The baby's here and my pregnancy leave is almost over.
It has been nine weeks and I can't help but think about ways to transition myself back into the classroom in April. Before I left, my students were so excited about the baby. We would always count around the classroom for attendance purposes and they would always count my bump as a member of the class. They drew me pictures, made me cards, guessed the sex, rubbed my belly, helped me stand and helped ease any fears and angst with their love and enthusiasm. They were all so warm and so sweet. It was all I could do to leave. In fact, I thought I could work straight up until my due date. Some call it denial or fear, I would like to think that it was determined loyalty for my students and colleagues.
The time away has felt like a lifetime. I have been totally engrossed with Soraya, my daughter. I have entered a whole new world and must admit to being at a loss as to how to navigate my way back.
Of course, I want to be the best I can be in both worlds. I want to believe that I will be able to expertly juggle my new responsibilities alongside the old ones.
As I try to prepare Soraya for my departure, I can't help but feel the need to prepare my students for my arrival. Initially, I imagined myself creating a slide show of Soraya every week for them. In actuality, I completed three, her first week, her first month and her second month. It was my way of maintaining a connection between school and my new life at home.
Next week is their last week before Spring Break and I feel that I should go in and participate in some of their morning activities. I know that they are not super sensitive but it cannot have been easy for them to get used to life without me only to now have me back in their lives.
Alexandra, Marisa and Amy have done an incredible job of keeping me in the loop. in fact, Alexandra would tell you that it feels like I JUST left. Maybe she feels my presence in all of my annoying early morning and late night text messages with curricular ideas:-) She is constantly reminding me that she is NOT on the same breastfeeding schedule that I am on(smile). Thanks to the three of them, I feel that I am somewhat up to date with the students and boy, have they changed a lot. The students are looking forward to my arrival and yet are going to have to say good-bye to Ms. Amy Kim, whom they adore.
It is going to feel great to go back to them, their enthusiasm and love.....I just wish I was not leaving my heart and soul behind. I often wonder why more schools I do not offer daycare for their faculty. I am positive that it would help retain more faculty.
If you have any thoughts or suggestions for myself and other teachers in my position, please post them here. What did you or would you do, if you were in my shoes?