As a fifth-year teacher in Arizona who is in her second trimester of pregnancy, I find it frustrating that teachers are given no benefits when they go on maternity leave. It is ironic how teachers are helping shape the young leaders of our future and are not given at least six weeks paid vacation with benefits. Instead we must use our accumulated sick days to receive pay and benefits. Any more time beyond that must be unpaid and benefits must be paid for.
In some countries such as Norway, mothers are given the choice of taking up to nine months to stay with their baby.
Although it is understandable that schools need teachers to be there as much as possible, it is discouraging that we are not given automatic maternity leave for at least six weeks. It may make some good teachers question whether they would rather stay at home for good instead of going back to the classroom.
Becoming a mother is a wonderful experience and it’s a shame that teachers who are mothers to be aren’t given more time with their baby.
Danielle Star, Scottsdale