Saturday, January 16, 2010

Maternity Leave

For any of you teachers out there that also wear the hat of mom, maternity leave is a two word phrase that can be scary, freeing, and overwhelming all in one.  I'm due with our first child on February 8th...which is just 23 days away!  From the middle of the summer when I notified my principal of the news, the process began.  He was concerned with finding the right sub to take over my classroom because of the math content I teach.  As you know, some elementary teachers are scared of math, but that's a whole different post. 

The preparation for the sub taking over my room has really made me reflect on all that goes on in my classroom - a lot!  Communicating with my sub about my standards-based math grading system including how I grade homework, score quizzes, and allow retakes was just one part of it!  My students also write to me about what they're reading once a week, and I respond.  They also use Google Docs and Blogger in the writing process!  (Check out their writing at: and leave some feedback!)  These are some of the major things.  Then there's the, "This student may do this...."  "This student is always reliable...."  "Our morning routine looks like this..."

I have basic plans worked out until my due date, and my sub seems very capable of picking up and continuing wherever I leave off.  I did have some thoughts in this preparation like, "Can she handle it all?  Should I cut some things out?  Will she grade the quizzes correctly?  Should she just bring them to me so I can do it?"  The answers to these questions have ended up being, "Yes, she can handle it.  I will not cut things out because my students still need to be learning while I'm not there.  She can grade the quizzes and just ask me if she has questions.  No, I will not grade quizzes while I'm on leave." 

My district wonderfully paid the sub to come in earlier this month and shadow me for a day so she can see how things run and where things are.  I feel very confident that my class will be in good hands while I'm gone. 

  • Will I miss it?  Yes, but I can still see and interact with what my students are doing through their work on the blog. 
  • Will I be where I need to be?  Yes!   That's a given.
  • Will learning continue while I'm gone?  YES! 


  1. Congratulations! Sounds like your principal is very supportive and will make sure your class stays on track. Your class has been with you long enough to know what you expect.

    Just focus on having everything ready for you and your baby. My first baby was two weeks early, and I didn't even have a bag packed for the hospital. You've got a super supportive hubby, too. Everything will be fine =)

  2. What I tried to write earlier is that early in my career I had a tough time believing the school and my classes could survive without me. (I'm sure that says more about my ego than I should reveal.) Truth be told and much to my personal chagrin, even without my being there learning took place and the school survived.

    Enjoy the break with Russ and the your newborn. Try to unplug from being a teacher for your leave and adapt to being a mom. School will be there, and the leave won't be long enough. You guys are in my prayers. There are few things as joyous as welcoming new life!

    Blessings and peace,

  3. Hey! I found your site in a 21st Century Class! Nuts!
    I'm sure you are doing fine with the maternity leave and I can say that I felt the same way this last fall when I had Jonah. I not only came into the new year on Maternity leave, but I also had to plan for a job that I'd never done myself. I became the new TAG coordinator of my district this past year and learned late in the summer that I'd need to prep for a sub.
    My kids lived and so will yours. :-)

    Cool how paths cross. If you want to track a former Wartburger and new mom check out our blog.

    Best of luck with your new little one. I'm sure you are tired, but loving it!!

    Kim Meyer
    (Kim Petersen)

  4. Ha, Kim! Great to connect with you again! Henry was born on 1/31. So far I've not worried about school, and I'm sure that will continue. We also have a family/baby blog: Congrats on the new job! I'm interested to hear how a class led you to my blog!

  5. I am one of 3 people from my district that is attending the 21st Century: Shift Happens sessions through the AEA and CASTLE... a group from ISU. Yesterday our afternoon session was about "techie tools," blogs being one of them and yours was one of the examples. :-)

    I saw your little pic and was like "I know her!" My fellow GCers looked at me like I was nuts.
    Glad to hear that you aren't stressing about school. You have enough in your life that has changed and that you need to worry about. I'll check out your baby blog as well. I love documenting Jonah's life as he grows. Ours started out with our wedding and honeymoon, then it just shifted to baby...

    Glad to hear you are doing well!

  6. Interesting! I guess I'm humbled to know they were sharing my blog. I had no clue! Enjoy the sessions through CASTLE. I'm sure you're learning tons!