Maternity Leave Planning and Resources for Teachers

Hi friends! 

I am officially on maternity leave (but no baby yet) so I thought I would share how I prepared for my sub. 

Five years ago when I started teaching I was the definition of "Type A" and a total control freak. I still have instances of it, but honestly, being a teacher has totally lightened me up. Taking a sub day used to terrify me, so you would think taking twelve weeks of maternity leave would make me want to throw up, but I'm pretty calm about the whole thing. 

There are a couple reasons for this: 

1.) I teach middle school ELA now. There are things that are much more difficult and time consuming in middle school compared to when I taught elementary but making sub plans is not one of them. Making sub plans is much simpler because I teach the same thing multiple times a day and I only teach a couple subjects instead of all of them. Elementary teachers, I feel for you there. 

2.) I teach middle schoolers. Don't get me wrong, middle schoolers are not perfect, or innocent, but I have pretty good kids and know that they will survive. Most kids, at any age, will survive a maternity leave. They know what I expect and how our class runs. They could probably run the class themselves if they could learn some conflict resolution skills before this :). 

3.) I'm having a baby! I've obviously never had a baby before, but I can't imagine anything else in the world that would make me just let it go. 

4.) I'm a teacher, adult, and human and know that I can figure out just about anything when I have to. I figure most adults can too. 

So here is how I prepared for the sub. 

I gave an overview of everything. Basically I made a snapshot of everything she would have to do and the snapshot became like a kind of cover sheet for each section of the binder. Then I put WAY MORE detailed and complete units behind each overview (these overview are find in the editable and free resource on TPT). Behind the overviews were things like interactive notebook lessons, whole novel study units (i.e. Hamlet and Cyrano). 

My thought was she could at least have the overview of what needed to be done and she could use as little or as much as she wanted from the units I put behind them. (I teach at a Core Knowledge school, so basically we have required texts, vocabulary, and terms, but how we teach it is kind of up to us). I made sure the overview covered what HAD to be covered and then the rest was up to her. 

I also had separate sections for other information. That way she could quickly go to each section. 

These were the sections in my maternity binder. 

1. Passwords and information
2. Syllabus and Rules
3. Classroom Procedures 
4. Teaching Philosophy
5. Schedules (Daily and Hourly)
6. Pacing Guides - Yearly and specific to maternity leave pacing 
7. Drama Resources (7th and 8th) -This mostly had interactive notebook lessons
8. 7th Grade Drama - Resources and units to teach Cyrano de Bergerac
9. 8th Grade Drama - Resources and units to teach Hamlet
10. Poetry Lessons (7th and 8th)-This mostly had interactive notebook lessons
11. 7th Grade Poetry - List of 7th grade poems and terms and unit to teach poetry read aloud- Out of the Dust 
12. 8th Grade Poetry - List of 8th grade poems and terms and unit to teach poetry read aloud- The Crossover 
13. 6th Grade Books and Movies and unit to teach The Maze Runner
14. 2nd and 3rd Grade Art Overview and images of art projects 

I included an editable version of my maternity leave pacing and forms for you to use if you want! It's pretty specific to me and my classroom, but I know sometimes just seeing the ideas is super helpful. So just click the picture below. 

I also made her a basket that had all the teacher copies of the books so she had everything because I tend to stuff my copies of things wherever. I didn't want her to have to go hunting. Lastly, I also put everything on a flash drive. I mean EVERYTHING... that way she could print as needed. 

Lastly, here is a video I made on Instagram that walks you through what I did in the binder and to prepare the resources for her. It has a random picture at the end hahahahah because I saved my Insta story, but you get the idea. 


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