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Planning for Maternity Leave...Need Advice!!
Old 07-28-2008, 09:02 PM
 
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My husband and I are trying to plan for a baby. This will be our first child. I'm trying to think way ahead of the game and need to know what is typical of a teacher to leave for her long-term sub as far as plans go if I'm expecting to be gone for six full weeks on maternity leave (hopefully in the spring). Do I leave six weeks worth of lesson plans? Do I only plan for the first week and let the sub take it from there with the help of my team? If any of you have experience doing this and have adive, any help would be very much appreciated! Thanks


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Old 07-28-2008, 09:24 PM
 
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Good luck to you & your husband on starting a family!

I guess it would depend on how supportive & reliable your team is. I personally have never been experienced maternity leave, but I have taught for 5 years & every year one of my teammates have been gone on maternity leave. I think it would be important for you to have the procedure clearly defined in your classroom for the sub coming into your class. Having everything organized & easily to find is very helpful. If possible, it would be a good idea to arrange a meeting with your sub ahead of time to review how your classroom runs & show them around the classroom. My principal has even paid for the sub to shadow the teacher for the day. It might also be good for you to make sure that one of your teammates knows their way around your room in case the sub has trouble finding anything.

As for planning...my pregnant teammates have always just prepared for the coming week as they would normally do. That way things are ready for the first week. It might be good for you to leave each week at the end of your pregnancy with everything ready for the following week. You don't want to have your all important guided reading folder at home on the weekend that you happen to go into labor. After that our team has taken the responsibility for keeping the sub informed of the plans for the rest of the time. We make sure that they have the copies & supplies that they need. In our building most of our long term subs are very familiar with our school, so it is very helpful.

Personally, I feel that this is how it should be. I hope that your team is supportive & willing to make this an enjoyable time for you. You should not have to worry about things at school during this special time.
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Maternity Leave
Old 07-28-2008, 09:27 PM
 
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I had a baby last January! For me personally I had the whole 6 weeks plus some planned. It was crazy and very chaotic trying to plan that far and get everything she needed but well worth it. I had to plan and shop for Valentine's Day, 100th Day, Presidents Day, etc. all during that time! I started in November and worked all during Christmas Break. I had boxes put together according to the week with everything she would need in it (i.e. copies, books, supplies, etc.) I didn't have to worry about plans the whole time and I was just able to enjoy my baby! I even over planned and she ended up their an extra week due to my baby being in the hospital with RSV. Plus the sub was great!
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Maternity Leave
Old 07-28-2008, 10:08 PM
 
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Be sure to talk to your administration. In my district we are required to plan for the whole time we will be out. We don't have to make all the copies, but we have to have masters ready and available for the sub. to copy.

Best of luck to you!!
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sub plans
Old 07-29-2008, 04:11 AM
 
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wow - I can't imagine having to plan for the whole time you are out! When I was out last year with my daughter, I planned for the first week and the sub took over for the rest - working with my team of course - I think that is how it should be. Long term substitutes - in my district anyway - are interviewed much like a new hire and should be capable of planning - actually, its a good way for them to show off and possibly be considered for a job.

Best wishes for your growing family - Motherhood is wonderful!!


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sub plans
Old 07-29-2008, 05:41 AM
 
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Having experienced a lot of long term sub jobs, I did the day to day planning. The teachers talked to me about classroom expectations/management and long term objectives before hand, then it was up to me to fine tune the lessons. I was very fortunate that the teachers allowed me some freedom and also gave me permission to use anything in their files/classroom. One sub job was particularly challenging because it was a last minute call for an unexpected health issue. The teacher planned one day at a time on a legal pad, with all kinds of abbreviations. She was resoponsible for teaching two classes of language arts and then math to her own class. She was also piloting a new language arts series that year. I'm glad I finally caught on to her planning, because the job lasted for almost a semester. You may also want to talk to your administrator. Around here, if a teacher is going be gone for a length of time, they will hire a licensed teacher because the sub gets teacher pay after 15 days with the same class. With this arrangement, the sub is expected to do the planning.
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maternity leave
Old 07-29-2008, 06:20 AM
 
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Congrats on starting your family. I recently met with my sub because my maternity leave starts soon. My administrator left it up to me to plan how my substitute wanted. She just wanted a weekly outline where things could be changed if needed. She's been doing this for a long time; I'm very lucky.

Last edited by yoda; 07-29-2008 at 07:15 AM.. Reason: typo
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Sub plans
Old 07-29-2008, 08:43 AM
 
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I planned a week's worth of lessons when I was on matenity leave. After that, the sub was responsible for the planning. I also left detailed outlines for the curriculum the sub would need to cover.

I'd say, be as specific as possible in your plans/notes so the sub knows your expectations. It will make it so much easier on your team if you sub knows what to do. Yes, a team of colleagues can be there to give advice, etc. but it should not fall to the team to carry the load. That has happened to me before, and I tell you, I just wanted to cry at times, just wanting to do my own job and not that of two others who were out on maternity leave.
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going out on leave as well
Old 07-29-2008, 10:01 AM
 
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I will be going out on maternity leave this fall. I also was out two years ago for the first semester. on my first leave I explained my classroom expectations and routines to the sub and then she would plan on her own with my colleagues. we normally sit down once a week together anyway. She would also call me and email me from time to time if a question arose. things worked out very well. some minor differences but it wasn't the end of the world. this year as far as I have been told, the girl that was hired is going to be with me whenever possible until I go out on leave. this will allow us time to talk, her to learn my procedures and routines and iron out any questions. I will be able to leave her my plan book from last year but once I am gone the planning will be up to her (again with the help of my colleagues). I plan on taking the rest of the year off, however.

I can talk from experience though....you think you are going to hate "giving up control" and obsess about what is going on in your room but you really will be so busy with the new baby that school is secondary. My first leave began unexpectantly and I didn't get to start the year with my class. intially I was very upset but once I was home with the baby I really didn't give school much of a thought.

good luck
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I agree with one week's worth of plans
Old 07-29-2008, 10:05 AM
 
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that is what I did for both of my maternity leaves. My idstrict did pay for the substitute to come in and "shadow" me for 2 days prior to my going on leave. This allowed the sub to see the routines, discipline, preparations, etc. and clear up any questions. My team then planned with the sub the remaining weeks that I was out.

Good luck starting your family


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Maternity Leave
Old 07-29-2008, 10:19 AM
 
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For both of my maternity leaves, I left lesson plans for the entire time. I also left photocopies for the first 4 weeks and masters with instructions for the final weeks. I also made tentative plans for the first week that I was back to make the transition of going back to work much smoother.
I've had late summer babies, so I've always had to miss at the beginning of the year or within two weeks of school starting.

Once you know who your sub will be, I'd consult with him/her for how much planning they'd prefer.
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Thank you!
Old 07-29-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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Thanks so much for all of the advice! I have some good ideas for what I should do now and feel some relief... We have a retired veteran teacher that usually subs in our building for people who go on maternity leave. Knowing that as well, I think my kiddos will be in good hands...
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:10 PM
 
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Good luck to you and your hubby. I just had my first baby 6 months ago.

I think it is probably different in every school system, so maybe you can ask another teacher that has recently been on leave what they had to do.

My sub took over from January-May. I gave her an outline by month for what should be taught. All my materials were in the classroom for her to use. She also had my previous years plans to refer to. I told her she could use the lessons that I taught in the past, or make up her own, just as long as I got a copy of everything in the end and she taught the objectives.

Good luck!
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:27 PM
 
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It all depends on how well-educated in your curriculum your LT sub is and what a LT sub in your area is going to get paid! If they get paid as a 1st yr teacher, then it may be acceptable to get them started. However, if they are only making an extra amt on top of sub pay, then don't expect them to go out of their way! I took a LT sub maternity leave in April, she left me a handout w/ everything on it day by day. She left a single copy of the handouts, or quizzes, even the test. We were working on a novel and everything was there for me to do. I had 10th gr Eng GT/PREAP. I had to lead class disc., make all the copies, grade everything, etc. She left me about 4 weeks worth. I also had to come up w/ some Grammar review for the last 2 weeks.
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It depends...
Old 07-31-2008, 10:21 AM
 
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If your sub is your assistant for the past while or a retired teacher of the same grade I think your plans can be more of a skeleton. If they are hiring someone who you and your students don't know then I'd say the more you can give the better. My mom taught over 30 years, but not first grade so I would give her a detailed playbook. The other thing to consider is that if they are giving you a sub on TOP of your assistant, who will be doing the teaching and how is that going to work? My assistant prefers to take over because she knows the kids and she knows what I expect of each child and that works for us, but 6 weeks is more than I've been out... GOOD LUCK!!!!
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