the other hand, if they are going to cover you with regular subs, and there may be changes in the coverage while you are out, you better be thinking much more detailed plans. If you are lucky enough to get someone who does a ton of subbing in your district in your grade level, you might get by with less. Probably a compromise would be you sending in plans once you give birth - I have had that scenario several times when I subbed.

    Someone is going to have to do grades at some point during your absence, so if you have a team member who could do that, planning it sooner rather than later would be advantageous. I am thinking that if you are gone for 3 months, your district will have to get a certified teacher for the absence, unless they can't find one.

    I wouldn't go crazy, but I really would reach out to admin to see what their expectations are - they are the ones that really matter.
     
  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Not going to lie, this idea bugs me. This is basically expecting a teacher who, for all intents and purposes, is off work without pay, to do daily work while struggling with a newborn.
     
  8. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Yeah....I'm totally not doing that. I do plan to always be available by email, but my hope is to leave enough info that my sub can make it work or my team can fill in the blanks. In my district we pick our own subs for maternity leave, so since I'm a spec.ed. teacher, I have to pick someone spec. ed. certified.
     
  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I didn't say it was ideal for anyone. Whether or not it is necessary depends on whether your sub is credentialed in your field or a sub with 6o credits who has never had to write a lesson plan in her life. If, for whatever reason, you end up with the latter of the two, someone will have to write plans. That kind of leaves you before you go on leave, or you while you are on leave.
     
  10. 4815162342

    4815162342 Companion

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    I planned/printed out everything and left it in stacks for the sub.
    We did our lesson plans as a team, and my subject was science. So about 2 months before i was to take off, i completed the plans for when I'd be gone and then my team would print them on the usual weekly basis as they finished their parts.
    It took me about one weekend to do my plans. Maybe it was beyond what most people would do, but i loved my team and didnt want them to worry too much over my class in addition to theirs.
     
  11. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jul 7, 2015

    I would ask your admin. Both times, I've had to leave detailed plans for every subject, reading group, etc. My first leave, I wrote 20 plans a day to be out! (4 classes of readjng with separate mini lessons and guided reading lessons, plus one class of writing and one of spelling).

    Also, know that if you take FMLA leave, you legally cannot work at all while on leave, even email. One district I worked in took this very seriously. I had zero contact with my sub once I went on leave. My second leave, I was in a different district, and I did email my sub a few times about minor things, and I came up for the class picture. Honestly, once your little one is here, you'll be way too busy to even think about school!
     
  12. msrosie

    msrosie Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2015

    When I was a maternity sub, it was an unexpected situation, but the teacher had been proactive and had about 3 weeks of math lessons already planned. Everything else was broad strokes and the other grade level teachers helped me with planning while the teacher was out.

    In turn, I left the rest of the quarter in math lessons planned out for her and the broad strokes of ELA for a couple of weeks so she could get settled back in without too much stress and worry.
     
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I think a decent teacher ought to have plans in place before leaving and the school have a decent sub arranged so aforementioned teacher knows how sparse or detailed to plan. Anything else suggests someone dropped the ball somewhere.

    I didn't mean to sound accusing to you, just expressing my feelings that writing-plans-while-out seems a bad system best avoided. I suppose that might be how some prefer to work, though. But when head out on maternity leave, I'd hate to be summoned to make up lesson plans when I thought everything was already in place. I think I'd request payment for that (while I get life happens and everyone has to go a hundred extra miles for free now and then, I feel quite strongly that in general a professional ' s time is worth pay).

    And that was a total tangent!

    In closing, the nature of the planning ought to be determined beforehand, planning created beforehand, and a qualified long-term sub set up. And, yes, I expect professional teachers and administration to handle that.
     
  14. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    Jul 7, 2015

    I took paternity leave this past year for my second child.

    I gave lesson plans for the 2.5 weeks I was out but left the rest up to the sub.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    When I took an extended leave, I left a kind of weekly grid. Each row represented one week. There were columns for the chapter page numbers, book activities, and quiz topics. I left it up to the sub to determine how these things got done each week. I left her all my teacher materials to use at her disposal. (Because of the nature of my subject, everything was bookwork. I didn't want or expect the sub to actually teach anything other than going over whatever the book said.)

    Under no circumstances would I ever suggest that any teacher be expected to write plans during parental leave or be in close or regular contact with the sub during that time.
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    It really does come down to what admin expects and the proficiency of the sub, coupled with the length of the leave.

    I wish all our ladies who are expecting bundles of joy wonderful leaves and even more wonderful babies. :hugs:
     
  17. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Thanks vicki!

    I'm creating a more focused curriculum map right now for my sub whilst waiting for my principal to give me more details on what she wants.
     
  18. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    I covered a maternity leave in a grade 2 classroom this past year. The teacher had the first few weeks of math and ELA lessons laid out in detail just so I could see what the kids were used to - a PowerPoint that introduced that week's vocabulary, listening to the story on the Internet on Monday, reading it on Tuesday, math centers, that kind of thing. After the first few weeks, it was up to me to create anything needed and decide what was covered in math stations and knowing that I was comfortable and experienced, the teacher gave the freedom to tweak or change things as I wanted as long as I kept them in some kind of consistent routine.
     
  19. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Jul 7, 2015

    There will be 3 teachers out on maternity leave when school starts in the district I just retired from. 3 certified teachers with classroom experience were hired for the leaves. They will be responsible for learning the grading system, as well as a new science curriculum. They will also be responsible for back to school night, parent/teacher conferences, and grades for the 1st marking period. The teachers who are out on leave do not have to leave plans. The leave replacement teachers are placed on the salary scale according to their experience.
     
  20. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    I left a folder for each week, a folder for each subject of extra materials, and an outline of what to cover. The folders and any materials were in a tub for each month.

    I did this for four months, my last two and the two I was out for. It made the last few weeks easier on me to have the bulk of the planning done, and I was so sick that I never quite was sure if I'd make it to the end...
     
  21. DigitalDiva25

    DigitalDiva25 Companion

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    Jul 14, 2015

    I have a question for teachers here, will the sub also do the grading when you are on leave?
     
  22. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    When I took a LTS position it was expected that I knew how to write a lesson plan since all LTS had to be certified. I was lucky enough to LTS in a school where I did my student teaching so I knew the lesson plan format. I would say leave as much as you can before hand but once you're out then it's up to the sub. I wouldn't do work during a time I wasn't getting paid.
     
  23. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I hope so, especially as my leave will be over a term change.

    I think most Temps and subs included are expected to handle all normal duties.
     
  24. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    My understanding from my principal & spec. ed. director is that the sub will be required for all assessments and data monitoring/data entry while I'm gone. I'm only slightly stressing about making sure that the person actually does it. A teacher on my team went on an extended bed rest/maternity leave from the beginning of the school year to November. When she came back, the sub hadn't done any data monitoring or assessments at all. Literally hadn't even looked at IEP goals and minutes. So she came back to quite a mess. Hopefully mine will go better!
     
  25. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    A supervisor should be looking over things while the teacher is out to make sure things are getting done like assessments and grading.
     
  26. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jul 14, 2015

    Last year, we had a sub start out the year for a teacher on maternity leave. The classroom teacher left plans for a week (she didn't have to, though) and the sub was responsible for all planning, grading, report cards, parent-teacher conferences, etc. until the teacher returned in November.

    This year, we've got another teacher on leave. This particular teacher has a very Type A personality and mapped out the first six weeks of school (she is only planning to be gone for six weeks). She went as far as setting up the entire classroom, too (with the help of her husband and parents). She texted me a few weeks ago and said that her c-section went well and she has a happy/healthy baby girl.

    Frankly, there's nothing in our Master Agreement that states a teacher needs to leave plans when they're going out on extended leave. From my experience, though, it's very apparent that teachers who aren't prepared for a long term sub often return to chaos after their time away.
     
  27. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I truly don't think it's okay to ask a teacher's teammates to bear the burden of taking on grading. That should be left up to the sub (with the team's guidance if they have the time/inclination to do so).
     
  28. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I assume the rest of the team has their own grading to do. If you're going to be a long-term sub, be ready to do more than babysit.
     
  29. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Jul 15, 2015

    I am going on leave from the beginning of school. I told my admin in March that I would be out in Aug thru possibly Sept depending on if it is a C section or not. They have yet to hire a sub so I really have had no idea if I would get a long term sub or short term ones. So starting last March I wrote out detailed day to day plans for seven weeks, pacing guide for the quarter in both digital and hard copy forms. I left all my PowerPoint lectures and bought all of the lab and activity supplies the sub would need and left them labeled with sticky notes in my storage closet.I have no classroom and am a wandering teacher so I could not make all photocies due to not having a storage place for so much paper. I wanted to be prepared in case I end up with day to day subs if the admin drop the ball on hiring a long term sub. I am praying I do not have to grade all the work when I return and I get a long term sub who will actually do labs..... I hate that I don't know. If you can ask if you will have a long term sub. They at least can make copies, grade and do some planning as opposed to day to day subs who don't make copies do labs or grade.
     

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