After an Injury: Strategies for a Successful Return the your Classroom

kidsteacherhuggingThe Question: I am returning to work after three months due to an injury. I’m experiencing some serious confidence issues after being gone so long. My sub really had to take ownership of the class due to the suddenness of my leave.
I went in to my room today and felt completely overwhelmed and didn’t even know where to start. Lots of important deadlines coming up and I don’t even know where my kids are academically. My doctor has also recommended “sit-down ” duty. Any advice on that in a kindergarten classroom?


The Answers: 
You need a rolling chair
Document camera, with you sitting in a stool so you can see the kids.
Give yourself some grace. Try to have a plan at home for meals and rest as you will be more tired getting back into kindergarten. Does your district allow you to transition back, such as sharing a day with your sub? With both of you there you could get some basic assessments completed to get back on top of where the students are academically. If not, take the time to do them on your own.
A sub is a sub. It’s wonderful that he/she has taken ownership because otherwise you’d be coming back to a mess. Just start as if it’s the beginning of the year and try to do one on one general assessments to get to know them better. My doctor recommended the same for me and my injured ankle this year. It’s pretty laughable because they really don’t know what we do. Lots of people see teachers sitting at the ‘front’ of the room talking all day. Just be cognizant of your own heath and keep in mind that it’s just a different year.
I also use an exercise ball at my guided reading table. Helps me meet with up to 7 kids at a time without moving around too much. Unfortunately I can only do this once or twice a day because, you know… the other 20 kids.
I’m not sure where you guys are in writing. However I’ve found that through simple writing activities for a few days, you can get a good idea of their academic progress. You’ll know what sounds they hear and their retelling ability. For example model this on the carpet, I like school because….. after the writing prompt just have them come to you and read their writing! Give them about 20 minutes at least to write. For math you could assess them with a blank calendar😊
Just do the best you can. ❤️
Take one day at a time. If your kids are at tables, sit with them while they do their work. Go from table to table. I also assume your sub will let you know how your kids are progressing. I would schedule a time to meet with her so you can talk about your kids. I would also do general assessments like someone else suggested. I hope the rest of your year goes well!
I find honestly talking to the kids is the best thing you can do. Sit down at the start of the day and explain to them you are back but still not able to do everything…ask them for their help and they usually are more than willing to help. Giving yourself permission to take things slow will also help. Best of luck 😀

Maybe you can have a para with you most of the day to help you.
Rolling chair!! Take it one day at a time! Make a list of “things” and due dates. Tackle them one by one, asking for extensions when needed. Classroom volunteers or college student majoring in education might help just for the experience!
I also had to come back after 3 months due a an MS relapse. The sub started the school year with them. It was intimidating for me BUT your kids will know you’re the teacher. I started as if it was the first day of school and didn’t try to pick up where the sub left off. It was a smooth transition. You can do it!
I am a K teacher with RA, and sometimes I have bad days that require more sitting. I have found that being honest with the kids about your needs really helps. In general, kids at that age are empathetic and want to please. Wishing you speedy healing and a smooth transition back!
Enlist the students as teacher helpers. They love to be helpful at that age. They will be glad to have you back especially after you get settled in. If you have a friend or family member that can come in and help a little each day that would also help with some of the minutia if the job. Good luck and congratulations on returning to your class
Welcome back ! Maybe some older students in upper elem. could come & mentor the young ones. Could be a big help to you & build friendships for your students 😘
Let the kids help you. My kids are so responsive when I tell them my back is hurting and I need them to bring their work to me, or I drop something they run to help pick it up. I reward them with school tickets or classroom points.
I have arthritis in my hips and knees and spine, I use two rolling chairs and walk, stand and rotate table to table when I can. The kids are very forgiving. They’ll love having their teacher back. As far as knowing the kids and where they are, that’ll come. Meet with the sub and any support staff.
I had to start school last year after some major surgery! My parents were amazing! Especially the parents I already knew. They will not only understand, but help you with some of those deadlines! Hope you recover quickly! 😊
Get a stool that folds up
Kinders at this point are pretty independent. At least, some of mine are! I have some pretty dependable kids that can log into the computers and do theirs and their friends’ username and passwords. I also have kids that can help with worksheets, and they all LOVE having jobs! Delegate, and use a rolly chair. They can be pretty sweet when they know you’re hurt or not feeling well!
The students will love to help! I fell in the fall and broke my leg and am still in a wheelchair and walker! You may have to rearrange your furniture a little but the students will help so much and it will end up being a wonderful experience! My students have pushed my chair, brought things to me, picked up things and even wanted to go with me to the bathroom to help! Lol! I can not get on the floor with them but we do things on tables and they have learned a lot about being handicapped! Good luck and take one hour at a time!

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