Saturday, May 10, 2014

Maternity Leave - what to do.. what to do...and a giveaway!

So my husband and I are expecting our first in July.  YAY!  I can easily say that I've had a great pregnancy with little-to-no symptoms, so I feel really blessed about that.  

It was a long road to get to here, and we ended up doing IVF which worked on the first time.  again, extremely blessed.  

People don't really talk about how difficult it is for them to get pregnant and it's just "assumed" that you can snap your fingers and a pregnancy will occur.  Well, we were snapping for 2 1/2 years and it just wasn't working.  It was really hard at first to hear from people, "Well, you've been married for some time now, isn't it time to have a baby?" but eventually you get numb.  And it's not people's fault for asking, but I've learned that I am never going to ask about something so intimate because you just don't know what people are going through behind closed doors.  And it's painful.  To all you mom's out there or mom's-to-be, I know how difficult it is and what a long journey it is for some couples.  You are not alone.  Trust me!  I'd also be happy to answer any questions about what we did if you are in the middle of this process as well.

Anyways, I digress. 

I have 29 (count 'em) days of school left with some major milestones to get through: heat, field trips, heat, field day, heat, teaching, heat, planning...

I've started this crate with file folders for the weeks at the beginning of next school year for my long-term sub.  Each folder has the essentials of my routine for homework and morning work, as well as regular classroom assignments.  

Each week, my kids get:
- Calendar Math from the lovely Stephanie at Teachinginroom6
- Spiral Math HW, again from Stephanie.  I have all 4 quarters and they are great!
- a reading comprehension weekly assignment, usually from or from Kristine Nannini's ELA assessment binder.
- Greek and Latin root word assignment with a quiz on Thursday - I use this book.
- A reading log for independent reading, which is my own product here.
- A Daily Language Review which is an Evan Moore product.
- A grammar packet which focuses on a specific grammar skill for the week.  We use an ancient grammar book in class which is very explicit and concrete, and I send home a packet on Tuesday which is due on Friday for independent practice. We correct on Fridays together.  I use this book here to supplement the CCSS curriculum. 
On Thursdays, we do a Scholastic News as part of their informational text instruction and they love reading the articles.  

I made all the copies for the first 8 weeks or so of school because I plan on being out until the middle of October.  I really hope that whoever my long-term sub is, I want them to follow this routine so my kids are used to it when I return.  I'm trying to be as organized as possible and I even started a "long-term sub" binder that outlines this and classroom routines.

I figure if I give the sub my materials for the first part of the year, which is 5.NBT.1-7 on place value, they can make ends meet.  I shouldn't have to plan each and every lesson, right?  In my classroom I also use Data Tracking Binders, but I feel like that's too much to have a sub do.  I suppose I'll start that when I return.

As far as getting my classroom ready for next year, I'll snag those class lists and make my name tags, locker signs, welcome boards, etc in advance so that is done.  It's hard focusing on the back-to-school-mentality when it's May!

I guess I have this control problem.  Really, all teachers do.  It's our classrooms and we run it a certain way, and when someone new comes in and takes over, it's hard for us to let go.  At least, for me it is.  I want to be prepared for my leave so I don't have to worry about what's going on and I can focus on being at home.  

Does anyone have any suggestions about what else I should do to prepare my room for my leave?  Any and every piece of advice is welcome!

And for the giveaway:

I made it to 100 followers on TpT!  This is a milestone for me and I've been watching the numbers in the 90's creep up until TODAY! YAY!  I'm going to give away 1 $10 gift certificate to Teacher's Pay Teachers AND one of my 2014-2015 plan books!

Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Congrats to you on this exciting journey. Good luck with all the heat. Sounds like you are on top of things, being so organized, it will help a lot. More than likely there will be things done that you won't like, ut within a few weeks you will be back under control with your class. If you cank plan out the weeks of your return, just in case. Little ones get sick all the time, and advanced plans will ease your transition. As for procedures, I would encourage you to be explicit. Consider making little videos of you for the sub to play concerning your rules and expectations. Hope the last few weeks go well.

  2. Congrats Kristen! It sound like you are well organized and ready to go! One piece of advice I can give you is to let go of the reigns until you come back. It's not possible to anyone to teach exactly like you do, and you have more important things to worry about during that time. You're going to have a great maternity leave, and a great school year when you return! :)

  3. I had a student teacher who subbed in my room during my maternity leave. She planned with my next door neighbor/friend.

  4. Thank you for all your great advice! It's hard to "let it go" but there are bigger things to worry about.. or in this case...smaller :)

  5. Kristin, I have been that sub - three times. Once, the male teacher was dealing with what ultimately was the loss of his spouse, the next time was a maternity leave, at the beginning of school like you, and the third time, I was scheduled to do a maternity leave and was going to meet with her after school on a day I was doing a single sick leave day - when her water broke and I was immediately moved into her room, she'd planned to do her plans after talking with me. You will do much, MUCH better, if you ask the sub to cover certain topics - completely. Then review to see what was learned and what will need to be brushed up on. Also since you won't know your class - write some pretty specific and specifically tough rules. It will make it easier on you when you return to ease up and the kids will usually rise to the occasion especially at the beginning of the year. It's always easier to lighten the rules/expectations later than trying to make them tougher later in the year.


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