K-12 Teachers & Taking Leave

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Joined: 04/10/11
Posts: 1703
K-12 Teachers & Taking Leave

K-12 Teachers,

I need to come up with my leave plan before I talk to the head of school in a couple of weeks. What are you thinking? What have you done in the past?

I feel like this timing couldn't be more perfect!

[Excuse me while I run off to barf ... remind me, grilled cheese sandwiches are NOT ok.]

I'm imagining I will work up until or close to my due date on December 14, then use sick and personal days to take me to winter break (last day of class is December 16). Is that realistic to teach right up until the end? My paid winter break will bring me to January 2 and then I assume I'll go on disability if there's any time left. How long is a usual amount of disability after birth? Beyond that, I'm thinking I'll take my full 12 weeks unpaid family leave, which will take me up until spring break, then I get the extra 2 weeks paid for spring break, bringing me back to work on April 9. The kid would likely be about four months old. Is it realistic to pump and be away from a four-month old for 12 hours a day? (LONG commute ... I'll be living in the ghetto and teaching in the wealthiest neighborhood.) My boyfriend's mom would be watching the kid during the day and my boyfriend would be home hours earlier than me. Then about eight weeks of school until summer and two more months at home with baby.

How realistic/crazy is this not-well-thought-out plan?

OliveOly's picture
Joined: 08/03/08
Posts: 158

I teach high school and with my first son I took 7 weeks off. (I had built up leave for 5 years). I worked right up to the end, I even worked the morning of the day I gave birth. This time will be different b/c I don't have as much leave saved up, but with the holiday break I am hoping for 4 weeks. When I returned to school I pumped 3 times and day and my son drank only BM for the first 6 months. You have to do want needs to be done to provide for your family, you will probably feel guilty in the beginning that you won't be able to see them as much (I sure was) but just remember that the summer months will be coming and than you will have unlimited time and catch up.
Teaching is one of the best profession for raising a family for you are home every evening and weekend and you have the summer off.
Just remember that it will be an adjustment and you will not spend as much time planning and grading at home as you probably do now. That has been the hardest work part of raising a family, I always feel behind the curve because I don't do much work at home anymore. But when I look at my son it is all worth it. Hope this helps...sorry for the rambling.

jeepbaby's picture
Joined: 11/08/07
Posts: 492

"triplespiral" wrote:

K-12 Teachers,

I need to come up with my leave plan before I talk to the head of school in a couple of weeks. What are you thinking? What have you done in the past?

I'm imagining I will work up until or close to my due date on December 14, then use sick and personal days to take me to winter break (last day of class is December 16). Is that realistic to teach right up until the end?

I teach elementary school. With my DD I went to work in labor- literally (I didn't know any better!LOL!). I left and gave birth to her that night. How "realistic" it is to work up to the end depends on how you feel. As far as a "plan", the school systems go through this every year. They know the uncertanties of dates, etc... I know this sounds callous, but the way I look at it, is it is really not my 'plan' to make. It is the school system's responsibility to find my sunstitute. Usually, the principal will have a list of 'favorites' for long term positions.

"triplespiral" wrote:

My paid winter break will bring me to January 2 and then I assume I'll go on disability if there's any time left. How long is a usual amount of disability after birth? Beyond that, I'm thinking I'll take my full 12 weeks unpaid family leave, which will take me up until spring break, then I get the extra 2 weeks paid for spring break, bringing me back to work on April 9. The kid would likely be about four months old. Is it realistic to pump and be away from a four-month old for 12 hours a day? (LONG commute ... I'll be living in the ghetto and teaching in the wealthiest neighborhood.) My boyfriend's mom would be watching the kid during the day and my boyfriend would be home hours earlier than me. Then about eight weeks of school until summer and two more months at home with baby.

How realistic/crazy is this not-well-thought-out plan?

You are lucky you are in a system where you get disability for maternity leave. We don't. Sad As for it being realistic to to pump away from a four month old...well, again, that depends on you and your body. The baby will be fine. When I went back to work I dried up, and I had access to pump anytime I wanted (resource teacher, flexible schedule, private classroom bathroom). My body just wouldn't do it. My SIL was able to pump all she needed and them some for MONTHS.... (grrr... I was so jealous!). As far as hiving a place and time to pump, that will depend on your schedule. Some admins will work with you, it all depends.

Like you said, the 'breaks' do not count towards that 12 weeks FMLA, but your sick days do count in those 12 weeks, under the law, so your timeline may be off. You get 12 weeks, no matter how many sick days you have, unless your system provides that as an extra benifit, the only thing the sick days give you is some paid leave- it does not give you extra time. You will need to fill out the FMLA paperwork before the birth, so make sure you get them from HR. Again, the schools go through this every year, that can help you to figure this all out. Also, talk to your doctor about the disability issue; there is usually not much 'disability' (barring complications), just FMLA.

Here is my plan. (DH and I were planning this one, so I signed up for a short term disabitiy/ maternity policy! Smile ) Baby due Dec. 9th, but doc wants to induce early, so I figure I may not come back after Thanksgiving. I am taking my full 12 weeks (plus vacations) granted to me under FMLA. I have already notified my supervisor, but have not filled out the system paperwork, yet; I'm waiting until summer for that (ous has to be in super early).

Hope this helps!

Joined: 04/10/11
Posts: 1703

Thanks for your thoughts, I really appreciate the input!

I work at a private school and we can't save up time from year to year, but I forgot about the fact that I will get 2 weeks paid maternity leave. I think/hope that can be in addition to my 12 weeks unpaid FMLA.

One more question... I know most teachers have the option of taking 10-month or 12-month pay. I always do the 10-month, but is there any reason that could screw me over when dealing with the various paid/unpaid leave weeks? I mean, I can handle my money in the summer no problem, I'm just more worried about the financial people at the school getting it all messed up.

jeepbaby's picture
Joined: 11/08/07
Posts: 492

I would think they are more likley to mess itup on 12 month pay. Although if they are going to mess it up, they will do it either way! LOL! I just 'missed' paychecks.