Snacks. Everywhere. All the time.
My favorite line of all time: “You’re tired? I’m growing a human inside of me. Wake up.”
Tell students you’re pregnant. I’m an advocate of telling students sooner rather than later. I remember as freshmen in high school, we constantly wondered if our English teacher was pregnant. For the whole year. Yeah, it doesn’t make sense in retrospect but teenagers are idiots. I told students that story as a lead in to “By the way, I am pregnant. Yes, this belly has a baby in it.”
Make best friends with the teacher nearest you. You will need to pee ALL THE TIME. So find that teacher nearest you, suck up like your life depends on it (because your pants definitely do depend on it,) and work out a system. I would knock on the neighbor teacher’s door with a thumb’s up. That was my signal: “I am peeing, make sure no one dies.”
Don’t pretend like it’s not there. It is there.
Milk that shit. I worked with middle school kids; this tactic may not work as well for my current high school kids, but I would connect rules to the pregnancy. It’s human nature to feel for the pregnant lady. “Class, please put your backpacks under your chairs. I currently cannot see my feet. Do you really want to be the one whose backpack tripped the pregnant lady?” All those backpacks went right away. “Class, can you move this stack of books? I can’t lift it.” Books moved so fast it was unbelievable.
Make sure that you can teach the occasional lesson from your desk. Some days, you are not going to want to walk. Prior to pregnancy, I often wouldn’t sit at my desk until the day was over. During the pregnancy, I had trouble walking just to the blackboard. “Elaina, could you write today’s date on the board?” Boom.
Don’t answer any questions you don’t want to. No joke, a student asked me, “Are you going to breastfeed?” To be fair, I know this student had an infant sister, so I do not think there was anything inherently creepy about this question. I was still not going to answer it, however. Instead, I gave him (yes, it was a boy) a death glare. He didn’t understand why he shouldn’t ask, but he walked away.
Loose clothes are your best friend. There comes a point during late pregnancy when your little kicks become BIG kicks and they are visible. There is no quicker way to derail a lesson than a student shouting, “Woah, your belly is moving!”
Make it funny. I got a sudden charlie horse mid-lesson and bent over very quickly. I also probably yelped. Dead silence. When I looked up, my little middle school kids were watching me in terror. “Are you in labor?” One of them finally asked. I burst into laughter, explained, then we all laughed. I also had to reassure them that if I went into labor, it wouldn’t look like that and I was DEFINITELY not having the baby inside the school. Apparently some students feared that.
DON’T TELL THEM THE BABY’S NAME. Kids are cruel. It’s already hard enough to find the right name, since that AH-MAZING name “Wyatt” was that pain in the ass kid that one time. Kids will always tell you exactly what they think or who they know with that name. They will also ask you if you will name the baby after them; some ask jokingly, and some do not.
Remember: you’ll get through this. And for realz, it’s worse to be a teacher and a parent of a newborn anyway. You’ll survive though. We all did.