Teaching while pregnant is a constant thrill ride of nausea, exhaustion, and stress. You worry that the baby will sit on your bladder during third period and cause an unfortunate incident. You show up in two different shoes thanks to pregnancy brain. You compulsively eat ginger chews when the kids come back from recess smelling…less-than-fresh. Pregnancy makes a tough job even harder, but there are ways you can help a pregnant friend in the classroom.
1. Make her these.
Energy boosting and easy to eat on the go. They won’t even get chocolate all over your gradebook!
2. Watch her class so she can go to the bathroom.
Seriously, just stick your head in during your planning once a day. I guarantee you, it will be appreciated.
3. Keep the advice to yourself.
This one is hard for me. After all, we’re teachers! We love imparting knowledge! But pregnant women get a constant stream of unsolicited advice, so you really don’t need to give her the side eye when you see her pouring a cup of coffee in the workroom. And you definitely don’t need to tell her why it’s a bad idea.
4. Run some copies.
It takes basically twelve acres of rain forest to put together a binder of sub plans and copies for maternity leave. When you’re copying a quiz, swing by and ask if you can run any copies for preggo. It’ll save her time, and it’ll split up the work so she doesn’t get in trouble for using too much paper!
5. Don’t show up to work if you’re sick.
I know, it’s easier to go to work sick than to make sub plans and try to get caught up later. But nothing makes a pregnant woman panic like finding out the teacher next door is running a 102 fever and throwing up. Put her safety before your convenience this time.
6. Save that casserole for a while.
Right after the baby is born, she’s hopefully got a lot of people bringing food. But that gravy train stops after a couple of weeks. Besides, it’s totally possible to cook when you’re home on maternity leave, although it may not be easy. She’s really going to need your chicken and rice casserole her first week back at work. Coming back from maternity leave is incredibly stressful and exhausting, and a few homemade meals or restaurant gift cards can make that first week a whole lot easier.
7. Enlist the kids’ help.
If you teach the same students, remind them to have some compassion for their pregnant teacher. Kids are generally sweet, but they sometimes need a little encouragement or a reminder to be extra kind to somebody who needs it.
8. Keep an eye out for her sub.
Make sure everything is running smoothly so that when she comes back, there are as few fires to put out as possible.
Being a pregnant teacher will never be easy, but helpful colleagues make it better!