At the end of the school year, my husband and I received the exciting news that we were expecting our first baby boy. Although I did experience many of the first trimester symptoms, I was off for two glorious months where I was able to get as much rest as I needed. When August was coming to a close, reality started to set in. The summer was over, and I would be back to teaching 100 students a day, planning lessons, marking assignments, going to meetings, running our school’s Grad Council, and completing what seemed like an endless to-do list. I soon learned that teaching while pregnant was far more challenging than expected. Below are some tips that may help you survive teaching while pregnant:
1. When to Share the News
Plan lessons that allow you to get off your feet If you are a middle or high school teacher, for example, organize student-led lessons or discussions where you can sit back and listen for part of the class.
Use more videos. For example, I would start every Thursday with a video journal where students watched a short clip and wrote a journal entry for 15 minutes (click the image above to see my video journals).
Find guest speakers within or outside your school to give yourself a break.
Use the time in class when students are working to correct homework, input marks, or lesson plan. You don’t need to be constantly circulating. Instead, have students come to your desk!
Sit down during lessons when you are teaching. I felt odd sitting in my ‘teacher chair’ because I was so low, but I put a higher stool at the front of the class and this is where I spent the majority of my time instructing. It was a life-saver!
Make emergency lesson plans for at least 5 days. Pregnancy is unpredictable and you may need to miss time. I was out with back pain, and having plans ready on my desk was invaluable! Click on the left to see the lesson plans I used for those unexpected days off.
Purchase unit plans on Teachers Pay Teachers that are teach-ready. This gives you more time to rest and not stress about planning
3. Take Care Of Your Body
to stay hydrated: Whenever a student asked to go get a drink (which was at least one student per class), that was my reminder to drink water, or if the bottle wasn’t full, I would ask them to fill it for me. You could also put a chart on your desk to write down how much water you drank per day as a reminder! I aimed to drink eight 8-ounce glasses per day.
- If you are lucky enough to have a teaching/educational assistant in the classroom, ask them to supervise while you are gone.
- I know at the end of each period, students bombard me with questions about upcoming work. I tried to leave a few minutes for questions at the end of class, so I could run to the bathroom between classes.
- Enlist the help of the teacher next door/across the hall. Let them know when you have to go, and ask them to keep an eye on your students (or just poke their head in a couple times). The students will survive without you for a couple of minutes.
If you are a teacher, you know that you spend most of the day on your feet. When I first started back to work, I wore little heels as I always had. I ignorantly expected to wear these shoes until the end of my pregnancy. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the heels just were not going to cut it. I found cute flats for fall and flat boots for the winter that made life easier (my husband was also happy as he didn’t have to give as many foot massages.)