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SarahMarie 03-19-2012 04:47 PM

Concealing Pregnancy from Students?
 
I am still small (see the "Not Showing Enough" thread), but my belly has grown considerably. I teach 5th graders who notice everything from a new pair of pants to the way you part you hair. I am almost 19 weeks now and I wanted to tell the students all at once so I didn't keep getting questioned. So far, I have told them basically that it's not really their business.

When I told my principal a few weeks ago that I am expecting, she told me not to tell anyone my personal business until I am ready and that she would keep my secret until I want to tell. At that point, I didn't care if other teachers knew or not, but I asked for them to not tell the students. I went to the principal today (this may have been a mistake) to let her know that I was going to tell students who ask that yes, I am going to have a baby.

She told me that I am NEVER to tell students that I am pregnant in any way. I told her several students have already asked. She told me to respond with, "It's personal and not your business." She said she doesn't want to open that can of worms and she knows she will receive nasty phone calls from parents wanting to know why a teacher told their child inappropriate and unprofessional things at school. Then, she commented that you really can't even tell I'm pregnant because my hips (I always had a smaller waist and wide hips/big butt) camouflage my belly. This is the third time she has brought up my hips and it makes me feel really uncomfortable. The other two times have been in much more lengthy, detailed conversations telling me how skinny she was before having her twins and comparing my body to hers. That is a conversation I think should be shared with friends only.

I should let it go, but this whole situation really irritates me. I know it's not discrimination and not really illegal, but it annoys me. My husband says I should just let this be, but it really irritates me. I was so close to telling her that her comments about my hips are very unprofessional and inappropriate. I only have eight more weeks until this school year is over, but it seems like more and more things are getting to me lately.

Am I wrong to feel irritated? Should I just do what she says and get over it? Is telling students you are expecting a baby inappropriate, especially if they are already asking?

nynaeve77 03-19-2012 05:13 PM

That makes zero sense. Why would the parents be upset by you confirming your pregnancy?

SarahMarie 03-19-2012 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nynaeve77 (Post 1911962)
That makes zero sense. Why would the parents be upset by you confirming your pregnancy?

Right. It's not like I planned to tell them HOW I got pregnant. I can see that upsetting parents. Haha.

Nessy 03-19-2012 05:51 PM

That's so odd. I see nothing wrong with telling students you're having a baby. But I suppose your husband is right to leave it be so you don't risk creating issues with the principal and your job. Is there a parent-teacher night coming up? You could share with the parents and they can tell their kids.

Your principal sounds like an idiot and also her talking about your hips/shape is rude and unprofessional. Good thing you only have 8 more weeks :)

Jess the Mess 03-19-2012 11:23 PM

You are going to have to tell eventually. Why not ask the principal why she feels that way? When are you due? Is she worried because of backlash from needing a sub for so long while you're in maternity leave? I ask because this was an issue when my DD was in fourth grade.


ETA. It wasn't an issue for me but was for a lot of other parents. One of the 4th grade teachers (not hers) was pregnant and her maternity leave was 3 months in the middle of the school year. In that time her class had 2 or 3 substitutes. A lot of parents complained that it was hard on their kids. I don't know. I'm not going to tell a woman when she can or can't have a baby. It would have been a non-issue at most other jobs. I'm wondering if this is something your principal has experienced before.

Whatever her reasoning she is being inappropriate with you. I agree that talking to a union rep might be the best way to proceed.

My fat thumb will make mistakes.

spiderlashes5000 03-20-2012 09:11 AM

I remember in 7th grade, my bff and I asked the music teacher 4 times over the course of that year if she was pregnant. The first 3 times she wasn't. :oops: But the 4th time, she was! :headbang:

So glad she didn't get annoyed with us. We were so nosey!

I would ask a union steward or someone from the School Dept if there is some problem w/ letting the children know. If not, then I'd ask the principal to stop badgering me...and I would make the announcement or not make the announcement as I saw fit.

What year is this -- 1952???

SarahMarie 03-20-2012 03:46 PM

I FINALLY got in touch with a human resource person. He told me that he was dumbfounded. In 29 years, he has never heard anything like that before. He really didn't know what to say otherwise though. He could only tell me that, "If it were me, I would simply confirm that I am pregnant to individual students who ask." So I feel like that wasn't too helpful.

AmberBrown 03-20-2012 03:55 PM

Maybe the principal's worried that...if you tell the kids you're pregnant they'll ask where babies come from and then you'll have to have a covo about SEX. lol

I don't know much about 5th graders...how old are they? Are they young enough that they don't know about reproduction? Do they take like...kiddie biology? *clueless*

But yeah, maybe some parents would be ticked because they're not ready to have the "baby talk" with their kids.

SarahMarie 03-20-2012 04:55 PM

The baby is due in August, so it's not a matter of finding a sub or upsetting parents with that this year. She is extremely private herself about many matters. When the assistant principal was out because her father was very sick and later passed away, the kids asked the principal where she was. The principal very coldly and matter of factly told the students that sometimes adults have to go to meetings. Of course, you don't want to compromise the privacy of the assistant principal, but this makes her sound inhuman almost. Would it have been wrong to say she had an ill family member? The students wondered why she was gone for three weeks to meetings. They feel that the principal is cold and hard to relate to often.

AmberBrown-5th graders are 10 to 11 years old. A lot of the parents are actually having babies this year.

Pumpkin3.14 03-20-2012 05:22 PM

Newbie and school psychologist here. Sounds like your principal isn't the ideal elementary school principal. Cold and impersonal does not a good elementary school principal make. Anyway, congrats on your baby. 😊

Sungbong 03-22-2012 07:27 AM

I cannot believe the guts of that woman. There is absolutely no fault with you telling the kids. I mean, not that I think it has smething to do with that, but you're married for peep's sake... This is not the 19th century when you were in "indisposed" when being pregnant and you had to stay home. This is to be an amazing time for you. And also some of the kids will have siblings, they will know what it means to see a pregnant woman...5th grade, they must be 10 or 11. You're not luring them into a pit of horror. Pregnancy is an amazing thing. If you wanna be on the safe side, just give the kids a letter for their parents to let them know that you would like to speak to the kids about it and see what they say.

cympreni 03-22-2012 09:22 PM

That is just weird. My 4th grade teacher was pregnant. It wasn't a big deal.

Jenny C 03-23-2012 08:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cympreni (Post 1914917)
That is just weird. My 4th grade teacher was pregnant. It wasn't a big deal.

Exactly. People have babies all the time. I remember teachers being pregnant, it was exciting.

I have to say your principal's reaction about this is really weird.

JewelCurls 03-23-2012 10:32 AM

When I was educated, sex ed was done in 5th grade. My 5th grade teacher was pregnant at the time (and married, like you). I thought it was comforting to learn about sex from, if not my parents, someone who was a parent. It seems utterly bizarre that this principle doesn't want you to talk to the students about it. I mean... I can see the thing about leaving to go to a relatives funeral. That's private, and if you don't want to share your grief, then you can say that you had to go to a meeting or appointment (maybe the assistant principal asked the principal to say something along those lines). If you are due in August, you will clearly be showing by the end of the school year. There is not really any way to keep it private. I loved that my teacher was pregnant... We wrote her cards, and wrote letters to her daughter,and pitched in and bought her flowers over the summer. It brought us together as a class. I hope your principal wakes up and realizes that it's your business, and of you want to share it then you can!

BlackAngelPlayah 03-25-2012 10:40 PM

What's weird is the Superintendent (A MAN) actually is the sensible one and the WOMAN is acting like pregnancy is so disgusting. I understand privacy, but a baby is something to celebrate! You're not some knocked up teen, you're a grown woman. SMH.

Jen :D




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SarahMarie 03-27-2012 05:43 PM

After watching two kids almost plow into me at the end of the day (on accident of course) another teacher told one of the boys to be more careful because I am pregnant. Of course, the news in that class spread quickly. The kids were very excited and told me congratulations. They actually had me laughing. One boy told me, "You don't look like you have a basketball. I won't believe it until I see that." One of my girls asked me if I wanted a boy or girl and that boys are easier so hopefully the baby is a boy. I thought her response was funny. I kept it really low key. They were excited, but after about five minutes, they went back to work. No big deal. When it was time to leave, they were much more careful around me and now they also understand why I might want a snack at the end of the day.

PartyHair 03-28-2012 02:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AmberBrown (Post 1912754)
Maybe the principal's worried that...if you tell the kids you're pregnant they'll ask where babies come from and then you'll have to have a covo about SEX. lol

I don't know much about 5th graders...how old are they? Are they young enough that they don't know about reproduction? Do they take like...kiddie biology? *clueless*

But yeah, maybe some parents would be ticked because they're not ready to have the "baby talk" with their kids.

Yep, this is my thought too. My best friend teaches 5th grade and she would totally have to have the "where do babies come from" talk with her class if she were pregnant. Of course we live in San Antonio where no one wants to talk about how you get pregnant then they act all horrified when their daughters end up pregnant when they're 14 years old. :rolleyes:

Glad it worked out for you. I was going to suggest you just tell students if they ask and let the gossip do the rest...but your colleague got the ball rolling for you!

Pumpkin3.14 03-31-2012 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SarahMarie (Post 1918327)
After watching two kids almost plow into me at the end of the day (on accident of course) another teacher told one of the boys to be more careful because I am pregnant. Of course, the news in that class spread quickly. The kids were very excited and told me congratulations. They actually had me laughing. One boy told me, "You don't look like you have a basketball. I won't believe it until I see that." One of my girls asked me if I wanted a boy or girl and that boys are easier so hopefully the baby is a boy. I thought her response was funny. I kept it really low key. They were excited, but after about five minutes, they went back to work. No big deal. When it was time to leave, they were much more careful around me and now they also understand why I might want a snack at the end of the day.

Glad this was resolved. And if the principal has a hissy fit, it is no fault of yours! The kids were so sweet in their response 😊


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