Teaching while raising a toddler?

Danielle - posted on 04/06/2011 ( 14 moms have responded )

49

20

1

Since I can remember, I have always wanted to be a teacher. Next spring I will be graduating and it should be the happiest moment of my life BUT I'm having reservations.
I have a 20month old son (who will be 3 when I start teaching) and I am worried about him. My girlfriend started teaching this year and she has gone on and on about how many hours she works, how hard it is and how she has no time for anything else.
She is really freaking me out and I would love incite from teachers, new teachers and especially teachers with toddlers. I have been dreaming about being a teacher since I was a child and I would hate for one person to make me regret my decision.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Nicole - posted on 04/19/2011

17

2

2

Danielle, keep your dream and at least try it. I have been teaching for five years now. This is the first time with a toddler and teaching. I will admit it all depends on your school, number of students, and requirements. I mean I teach 200 kids a day in a middle school. It does become overwhelming, but I am also going to school for my masters. So that is another stress on me. I still manage to do things and get everything done. I have found routines are the best. On weekends my son and I will have breakfast, clean up and then he plays with his kitchen or whatever while I grade papers for an hour. Then we go to the park for an hour. We come home have snack, we will play together outside or inside depending on weather, then I go back inside to get ready for lunch. He will help me for lunch and then after that he plays one last time for maybe a half hour then it is nap time for an hour to two hours. During that time I either continue to grade or do household chores. This way he is not near my papers and I am not getting flustered with him.

Everything works out as long as you have a system and routine set into play. Just like a classroom you try different things till you find what works for you! ;)

Good Luck!!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

14 Comments

View replies by

Sara - posted on 08/26/2011

1

14

0

Hi Danielle. I have been a teacher for the past 16 years. I currently started a family and have a 27 month old and an 8 month old. I love being a teacher and I love being a mom. Teaching is extremely demanding and working with kids all day zaps all of your energy! When you get home, you feel like you are so tired that you want to fall asleep. Going home to kids can be a challenge in itself when your energy seems to be gone! I think the key is to be realistic. You can't be an A+ teacher and an A+ mom. You really need to find a way to balance both. Sometimes teaching will take priority, but... don't let it consume your life. If your bulletin boards aren't perfect and you can't get all of your tests graded in one night and if you can't have perfect lessons all the time -- it really is OK. Just make sure that you don't spend so much time at school that you forget the most important teaching that is to be done -- TEACHING your OWN child. Teaching really is a joy -- I hope you don't give up on the idea. Sara

Cristina - posted on 07/23/2011

1

1

0

I am a teacher with a 2 year old and I had her when I was in my second year of teaching. Yes it is challenging, but what isn't when you have a child. I was teaching and getting up at 2:30 in the morning to feed her but family really helped to balance things out when I needed a break they took her and I could get some sleep. Teaching is challenging no matter what year you are in. Your first year does take a lot of learning but you don't need to sit at school for hours just make sure your classroom looks nice then go home. You will never to get everything done because there is too much to do . If you can't get it done by the time you need to leave too bad. You have to give your attention to the baby( because they require a lot of attention). But teaching is a great job to have with a child because you get time to spend when them during breaks. Teacher is exhausting and so is being a parent. TAKE YOUR VITAMINS that will help too. You will be a great teacher!

Marion - posted on 07/18/2011

1

9

0

I am a teacher and I have 3 children, 17 yr old girl, 10 yr old girl & 3 yr old boy. Being a teacher is the best job in the world as even though we may work "some" long hours if you are organised it can be managed. The rewards are in the wuality time you get to spend with your children - which is every weekend & 13 weeks a year holidays WHEN they are on holidays as well as having the tools to stimulate your child's life! Do not let any one deter you, we each have our way & each of us has our own story. I have been teaching for 8 years now & I love it even with the new work loads being created with the new National Curriculum. Choose your school wisely & even consider part time or relief work for a while. You'll be fine

Cara - posted on 07/12/2011

29

16

1

I wont lie, it is hard to teach and raise a child, but it can be done. i have been teaching for the last 6 years and i have a 23 month old daughter. i have also been taking classes to earm my masters. It is a lot of work, but it can be done. Just remember to take time for yourself.

Lisa - posted on 07/10/2011

2

15

0

You can do it. Yes, those first couple of years will be challenging learning how to balance it all. When I started teaching 5 years ago in special educaiton I had my first child my first year of teaching. Looking back on it now, I don't know how I did it, but I managed. Now I am expecting my second child, and will be teaching full time in special education again. I know everything will fall into place. Besides the fact that I love teaching, it is really nice all the breaks that we do get to make up for the hussle and bussle during the school year.

Megan - posted on 07/08/2011

9

7

1

You can do it. I have been teaching for 8 years now and my daughter is now 21 months old. I will say teaching does take up a lot of your time, but there are ways to get things done and still be able to spend quality time with your child. My official school hours are8:15 to 3:45 monday through friday. I usually stay at work until about 4:15to get paperwork done and follow up on things. At least once a week I may stay a little later to prepare for the following week or I try to get things done a month in advance (I'm anal about being organized and prepared-lol). I spend the rest of the evening with my little one once I am home and don't bring home work with me. I should mention I teach 1st grade. I also coach high school softball in the Spring- from February to May, I don't spend as much time as I would like to with her, but I make up for it on the nights I am home early and the weekends. I use to get so upset about being away from her, but at the end of the day and each morning I would always be greeted with the biggest hug and kiss! I think kids are resilient like that and they know we love them. Deep down we are doing the best for our children and providing for them. Follow your heart and teach, it is a true calling and if you have wanted it this long, Go For It! :)

Colleen - posted on 06/02/2011

100

35

2

I'm in my 10th year teaching, and my son is 2 years old now. I went back to work when he was 6 months old. Aside from being emotionally sad from being away from my son, it worked out well with me being back in my classroom full-time (and I did NOT have a prep time during the day!). I do need to caveat that by saying my husband's work allows him to be somewhat of an independent advisor in the financial sector, therefore his schedule is much more flexible than mine, which means he handles our son in the morning and when he's ill so I don't have to break into my sick days.
My school day will be moving from 8am to 7:50am, which means I'm up around 5am to handle our dogs & other house issues so my husband can get our son up and to daycare without any drama. I'm in my classroom by 7am. I now have a prep, but I have learned to get my work spread out so that I'm not feeling too bogged down. My husband is well aware that as a secondary teacher, I do need to get to some extra-curricular events like basketball games, chaperone dances, graduation, etc. It just works because it has to and because we need both of our paychecks. Good luck...teachers are naturally flexible personalities!!!

Naomi - posted on 06/02/2011

60

13

10

I have been teahing for 10 years. I have a little boy who is 2 and a half and am currently 22 weeks pregnant with my second baby. Having a few years experience under my belt really helped with juggling work and a baby so not sure what that will be like for you as a first year! However your son will be a bit older that should help as he'll be a lot more independent than a little baby and hopefully in a good routine. I agree with Cynthia about keeping work at work. I stay back at work and do as much of my planning etc that I can during the week as home is for family as much as possible. If I have other work to do I wait til after his bed time (7.30) and do some then. I try to do as little as possible on the weekends and if I do have to do work again I leave it for nap times. Having a supportive husband and excellent care you can trust is essential for your peace of mind and managing the stressful times which for me is report writing time. My son loves his day care and the kids there and the time we do have together is special as well so I think he gets the best of both worlds. He is a happy well adjusted and extreemly articulate little boy and whilst I'd have loved to be at home with him for longer (I returned to work at 3 months but my husband stayed home then until 9 months) I feel we have managed it as a family to suit our needs and every family is different so you will work out what works for you. When you don't have kids you can spend a lot more time on work stuff but as a mum you learn to be more efficient and use your time at work well so you can then do the same at home. At least give it a go. If you find it is too much adjust your plans, maybe find something part time.

Heidi - posted on 06/01/2011

10

14

1

My husband and I are both teachers and it is very busy! I have wanted to be a teacher my entire life, but I've also wanted to be a mom. Right now, I am working part time with my husband team teaching and I am lucky enough to have a lot of time with our kids. When we were both teaching full time, our 3 girls are such a big part of school. We found a daycare that the woman sent her daughter to our school, so she could bring the kids when she picked up and dropped off her daughter and one of us would wave or go say hi to them in the car. In addition, for field days or recess time, they would come and play on the playground with my class (preschool). My husband has the pack-n-play in his classroom closet and he plans to have the baby with him for a couple hours while he does his prep work in his classroom. She plays around and when she gets tired he can pop her right into the pack-n-play. The most important thing is to realize that you don't have to choose between two dreams, you just need to get a little creative!

Cynthia - posted on 04/18/2011

9

2

0

I have been teaching for 5 years and I have a 21 month old son now. I'm pregnant again and due in a few weeks. Teaching is worth it, I love my job. You just have to find a balance. First suggestion, don't plan on bringing work home! If you have to stay an hour after school to grade or prep for tomorrow, then take the hour. You won't get anything done once you get home anyway! Home time is for your baby. I pick up my little guy after school and we have the whole evening together. Sometimes it's hard because it's only a few hours a day that I see him, but we make the best of it and spend all our time on the weekends together. You can do it, just remember what's most important... your family. Leave school at school and make every minute at home with your baby special.

Candy - posted on 04/13/2011

132

34

6

H Danielle- good on you for following your dream.

I went back to teaching when my son was 5 months old and it really wasn't a problem because I had great babysitters nearby, and was able to leave work in my free periods to breast feed. By the time he was 3, I was able to bring him to some of my out-of-hours work activities (like music rehearsals) because the kids I was teaching adored him, and the interaction was great for my son as well.

It really all depends on your hours, what level of school you're teaching and how much childcare support you have. Yes, the first year is full-on as far as home preparation goes- you will need to be able to multi-task!

Don't give up till you've tried it. There are so many factors affecting how you'll cope. You might get a dream class- you might get a horror class. You might have amazingly supportive colleagues. You might find it all comes really naturally and you fly through it all. You are not your girlfriend!

Good luck!!

Heather - posted on 04/13/2011

1

8

0

Danielle,
Is she a public or private school teacher. I am a private school science teacher and have been since my son was 6 months old. He is now 4. I don't find that I have that problem. Of course, it is initially a bit more difficult as you are building your lesson plans for the first time but even that is not overly time consuming. SInce I work in a private school I find that my son benefits from it in the fact that he is proud his mom is a teacher and he loves going up and visiting my school and all of the kids that live in campus. I don't think you should regret your decision. Go for it!!!

Suzanna - posted on 04/11/2011

5

24

1

I teach. My daughter is five and I have a newborn. You can do it. Yes, your hours are very long. Establish routines to keep yourself organized. Make sure you have a work space at home so that you can work after your son goes to bed. It helps if your school uses an on-line gradebook that you can access from a home computer.

I teach middle school. My routine is to grade a little bit each day Monday through Friday, but then really get caught up on Saturday. Saturdays, my daughter and I go to the public library, where one of my students watches her for story time, and then they go play in the park. This gives me about two hours to grade papers at the large tables in the library (and chat with students and their parents when they stop by the library!). Then, Sunday, I enter their grades and Monday I pass back papers.

Most of my prep for classes is done Monday through Friday, after school, between 4:00 and 5:00, if I am using the photocopy machine, or after bedtime, if I am doing research. My colleague goes in on Sundays for two hours so he can monopolize the photocopy machine. I have other colleagues who can get to school by 7:00 a.m., but since my daughter's childcare did not open until 7:30 a.m., I usually arrive at school when the day begins, at 8:00.

Teaching is really great - what we don't get in salary, we do get in time. You will have all your breaks with your child. My daughter says, "I have the best summers with my mama."

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms