Teaching While Pregnant: A Survival Guide


As teachers, we tend to have a difficult time making
sacrifices in the classroom. For many of us, especially those of us who teach
in low socio-economic areas, we might be one of the only constants in our
students’ lives. We want to make sure that we are always “on” for our students. At times
this can be a challenge, and it only gets more challenging when you are
pregnant. However, there are ways to survive teaching while pregnant without
sacrificing anything in your classroom.

The first trimester can be a difficult one to navigate,
especially if you are experiencing difficult morning sickness. I was fortunate enough to have mostly afternoon sickness, but I was queasy all day long.
Many women also prefer to not share any pregnancy news with family, friends,
coworkers, and bosses during this time as well, which can only make these 13
weeks more complicated. Hiding morning sickness and frequent restroom trips from students and fellow staffers can be challenging.

Here is how I managed to survive the first trimester while

  • Have
    seltzer water on hand at all times:
    This helped me so many times combat
    morning sickness. I would just sip on it casually throughout the entire day,
    and it would help. My favorite is La Croix lemon or lime. It is crisp and refreshing, and very carbonated. It helped to settle my stomach.
  • Have
    bland crackers on hand at all times:
    Once again, this would help me manage
    the morning sickness. Pretzel sticks were also one of my go-to snacks. 
  • Keep your
    desk stocked with snacks
    : Eating smaller and more frequent amounts of food
    helped me as well.

Many women decide to let the cat out of the bag once the
second trimester starts. It is always best to share the news with your
administration before telling any colleagues. News can spread quickly, and it
is always best if your principal hears it from you first. 

This is also a good time to start the dialogue with your
principal about finding a long term sub. Many districts require long-term subs
to be fully credentialed or licensed teachers. The sooner you find a sub, the
sooner your mind will be at ease.

The third trimester is one of the most difficult trimesters
to teach through. Being on your feet for six or seven hours is rough when you
are pregnant.

  • Plan your
    days so that students do a lot of the work
    : This doesn’t mean you have to
    sacrifice your teaching to get some rest. Instead, plan some inquiry-based
    group and individual work for your students.
  • Take
    advantage of your prep period:
    Eat a snack, get off your feet, and
    grade/plan as much as you can.
  • Ask for
    student volunteers
    : Ask your students to help pass out and collect papers.
    This will help you stay off your feet while helping those antsy students get
    some energy out.
  • Dress
    : One word: flats. I love Born flats. They are cute and provide
    some additional support for your feet.
  • Don’t be
    afraid to take a day off:
    Some days you just might not feel well. It is
    okay to take a day off and relax at home. I made the mistake of NOT doing this my during my second pregnancy, and I was pulled from work a few weeks earlier than I anticipated.
  • Start
    planning for your sub:
    I am an over-planner. I can’t help it. I like to
    make sure that my sub is more than prepared to take over my class while on
    leave. I make a binder for the sub that includes everything they could possibly
    need. However, this doesn’t mean that I plan each and every single day for my
    sub. That would be too much. Instead, I provide my sub with unit plans. The
    unit plans include key readings, assignments, assessments, and a general time
    frame. I’ve found that this gives the sub a bit more flexibility when it comes
    to planning and preparing to take over your class. Furthermore, it allows the
    sub to take more ownership over the class, which is something that will benefit
    everyone involved.



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