Monday, November 16, 2015

5 Tips for A Smooth Return From Maternity Leave

Hi Friends!

It’s Abbey from A Teacher Mom!  I have been a bit MIA lately and for good reason – Thomas John joined us at the end of August! 

If you remember back to July I wrote about getting ready to go on maternity leave (If you missed it, you can read it HERE).  Now TJ is 12 weeks old and I will be heading back to work in 3 short weeks.  I am here today to share tips for heading back to teaching after a maternity leave. 

During my first maternity leave I worked until the December break and then returned in April.  I knew the kids and I had an idea of what I was returning to.  This time I have NO idea what to expect for the most part and will have some catching up to do once I return!

1.     Reach out to parents a few weeks before your return.
Just this week I created a google form to send to families.  I met many of the families during back-to-school night which I went to when TJ was 3 weeks old.  Needless to say I was sleep deprived and have NO idea what I said or who I met!  I want families to have a chance to share information with me that they may or may not have already shared with my substitute.  I would rather have that info now rather than get 50 emails with requests to meet upon my return.

Some of the questions I asked included:
     -  What has been successful?
     -  What has not gone as well?
     -  Share an academic goal for your child for the second half of the year.
     -  Share a social goals for you child for the second half of the year.
     -  What additional information would you like me to know before I return?
     -  Is there anything specific you need from me upon my return?

2.     If you are able meet with (or email/call) your principal, literacy specialist, math coach, long term sub, etc.

So information from the parents will be HUGE, but you also need to get the low down from those people in the trenches.  I have a meeting scheduled for the Wednesday before I come back with 4 important people at my school.

     -  The principal/assistant principal -  This meeting will be mostly about BIGGER issues that have come up and overall what the school has been working on.  I will also be making a plan for my professional goals since I have missed the first meetings this year.
     -  Literacy Specialist/Math Coach - These ladies are the go to people when we are thinking about at risk kids who are struggling.  I will be chatting with them about my most needy students - what they are working on and with whom and what the next steps are.  These are the kids who I want to hit the ground running with.
    -  My Long-Term Sub - In my case my LTS is brand new to teaching, so I know a lot has been overwhelming, but I am eager to hear what has been working and what hasn't been as I make my plan for transition back in.  

3.     Plan to teach (reteach) routines and getting to know you activities during the first week.

I'm thinking of the first week being a lot of getting to know ideas from the beginning of the year.  I know that since the kids have gotten to know each other and some routines it will look different that a typical September, but I also know as much as I tried to prepare my LTS for routines - I am going to need to make some major changes once I return.  

4.     Take it easy on yourself.

Okay - This one probably should be number one, but I figured you would never read it if I put it there.  You are only one person and you now have a new little one to take care of.  You have been away for a number of weeks.  You ARE NOE going to be able to do it all on day 1.  That is HARD for teachers to hear.  Heck - I think I am going to have to read and reread that regularly during my first week.  Take it slow and breathe - You can do it and will.  

5.     Remember that your family still comes first.

    Yes our kiddos become like family, but your little one is still needing more of you right now - so plan on doing a little less at work or putting more responsibility on an aide or student teacher.  Your family comes first and that little one at home needs his or her mommy when you come home to be present!

This list is surely NOT complete, but I’m hoping that with some baby steps I can make it through the two and a half weeks before December break and head into the new year ready to roll.

What would you add to this list?  Leave your ideas in the comments.


  1. I hope your transition goes well! Thanks for the great tips! :)

  2. Great tips! Glad I found this! Thank you!

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