My Son is 11 Days Old and I Miss My Students Already.
Yeah, yeah. You read that correctly.
Baby Hero has arrived, but I miss my students.
I’ve had the same kiddos for 2 years in a row now. The semester ended right as I transitioned to maternity leave, so I didn’t get to see my second half of kiddos this year.
I didn’t get to hype them up when I received their EOC scores, which they killed. I was thoroughly impressed and am so proud of their hard work and all of my nagging during annotations, live writing sessions, and analytical banter.
I had a couple kids score a 100%, a few who got a 99%, and my highest frequency grade was an A.
I had to settle with writing each of them cards. To those who were in person, they were delivered to them in the homeroom and those virtually received them via mail.
It’s little things like that which I am currently missing. I’ll be returning to the classroom at the end of April.
I've also had tons of questions regarding my time off. Here is South Carolina, as teachers, there is no paid maternity leave. I can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA, where my job is protected and I have a place to come back to after my time has expired.
There will be no pay coming from my school for the duration of my absence. I have a short term disability policy that I will receive a little over $2000 for that will cover the 6 weeks of "disability" that mother's are granted after delivering their child. This is why most moms who teach are forced to taking only the 6 weeks that doctor's recommend and must return-- because if they happen to have a policy, it only will cover payment for those first 6 weeks post-delivery (8 if you have a c-0section) then anything over the 6 weeks is considered optional (because like I said, we can take up to 12 weeks under FMLA).
This is my first time having true time off with one of my children. When I had Jizelle and Presley, I was 18 then 21 and in college. I was told there were no special circumstances for pregnant and delivery, to pass I would have to follow the syllabus like everybody else. I scheduled inductions on the weekend, used my 2 absences that first week, then returned week 2 after delivering the girls. I had Canon at 23 and was already done with my degree and working as a tutor and English interventionist. I had him in July and started my first year of teaching (and my MEd program) in the beginning of August. Again, no maternity leave.
So, with Hero as I am now ye wise old age of 30, I am taking all 12 weeks, even though it is costing my family over $12,000, no pay in March, and 1/2 amount of my paychecks until August.
Worth every dime lost.
Funds from these two business ventures have funded all 12 weeks of my time off with baby Hero.
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Back to the good stuff-- now, don't confuse missing my students with not being 100% grateful and happy at home 11 days in. I will be full of joy for the duration of my maternity leave-- I never thought I’d have another baby. So this is the end of ends for me, and I will enjoy every moment.
However, I spend just shy of 40 hours per week, typically, with high school aged teenagers. My largest portion of daily interaction is between myself, the Google Meets camera, and 15ish bodies per class.
Could y’all even imagine having a job where you spent all day in the presence of other adults? I cringed just writing that. It would be just like the constant PD vibes where we have to play nice and smile a lot. Ew.
Considering how I typically spend my days, it’s only realistic to admit that I miss my students. They’re my little homies. I truly look forward to asking how their day was, if they finally talked to their parents about that thing we discussed, the new scoop on their bosses attitude from last night’s shift, how basketball practice went-- or if more games have been cancelled due to COVID.
They essentially are my people, granted small people, without fully developed brains-- sure. But my people nonetheless.
So it’s okay to say it, I miss them. Isolation at home because of COVID is the most healthy decision for Hero and I, but I am certain the stillness and quietness of my house will be what gets to me first. But, I’ll be alright.
Now, a quick Baby Hero check in: so many of you have been asking and you’re so kind to do so. He is the sweetest little dude, ever. I don’t want to jinx myself, but I’ve only heard him cry maybe 3 times, thus far.
He had his first doctor’s visit on Monday, the 25. He had already surpassed his birth weight (in the hospital babies have their birth weight and their discharge weight. They lose weight from birth to the day they leave home). The goal by that 1 week check-up is to ensure they have met their birth weight again, so with him surpassing that, the doctor was impressed.
Funny thing, Hero’s pediatrician was also Jeremiah and my pediatrician when we were kids. We told him he’s famous and everybody knows him. And he was very cringe worthy, like I felt the awkwardness spilling from his pores. He is the kindest and most thorough guy a parent could as for in the doctor realm. And that sense of security knowing he was also our doctor is insane. He has been in this office for 19 years-- his whole pediatric career.
Jesus, apologies for my obsessed pediatrician rant, all of that to say Here os indeed doing well.
Yesterday he turned 10 days old and we took him on his first official outing to the Waterfront Park in our town. He stayed bundled up and asleep at the park for the duration of Presley and Canon’s playing.
I can’t get enough of him.
For the many of you who have inquired, I will link Hero’s Amazon Registry here. We didn’t have a baby shower this time around, one because of COVID and two, I detest being the one in the party spotlight. I’ll plan a party all day, but don’t enjoy when they are for me! It’s a thing, can’t change it, I tried, didn’t work.
While many of you think about how you wish you were on maternity leave and getting a break from students, remember I am here on FMLA missing my student-babies.
Things have been tough for us teachers over the course of the past year, but keep being that person for that kid. So many of our students have their most meaningful conversations and interactions within the four walls of your classroom. Cherish that privilege.
I’ll be blogging at least once per week since I have the time. I’ve really missed it but between the 4 kids, pregnancy, delivery, business building, social media and email responses, cleaning like a madwoman, and regular school days-- blogging had been on the back-burner, not even simmering on low-- straight chillin’ in thick, old grease.
I’m so glad to be able to utilize some time to write words.
It’s just about one of my favorite things and I am grateful that you’ve taken the time to read my random and assorted thoughts that are spread upon this Google Doc at 6:19AM on a Friday morning, while Hero snoozes away.
Hope your week went well and that your weekend is even better, teacher gang.
Ty Tiger | Kinda Sorta Teacher