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Maternity Leave: Your First 5 Steps

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Show Notes:

Today we’re talking about a topic that many of you may currently be planning for, or will be planning for in the near future, and that is maternity leave. Maybe you’ve just finished college, recently gotten married, and landed your dream teaching job. 

Day by day, you're checking off all the boxes, and your next hope and dream might be to start a family. This is such an exciting time, but it can also be a bit stressful as a teacher. Having a baby means taking maternity leave and leaving your classroom for a certain amount of time.

When it comes to preparing for maternity leave, anxiety might set in because you have so many questions. Who is going to cover your class? How much paid leave will you get? Will all the hard work you’ve put into classroom management go down the drain without you there?

You’ve built relationships with your students and poured your heart and soul into establishing systems and routines in your classroom. The thought of stepping away from that, even if it is temporarily, can be scary. Having a solid plan, and preparing for things ahead of time, will make all the difference in order to make this a smooth transition. 

Maternity leave comes with a lot of details and preparations that need to be made. However, it doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly stressful for you. My guest Jordan and I want to help you with that by equipping you with the information you need to make this a seamless process. 

Jordan Myers is joining me for a practical conversation about five things you can do to start planning for your maternity leave now. Jordan is on my team, and if you’re in the Beginning Teacher Talk Facebook group, you’ve probably seen her posting in there often. She is an amazing teacher, and a new mom, with lots of timely insight as to what you can do to feel prepared to take - and enjoy - your maternity leave.

Inside this week's show, you'll learn:

  • Why you should announce your pregnancy to your administrators before your students.
  • An overview of what FMLA is, (Family and Medical Leave Act) and what Jordan’s experience was with this.
  • Typical medical documents that you’ll need when you return to work after maternity leave.
  • The types of things to talk to your grade level team about before your absence.
  • Some of the main responsibilities to prepare your substitute for before taking maternity leave.
  • Additional tips for you regarding planning for, and collaborating with, a long-term substitute, including the types of documents you’ll need to have ready.
  • Fun ways to share your pregnancy news with your students and coworkers.
  • How to talk to your students and give them an opportunity to ask you questions before you leave the classroom.

Links & resources mentioned inside this episode:

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.

πŸ’› Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at and at

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