In case you haven't heard the good news, let me let you in on my little secret: I'm going to be a mom! My husband Rob and I are so excited to be parents this July. We announced the big news to our family and friends last week and shared a few details about the pregnancy on our lifestyle blog, Crazy Together. We had a plan for the exact way we were going to share the news with our parents, siblings, friends, and everyone else. But there was a very special group of kindergarteners that deserved to hear the news in a very special way. If you're an elementary teacher who's pregnant and struggling with the same dilemma, I'm happy to share my own classroom pregnancy announcement and hopefully provide a little inspiration on how to tell your students that you're pregnant.
I wanted my students to hear the good news directly from me, but I didn't want to focus too much of our precious learning time on my personal news, so I created a short and sweet way to announce my pregnancy to the students.
My Teacher Secret
To begin, I gathered my students near our classroom calendar and told them that I had a secret to share with them. As you might imagine, those 5 and 6 year old students perked right up at the sound of the word “secret!” I told them that in order for them to know my news, they would have to use a secret code to solve the mystery. At this point, their eyes were as big as saucers and bursting with excitement.
I showed the class the sweet little worksheet I had created for my pregnancy announcement and demonstrated how to use the secret code. I only showed them how to solve the first four letters and the class quickly figured out that the first two words on the page were “Mrs. Gavin.”
Once I was confident that everyone knew what to do, I gave each child their own “What's the Secret?” worksheet and watched them go to town.
You could have heard a pin drop while the class worked to crack the code and every single child in the class was able to successfully identify the correct letters to complete the activity.
Reading the Secret Message
As you would probably guess, some students completed the page very quickly and others needed extra time. The quick finishers just stared at their freshly decoded papers and tried to figure out what it said. I knew the message was too difficult for many students to read, but I figured I could count on a few the higher-level readers to solve the puzzle and blurt out what it said (thus, making the announcement for me).
After seeing a perplexed look on every student's face, I decided to jump in and help out.
I asked the class, “So what do you think it says?”
Almost everyone chimed in with “Mrs. Gavin is …” and then they came to an abrupt stop.
Apparently having was a really difficult word for the class to read. I asked if anyone had a guess what that hard word might be. Someone guessed “have” and I said “it's a lot like the word have”. This was followed by more silence. We've been discussing reading strategies so I let the students know that it's ok to skip a hard word and come back to it.
Which was fine, except everyone proceeded to get stuck on the word baby.
Again I asked out loud, “What do you think it says?”
At this point, I'm pretty sure that one of the girls in the class had a good guess about the message. I swear she gave me a funny look and checked out my belly. I met her gaze, leaned down and whispered, “What do you think it says?” The question was met with yet another “I don't know.”
At this point, the entire class had been stumped for a few minutes. They wanted to know the secret so badly, so I once again asked if anyone had any idea what that hard word that started with an h might be. After a few incorrect guesses, one student finally called out “having!”
Within a few seconds the class was able to finally read the rest of the secret message that Mrs. Gavin is Having a Baby!
Praise the Lord, they figured it out!
As you might expect, my students had a few questions about when the baby will be coming and why I don't have a big belly. They also wanted to know if it would be a boy or a girl. I told them that the baby would arrive this summer and that my belly will start growing soon and get bigger as the baby grows. I also explained that we won't know if it's a boy or a girl until the baby is born (Rob and I want to be surprised), but that I did have a photo on my phone.
I walked around the classroom and showed each student my most recent ultrasound picture, pointing out the head, body and legs as I traveled around the room. One student told his mom that he thinks I'm having a boy, which is undoubtedly the first of many student predictions.
Free Classroom Pregnancy Announcement
If you are a classroom teacher looking for a sweet way to announce your own pregnancy, I'm thrilled to share this simple secret code worksheet with you. It's the perfect way to tell your own students that you're expecting. The free download includes a general “My Teacher is Having a Baby!” pdf as well as an editable PowerPoint file that you can use to personalize the activity with your with your own name. Click the image below to download your free Secret Code Pregnancy Announcement!
If you know of any other creative ways to tell your students that you are expecting, please share your ideas in the comments. Elementary teachers always have the cutest ideas!