Post # 1
So I am a teacher and will be starting at a new school within the district I been at for a year. My previous position was weird I was a teacher and on contract but mostly an aide, so this is my first year actually having my own room.
I didn’t find out I was pregnant until after I got this job and didn’t mention it before because I had issues getting pregnant in the past and a miscarriage that made me worry this one wouldn’t make it. I am 3 1/2 months pregnant and everything is normal. I am due in early January which is way before any standardized testing will be done (I work in Texas). DH and I are buying a house literally 6 minutes away from school during school zone times (I could walk there). I am extremely hard working and have already started lesson planning, in fact my room is the only one complete in my hallway but am afraid I’ll be seen as incompetent due to my pregnancy.
My doctor has asked to see me the first week of school for an anatomy scan and will have to ask for a half day which again am worried will anger my principal. I don’t know how to approach this topic with her. I am also scared this means I won’t be offered a contract for next year.
Post # 2
I’m not a teacher, so I could be off-base here, but I think that your principal and fellow teachers would probably appreciate knowing as soon as possible so they can start contingency planning (lining up long-term subs, particularly).
I don’t think anyone will see you as incompetent. The timing is just a bit rough, that’s all.
Post # 3
I don’t know how it works over in the US but here in the UK we recommend getting your contract and stuff first before mentioning pregnancy. Then once you’ve announced you’re expecting you are protected from any maternity discrimination (eg non renewal of contract).
I’d make sure you’ve got a ‘I am awesome file’ with you when you meet the principal so you can show how organised you are something like ‘I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and have already … (Insert things you’ve done)… I Would like to inform you sooner rather than later that I’m expecting. I thought letting you know early gives time to find maternity cover and of course I’m more than happy to meet and arrange handover with my maternity cover to ensure smooth transitions at the start and end of my leave’.
So you leave giving the impression you are interested in being kept on and have left a positive image for the new school.
Post # 4
As a teacher, it shouldn’t be an issue at all. I would go ahead and tell your principal. We work in a profession that is predominantly women and pregnancies happen often. We had two teachers on maternity leave at the same time last year. No big deal.
Post # 6
What is your contract like? Probationary? Year to year? Tenure? Sign it and make sure it is official. You don;t need to tell your principal why you have an appointment! Just go. Tell him when you are ready and give ample time so they can find someone to sub for you on leave. If you have a union rep you can talk to them too about district policies and best practices of notification.
Post # 7
All schools and principals are different, but in my building it seems like at least one person on staff is pregnant all the time! I’ve never witnessed any backlash or anything against someone for taking maternity leave, regardless of when in the year it is. Unless you have reason to believe it won’t go over well, I’d try to relax and assume everything job-wise will go smoothly. If your maternity leave won’t be until January, you probably have several weeks yet before you’d need to share with anyone, unless you feel you have to share the reason for your appointment when you go for the anatomy scan.
Post # 8
I’m not sure that I would take off the first week of school, and I’ve been at my current school for 4 years. Can you move the scan to later in the day, after work?
I’m also not tenured (charter school) and am pregnant, so I was nervous to tell. They know they employ women of child bearing ages, and there was no one who was anything but thrilled for me!
Post # 9
Where I teach it can be really challenging to find substitutes so I know that my administration would rather know as soon as possible. Since it sounds like you have a 1 year contract for the upcoming school year (and I’m assuming that contracts for the next year won’t be offered until later- at my school they do them in the spring) I suggest being really upfront about your desires with whomever will be evaluating you: reassure them of your commitment to your students and ask them what you need to do in order to ensure that you get a contract for the next school year. If you have a union you should absolutely get them involved if you have any issues… if you don’t have a union maybe you can talk to the HR for the school district so that you know what the official policies are before you talk to your direct administrator.
Post # 10
As someone who runs a school, I completely understand the other side of this. It is an inconvenience to find coverage, but is expected. You shouldn’t worry about it if you give advance notice.
I would suggest rescheduling your appt to later in the day or following week since it is the first week of school and doesn’t seem like an urgent issue.
Post # 11
Thank you all for your replies I am letting my principal and head of science dept know this upcoming week. I learned from an employee last year that they had horrible substitute issues last year so I rather start looking early. I will be moving my appt to the next week as I don’t want to miss the first week.
Post # 12
Not a pregnancy thing, but I had to ask for a half day last year (my first year at the school) to attend a close friend’s Friday wedding. It worked out just fine and I was able to leave to get to the wedding in time.
I will say too my hallway neighbor at school is pregnant and our principals have been very understanding of her doctors’ appointments. She plans her appointments later in the day, but our school goes until 3:30 so she often has to leave at 3. The principals will watch her homeroom when needed, or excuse her from supervising the car line when needed. Principals get that pregnancies are going to happen and sure it can be an inconvenience, but it is one that they expect.