Right now, I work with two groups of kids: 7th & 8th graders at my middle school practicum, and Kindergarteners through 5th graders at my after-school job. Both groups of kids have had some pretty fun reactions to learning I’m pregnant!

I told my coworkers at the after-school job that I was pregnant almost right away–when I was about 9 weeks. At the time, I was working there full-time (full-day summer care–super fun work normally, but not when you’re nauseous and exhausted during the first trimester!), so I felt that I needed to fill in my bosses incase I needed some extra support. I work in the behavioral room and sometimes my kids get violent. For those cases in particular, it was super important to me to have adequate back up!

Even though I told my coworkers right away, I waited to tell the kids until just a few weeks ago! Actually, my boss spilled the beans, when a kid wiped a bunch of hand sanitizer on my belly and she (being the amazing, overprotective friend that she is) kind of freaked out on him. After that, the secret was out! The little ones just think that I don’t look pregnant yet (because how could a real baby fit in there?!) and the big ones just can’t believe that I’m not finding out if the baby is a boy or girl. Every time I walk in to a classroom, the kids all go “You’re having a baby!” and then the ones who don’t know yet go “WHAAAAT?!” and I end up causing a disruption. But luckily, it’s all for a good cause, and I have wonderfully supportive coworkers who just pipe in along with the kids.

At the middle school, however, I’ve only been with them for about 7 weeks. Even though I’ve been pregnant the entire time I’ve known them, I felt strongly about waiting until they got to know me a little better before busting out the big news. Once I told them, though, their reactions were among some of my favorites!! When I announced that I was going to have a baby in February, one of the girls in the 7th grade class  got this big, open-mouthed grin on her face and immediately looked around to her friends to share in the excitement. The best, though, was an 8th grade boy whose face lit up when I told him the news. Then, his entire head dropped down to look at my belly, and then snapped back up to look at my face again–all while still grinning!

Oddly enough, the 8th grade boys have had some of the best questions and comments. One day, out of the blue, they asked me if I was having twins. Thinking they were about to make a crack on my weight, I quickly diverted the topic to focus on how I am a twin, but I am not having twins. However, I don’t think their line of questioning was in any way harmful–being that their next questions was, “Is the baby a soccer player??” (said in a totally serious voice). I said that it honestly felt like it, most days!!

Overall, it’s been so fun to share this pregnancy with so many children who aren’t my own. I spend several hours with these kids every day and I care about them SO much, and they’ve been huge influences on me and what I want to be when I’m a parent. Though I’m secretly dreading the day when they want to put their sticky little hands on my belly, I’m still happy to fulfill their quintessential childhood experience of having a pregnant teacher.