Teachers tell all: what it’s like to be a teacher and a parent

Jennifer Kan

Ashley Perez, Assistant Editor

They spend the day looking after you, cleaning up your messes, helping you with homework and listening to your problems. You can call them your makeshift caregivers, fill-in guardians or surrogate parents. But most of the time, you can just call them teachers.

Teachers are used to looking after hundreds of kids per day and for some, this doesn’t end when they get home. Over the years, a growing number of teachers have started their own families. Naturally, students become curious and excited about the idea of having a pregnant teacher for reasons other than getting a long-term substitute. They are interested in their teachers lives. The Lancer Link sat down with a few of your favorite teachers to get the inside scoop on what its like to be a teacher and a parent.

Mrs. Hachigan
Child: boy, Richie, nine months old

LL: While you were pregnant, what did you have to do differently here at school?
H: I had a healthy pregnancy. If I walked a lot my feet would swell so I tried not to. For example, I used to walk through the aisles of my classroom and check homework but I started having my students come to me with their homework. It was mostly a safety precaution. I have wires and cords on the floor of my classroom and I didn’t want to trip over them.

LL: How open were you with your students about the pregnancy?

H: I think I was tasteful. I openly admitted [that I was pregnant] to the class. Some students would ask me questions like if I was having a c-section or and epidural and I was open to that extent. But I never got too detailed.

LL: How did the students respond to your pregnancy?

H:  I had great classes last year. I never had to raise my voice. It was interesting because it seemed like a lot of the boys were very respectful towards me. Not that the girls weren’t, but the boys would open the door for me and tell other students not to cause me any stress. They were all great.

LL: Anything else you want to add?
H: Becoming a parent has changed my life. It completely changes your perspectives about everything. My child has become my top priority.

Mrs. Herrick
Child: girl, Lily, five and a half months old

LL: What do you have to get do before you can leave for school?

H: Normally, I have to wake up, feed Lily and try and get ready. If I have time, I will take Lily to her grandma’s house but if not, then I leave her with my husband who works from home.

LL: What did you have to start doing differently?
H: During my pregnancy, I was tired and my feet would swell if I walked too much. Before, I used to walk around my classroom constantly and help students but I couldn’t do that while I was pregnant. I was really sensitive to smells while I was pregnant, too. If a student put on strong perfume or lotion in the class, I had to ask them to step outside. Being a parent makes certain things harder now, too. I can’t bring anything home from work anymore and that’s normally when I did my prep. I usually have to stay after school and finish everything really quickly.

LL: Were there any positives about being pregnant and being a teacher at the same time?
H: I received a lot of support from the administration. Its really hard to teach for two hours while your pregnant and not be able to take bathroom breaks or anything. It’s rough but the entire staff was wonderful. They really helped me. And they even threw me a baby shower!

LL: Any pregnancy cravings?
H: Oreo cookie blizzards. I had to have them. Now I can’t stand them.

Mr. Shinnefield
Child: girl, Savanna, two years old

LL: How long were you out of school when your wife had a baby?
S: I was only out for about of week and my wife was out of work for three or four months. Luckily, our employers were really understanding. Her job gave her paid leave for the entire four months. It was amazing.

LL: How open were you with your students about your daughter?
S: Usually, I won’t just volunteer information but I try to be open. When I was in high school, we never thought of the teachers and their lives outside of school. But now students will see the pictures [of my wife and daughter] on the desk and ask me about them. I usually say, “You don’t really want to know,” but the thing is, they do.

LL: Anything else you want to add?
S: Being a parent is one of the hardest, life-changing things but its also one of the most wild and exciting things in the world. Everything else I’ve done in my life is pale in comparison to being a parent.