I also know how hard it is to be a long-term substitute. Prior to becoming a full-time teacher I was a substitute for many years. I had the opportunity to substitute for many new mommies. I had some awesome long-term jobs and some that I couldn’t wait to be over.
I thought I would combine a my mommy and substitute experience to put together some tips for preparing for your maternity leave. I hope these help you to get focused and prepared so that you can truly enjoy your new little addition!
Utilize other classroom teachers.
Talk to your admin.
Every school/district has different expectations for how much a teacher must prep for a leave.
At my school, we were expected to loosely lesson plan for the entire leave and do the photo copying. I have heard of other schools that only require a week of lesson planning.
It is a good idea to find out early what will be required. You don’t want to be surprised late into your pregnancy!
Arrange a sub weeks (or months) in advance.
If possible, invite your substitute into the classroom so that she can observe your class. It gives you a chance to model your procedures and show her around your classroom.
Batch your maternity leave planning.
Don’t plan on doing all of the lesson planning in just one weekend! That will really stress you out.
Instead, schedule a little time into your weekly schedule starting in your second trimester. Use this time to do planning and photo copying in batches. For example, spend a couple of weeks prepping math centers. Then spend a couple of weeks getting a writing unit prepped.
Rather than working week-to-week, save time by prepping a subject at a time for the entire leave.
Don’t forget to think about holidays that will happen during your leave!
Keep your lesson plans and materials organized.
Don’t forget the basics.
Passwords (for teacher computer and sites and for students)
Calendar of important dates (meetings, field trips, holidays, etc.)
Make a little packet and leave it in a binder or folder for your substitute. She will thank you later!
Would you like to use my FREE editable templates? #woohoo Click on the picture below to download!
Be flexible but firm when you return.
When you return from your leave, share pictures of your baby, tell your kids about your family, but act like it’s the first day of school again. Praise positive behaviors and correct poor choices before they become habits. Review expectations and model them with your students. Check out THESE fun free activities for reviewing procedures. You could prep them before you go out on leave!