Inside: Everything you need to know about teacher maternity leave!
The last thing you want to worry about when you’re on maternity leave is if your classroom is being run well and if you’re students are safe and meeting their learning goals. You need to focus on being a mom to a newborn! Here are 7 must dos for a successful teacher maternity leave.
1. Announce in a fun way to the class!
Try these quick, enjoyable ways to tell your class you’re having a baby! Try a baby-themed lesson with a read aloud or discussion of names for different baby animals. Announce with sweets like “Runts” or “Baby Ruths” (make sure to check for peanut allergies). You may also have your own children share the news if this isn’t your first child! Just like you would announce your pregnancy to friends and family with cute reveals, let your students be a part of this. Let them be excited for your new addition well ahead of your teacher maternity leave!
You can even announce your pregnancy and/or the gender of your baby using our Gender Reveal Classroom Activities! This printable pack includes everything you need for a fun and educational experience for your class. Writing activities and graphing activities are included. Click here to check it out in my shop. It is also in my TPT store.
2. Communicate with parents about your teacher maternity leave.
Send parents a maternity leave letter to let them know the approximate time you will be gone and what you are doing to prepare your students for your absence. By giving parents notice, they’ll be less likely to place unrealistic demands or expect communication while you are on leave.
The editable maternity leave letters in my shop includes pre-written templates. All you need to do is add your own info (date, name, etc) and go! There is one for announcing your pregnancy with intent to return after the baby and another version for if you plan on staying home once the baby is born. There is another one that you can use to give an update and introduce your long term subs.
You can also edit the contents of the letters to your heart’s content if you’d like to personalize them more! Blank templates are also included if you’d like to send additional updates. These letters are a great way to keep the parents up to date throughout your pregnancy.
3. Get your students excited about the baby before your teacher maternity leave!
Share what you feel comfortable sharing with your students. Whether it’s having a gender reveal, a guessing game for the name, or a “baby pool” for the delivery date, anything you’re willing to share with your students will build classroom community and help them get excited for baby. Younger students can feel apprehensive about you going on leave, so prepare them by giving them baby updates when deemed appropriate! Everything in my maternity sub plans are entirely baby themed to get the kids pumped to meet your new little one! Try baby story time, “decorate the nursery” activities, talk about acquired cakes, and more! While these sub plans will help tremendously with your leave, you can feel free to pull out some of the activities early to get your students excited!
4. Put together a detailed maternity sub binder.
Organizing maternity leave plans in a maternity sub binder will make getting ready for your leave easier for you and running your classroom simpler for your sub.All the information for your substitute is laid out- so all you have to do is fill it in. You’ll love how it makes planning for your sub a breeze AND how many compliments you will get about how useful (and cute!) your sub binder is. This includes calendar pages, scope & sequences, weekly planning and more! All in all, it includes over 200 pages. It is my #2 best seller in my entire shop (and the #1 seller is the smaller version of the binder for everyday absences). Your sub will be so thankful, they’ll want to come back for your short term needs and sick days! This is a must have for your teacher maternity leave!
5. Leave flexible yet fun maternity leave sub plans.
Instead of mapping out every day, leave about two weeks of specific plans along with fun activities for the kids. In addition to the two weeks of plans, leave a long term overview. Your plans may differ depending on your sub and which content areas they are most comfortable with. Keep in mind, nothing can replace you, and things might not go 100% according to plan, but the most important thing is that you can focus on baby. Trust your sub to focus on your long term plan. To make things even easier, I prepared HUGE sets of print-and-go maternity sub lessons to help you prepare for your teacher maternity leave.
So, if you want to make your maternity leave sub planning easier… be sure to check out my Maternity Leave Sub Plans! They are modeled after my best-selling Ready To Go Sub Plans, but with a maternity/ baby theme! These sub plans can be used in so many ways. You can use them during your pregnancy sick days (which are bound to happen), throughout your maternity leave, AND if there are any left, you can use them when you have a sick baby at home. It never hurts to be over-prepared! Your kids will LOVE the maternity leave sub plans. They are currently available for 1st-5th grades! Check out all of the maternity leave sub plans and other resources below. You can also find all of these resources in my Teachers pay Teachers store.
Thousands of teachers have used and trusted my sub plans, and in my opinion, these maternity leave ones are my BEST ones yet. You may also be interested in checking out my monthly themed sub plans for the months that you will be gone on your leave!
6. Introduce your maternity sub to your students ahead of time if possible.
Having a new teacher show up out of the blue can be overwhelming for many elementary school students. See if you can have a transition day where your sub comes, gets acquainted with your students and your routines, and gets an overview of plans and curriculum. You may also consider having your long term sub when you have doctor’s appointments or other short term sub days prior to your leave if possible.
7. Maintain a good relationship with your long term sub.
Communication with your sub before your leave is very important. Make sure you establish a good rapport and let them know that you trust their judgment. Although you won’t want constant contact with them during your leave (you’ll be busy with baby), checking in with your sub can help you establish a good long term relationship. Since your students will get to know your sub and they will know your class, you may want to call on them for short term absences after your return to work. Maintaining a positive relationship will help keep the sub coming back long after your teacher maternity leave is over!
These 7 must dos for a successful teacher maternity leave will help your sub develop relationships with you and your students that will allow everyone to have success in the classroom. You’ll be able to focus on being a mom because that’s the most important thing!
Check out our other maternity leave blog posts!