4 Teacher Tips for a Smooth Maternity Leave Transition

Have you had a chance to read Part 1?
5 Tips for Surviving Teaching while Pregnant (with Twins!) 

And Part 2?
Build the Best Maternity Leave Binder (so you can leave work at work)

Make a classroom procedures binder.

Your long term sub will need a teacher binder of his or her own while in your classroom. Subs often have fewer privileges than classroom teachers, so having hard copies of attendance sheets, gradebook templates, and student accommodations is essential to setting your sub up for success.

Consider including the following items (your sub will thank you!)
  • Seating chart
  • Blank attendance sheets with student names by period (Check out the link at the bottom of the post!)
  • Blank grade sheets with student names by period
  • Student accommodations (a shortened list for testing accommodations may be useful) per district guidelines on sharing this info with subs
  • Emergency procedures
  • Instructions on how to make copies (copier code, print shop, point of contact, etc.)
  • Instructions on classroom/campus policies such as retesting and late work
  • Guidelines for classroom expectations such as homework grading, testing procedures, and calculator use

Get to know the person finding your subs.

If you are fortunate enough to work in a school that has a person dedicated to finding you a sub when you have to be out of the classroom, go make friends! Our office staff handled sub requests and did a fantastic job finding me coverage on short notice despite a district-wide sub shortage. Be kind to the people finding your subs. They are invaluable!

Find your person.

Sometimes plans go awry. Who are you going to text when you have an unexpected appointment or go into labor early?

This probably isn’t the person finding your sub. This is the person who’s going to pull your copies and give the sub the lowdown on how you like things run in your classroom.

I was fortunate to have a fabulous department head who knew how I organized my calendars and digital files who took over making copies for my classes. My neighbor teacher was my go-to person when I needed sub plans printed and copies laid out for the sub because he was familiar with my copy storage method.

I would always email these two people with my sub plans knowing that they would take care of getting my sub and kids on track.

Who do you trust when you need help?

Take time for yourself and your family.

Be gentle with yourself. Growing a person is hard. Recovering from birth is hard. Caring for a newborn is hard. Give yourself some grace. Your class will survive without you. You deserve and need time to rest and recover before jumping back into the classroom. Please don’t feel guilty for prioritizing yourself and your growing family during this time.

When I was on maternity leave with my twins, no one would have wanted me to try to grade papers or create lessons because the sleep deprivation mental fog was intense! Learning how to relinquish control to my sub and colleagues was challenging because it was such a mental shift from my default operating mode of working hard and long at school everyday, but everything turned out fine in the end.

You've got this! 

To help you get a jump start on your classroom procedures binder, check out my free attendance sheet and gradebook forms. You can print and handwrite or type and save using the versatile PDF file format. Enjoy!

Download free attendance sheet and gradebook forms HERE.