Tuesday, September 27

Prepping For Baby ~ Teaching & Thank You's

So, there's a LOT of prep for a baby. More than I ever knew or could imagine!

For a teacher, oh-ma-word, there's no end to prepping for your Maternity Leave.  It's as if you don't really get a break until you actually get to the point of breaking yourself after all the planning you have to do to get it! In a teacher world, nothing is ever completed and you are never caught up. So think about planning for your weeks/months away while doing your daily stuff and knowing you will always have just one more thing to add!

TeachingI've been working on my large long-term sub binder since February of last year.  There's many, many things you must add that you don't even think about for someone else because it's so routine for you.  As most teachers, I am a total Type-A personality in my job.  I like things organized, clean, and ran MY way.  I like to run a tight ship where students are having hands-on and engaging lessons while still being at a good voice level and still order in the classroom. Honestly, I just don't see how a messy/un-organized classroom could exist...at least for me! I'm a everything-has-a-spot kind of person. I don't like people in my personal space in terms of my desk/computer and I most certainly like to plan everything I do myself{I am soo not good at this team-planning thing. More on that to come later one day!}.

SO, on to prepping the Sub-Binder.
There's a billion things in there, but for my readers, I'll just give you the highlighted topics ~ maybe this could help someone?!
*list of all passwords
*daily, weekly, monthly procedures
*morning procedures/bathroom procedures
*discipline and reward systems and procedures
*IEP's and 504's
*behavior students and students on charts (explain)
*birthday procedures
*special occasions/assembly procedures
*Weather Drill procedures
*list of students with side-notes about personalities/what works best with them
*student ability levels and how to read those
*technology guidelines (how to use smart board, find/create lessons, how to write daily blog, etc.)
*parent contacts
*homeroom parent and volunteer schedules
*Lesson Plans for ALL subjects with extras included
*Book Logs pre-made with due dates
*Writing Buddy (some do Reading Buddy) schedules and lessons/activities
*Grade Book guidelines and how to enter in grades online
*activities for the kids to make for the teacher (letters prepared, etc.)
*People to Ask list so the sub knows who to go to on certain questions
I know I'm missing half the stuff I mean to, but there's my shortened list. If you live in the area, I'd be glad to give you my binder when I'm done to look through. HAHA

Prepping the Parents:
Most parents (at least the feeling I've gotten this year) are excited for you but nervous for their child.  They obviously want the best for their child, and again, teaching is not a regular job. You've got a lot of people who want you to see their child as the only one in the universe. I completely understand, but I also wish they would understand what hard work I've been doing to get ready for my leave! So, I've been trying to prep the parents. I go above and beyond (as a lot of teachers do) for my parents and kids to stay connected. So I've tried to remind some of my parents that so that they will see that their 4-5 emails a day may not get answered by the sub, but they will be ok. :) I've already written my letters to my parents that will be passed out on my first day of maternity leave explaining all about the sub and what actions are put in place to keep everything mostly in place. I've also started conferences on a needs-base (do you know how hard that is when I am soo tired by the end of the day and then knowing I have to come home and work on sub plans at night?!?!?) as well as emailing and reminding parents about things here and there.  One thing I have learned is to NOT tell how long you are planning to take off.  From the advice of our PSA and other teachers, it really doesn't concern them and it just makes them even more nervous...making a personality type like me nervous and anxious about the parent being upset with me about having a baby. (yes, that is a true statement of how I feel sometimes)

Prepping with Students:Poor things. They just don't get it. I had one student ask me if I'd be returning in about a week after I have the baby... But the thing is, you can't really tell them how long you are planning to take off either. Because a week in a child's life is an eternity. Add in telling that 8 weeks or more? They will go ba-zonkers! So, we've done lots of talking about me leaving and then coming back. I've told the kids I will be back and I do hope to visit them soon. I've also promised to share pictures of Harper when she comes, etc.  They will be ok. :) I have letters written and planned when to give to my kids while I am gone so they know I'm thinking about them and want them to continue learning and doing their best.  I also made a treat to give the students on my first day gone, which my awesome assistant will pass out. It's these cute lollipops that say, "thanks for letting me have my Mom for a few weeks. love, Harper". Of course I know my students will know she didn't write that (!!) but I wanted them to feel excited and happy on the first day without me, too!
dark phone pic :(

Thank You's
Ok, so now on to the hospital stay! Duh, the bags are packed. But, what you don't want to forget to pack are little thank yous. A thank-you goes a long way.
I've made little goodie bags for my nurses that I will have taking care of us. I know it's their job to do this, but a little thank you can go a long way...believe me, I'm a teacher and when I get a thank you for doing my job it feels good!
So, these are little bags I put together with dark chocolate kisses inside. One side says, "you're so sweet" and the other side says, "thanks for taking care of us, love the Burton's". I hope they like!
Visitors:Although I don't want to share this too early... :) I have little goodies bags for friends and family who visit Harper in the hospital, too.  I know it's hard to get to the hospital and I also know a lot of people do not like hospitals, so people who come are definitely coming out of their way to come meet your little person. So, again, a thank you can go a long way.  I made these stickers and just added them to the purple bags and put candy inside. The stickers say her name and "thanks for visiting me!" and our blog address if they want to follow some of her pictures. 

:) Sorry for the long post!


  1. Sooooo precious! I love how much thought you put into things, Megan! Best of luck as your due date approaches. I am so excited for you. Xoxo

  2. You are so sweet and thoughtful. I have no idea how you find the time to do everything you do. I am in awe of you. You're going to be such a wonderful mama.

  3. So refreshing to hear someone that has the same fears and feelings as me about maternity leave. Sounds like you have done an amazing job and your kiddos are very luckys, as will Harper! I wrote you a message on school email, if and when life calms down and you have anything long-term sub related I would love to take a look at it. -Sarah C.


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