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THR Return to teaching, how soon after THR?

Schaargi

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I'm a middle school teacher- librarian (I teach in addition to traditional librarian duties). I worked in an elementary school before my present position.

I am at 6 weeks right now and am not ready to go back, not even in 2 weeks when I am supposed to report. My main fear is the kids accidentally bumping into me, but there's also the level of exhaustion you feel when trying to heal. Everything you do takes extra effort and teaching is something that requires you to be present.

I am also wrestling with asking for more time, as it might be difficult to get a sub during this COVID thing, but I think the sooner you address it the better.

This is what I would do if I were you:
Schedule your surgery the week of Thanksgiving or early December. That way, the kids will have gotten to know you and you will have classroom routines established. If you do it right before Thanksgiving, you can take advantage of the breaks already built in to the school year, and it gives you time to meet the long term sub and get them acclimated to the way your classroom runs. The sub can then teach for 3-4 weeks, and then pick it up again in early January until your body is ready to go back.

Just my 2 cents...

Full disclosure-- I have the additional issue of nerve damage (rare complication), but this is still how I would feel with just the hip replacement issue.

Good luck!
 
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SoKnotKidding

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Thank you everyone!
here's my update- the day we toured our new building the last week of august, I called for my surgery date. the stairs in this old building are steep and the railings are only child height, then I found the staff bathroom was up another flight and half, with the last 8 steps up having no railing at all....:nah:
I finally went and got a cane to help me on the stairs : (

so my surgery date is Oct 21, now I'm trying to get plenty of plans made in advance.

some things are in my favor- as strange as it sounds we are teaching one subject only- so I am teaching the same lesson in all 6 periods, much less prep, and means my class is completely familiar to all the other teachers too.
3 periods are live classes, and 3 are virtual, so I do sit about half the time, and the kids are barely allowed to get out of their seat all day.
12 kids to a room socially distanced, so it's not the usual mayhem.
our school day has been cut so its 7:45-1:30 for class, and they give us til 4 for prep time.

19 days and counting : )
 

Eman85

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I hope you will have enough tie off. There is a teacher posting on the recovery side and it sounds like they are struggling from going back too quickly.
 

Schaargi

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Hi @SoKnotKidding! I hope you are doing well. You will be so glad you had this surgery.

So, you are working now in that same building with all the stairs? That sounds rough! I'm glad you are having your surgery soon. It will be a relief.

I'm a teacher that went back to work too early and then crashed and burned. My last day was yesterday. I was sure I could do it, but it was too much. Here are some of the things that surprised me so that you can start thinking about them before you go. All situations are different, so take a look at those before you have your surgery so that you can make a mental plan for when you come back.

1. Are you in the same classroom all day or do you change classrooms? Carrying a laptop and other stuff from classroom to classroom was more difficult than expected. And then if you forget a pen or something you can't hurry back.
2. Fire drills across weird parking lot and playground terrains in the winter. Also tornado drills (crouching down) and lockdown drills.
3. Bus, lunch and other duties. Same as above.
4. Where is the handicap parking spot, and is it convenient to your classroom?
5. Depending on your surgical approach and restrictions, the way you usually sit and teach might be awkward.

Best of luck!
 
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SoKnotKidding

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Hi Schaargi
thanks so much for sharing your story!
I noticed you say you went back too soon- just out of curiousity - how long did you spend out before trying to go back? how are you feeling now? will they hold your job so you can go back again? what do you teach?

yes- this year we are changing classes- the kids stay put, but the teachers are moving room to room, 45 minute periods each from 8:00-1:30, I have the laptop and notebook etc in a bag with shoulder strap.

my class is on 2nd floor, once there I can stay put til 1:30 (except for the bathroom :sad: )

I don't have a handicap sticker yet, I will ask for one for sure.

I have so much to do to prep for school and to be out for a month- I will need to take a sick day just to try to get ready :tiredwheel:

I am hoping they will let me teach from home if I'm not ready to go back, since we have 3 virtual periods a day anyway.
17 days and counting :dancy: starting to feel surreal!
 

Schaargi

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Hi @SoKnotKidding!

I was a middle school teacher -librarian until this year, when I was pulled out of the library to be a classroom teacher (for cohorting purposes). I started working from home at 7 weeks (I think). It was harder than expected, mostly due to sitting for longer periods and being stuck in online video meetings. I could take breaks fairly often, though, turning off my camera to stretch or whatever.

When the kids came we started synchronous (hybrid) learning and I became a full time classroom teacher. Changing classrooms is rough. You don't think carrying a laptop and planner would be difficult, but it is heavy enough to throw off your balance when one hip is wonky. Plus, working on someone else's desk wasn't always comfortable for the way I needed to sit.

I had lunch duty and had to go outside with the kids, which was a long walk that included stairs. Then, fire drills out past the tennis courts to the football field. The kids were so much faster than I was. Honestly, I would have burned down with the building.

Your surgeon will give you the paperwork for the handicap car placard, so that isn't something you need to worry about. Our handicap spots are near the front entrance to the building, not by the classrooms, which was an extra long hike, too.

There were just so many things I hadn't anticipated! You are able to look at the environment and be able to visualize it before you do your surgery, so that will help. Teaching from home will help you ease in, too.

Just know that your stamina will be super low because your body is using energy to heal. You will be more tired than you might think. And you won't be able to do anything quickly, like zip to the bathroom in between classes.

As for keeping my job, it's not guaranteed under my particular circumstances, but the Family Medical Leave Act enables you to take 12 weeks without losing your job. You can investigate that with your HR department.

Don't let my horror story deter you. You might be one of those people who bounce back quickly, and your situation might be more flexible than mine was. You already have your curriculum in place and have relationships built with the kids, so you are ahead of where I was. Keep posting! I'm rooting for you!:yay:
 
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SoKnotKidding

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thank you Schaargi,
I know i've had it easy this year already, we are having early dismissals every day at 1:30 (due to covid), and thats really the only time I have to take the kids on the stairs!
and somehow the schedule worked out that I don't have to walk them to or from lunch, so someone was definitely looking out for me!
I am really stressed right now- our marking period is closing, so grades and comments are due tuesday, and parent conferences will be on Friday- virtual this year of course.
but teaching this way has been really different, trying to figure out how to teach online, and what to require for 'classwork' out of the ghost kids who havent showed up at all without failing them.... so I am a bit behind on grading,
and I wanted to leave 4 weeks of lesson plans (and slides and assignments) ready for when i'm going to be out,
so one of the teachers saw how stressed i am getting and suggested i should wait and do the surgery in the summer...
but i don't think i'd qualify for disability in the summer, and I would lose any option of finding work for the summer - so I think I should go ahead now,
13 days and counting
 

Schaargi

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Hi @SoKnotKidding,

Yes, I had my surgery in June, so my disability leave got messed up. And, yes, teaching during COVID is nuts, especially trying to figure out what's going on with kids who either don't show up or don't turn anything in. It's like nothing else for sure. And grading and conferences... Ugh. Yes, super stressful.

My opinion? I think you should go forward with it. Make the lesson plans super simple, and consider leaving only two weeks of lesson plans and doing another batch later. After your surgery, you will be recovering, but it's likely that you will be able to stay a week ahead of the sub.

Subs generally expect some hiccups. I subbed for a year before I got a full time job, and sub plans run the gamut. I had one job where the teacher didn't leave me anything - no class rosters or bell schedule or lesson plans. The other teachers in nearby classrooms helped me through that, and I had some tricks in my bag to fill in the blanks. Your co-workers will help, too. Teachers just jump in and help. It's what they do!

The most crucial thing for subs during COVID is making sure the technology and logins work on the first day. Touch base with your librarian or tech to see if they need to set up logins or provide a reliable laptop.

So don't overthink the sub plans, and don't overthink what you need to prepare for your surgery. Somehow, you have the surgery and it all falls in place. I always over think things and half of what I was worried about never happened. It's ok if every single thing isn't perfect befor your procedure.

Keep us updated. Take a deep breath. I know it's hard right now, but you will get through it.
 
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SoKnotKidding

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Thanks! just finished my last day of school today, concluded somewhat- with virtual report card conferences after school. Now I need to try to make more lesson plans and grade the test the kids did today LOL
ok enough complaining about homework -rolls my eyes-
what is this nasty stuff they want me putting up my nose before surgery? ewww so gross
 

Jaycey

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what is this nasty stuff they want me putting up my nose before surgery?
Is it an ointment? Most likely it is to prevent MRSA. Do you also have a wash that you must use before or on the day of surgery? It's all for your own protection and to prevent any spread of nasty bugs.
 

hopnfox

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I agree, that ointment in the nostrils is gross!! But I'd rather put up with that for 5 days than risk MRSA:)
I wish you the best next week. My surgery is on Monday, and ready to get it over with!! Hope you have a speedy, uneventful recovery!
 

Schaargi

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Good for you! Put that homework to bed and take a breather (but don't breathe that awful nose stuff too deeply-ugh).

You will do great! Keep us updated!
 
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SoKnotKidding

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Well tomorrow is my big day!
having my last meal at midnite- but I know I'm going to be starved by the time I go in bc I am not scheduled until 2:40pm!
I've got all my laundry done, housecleaning, dishes etc, I've got lesson plans submitted through Nov 11, I was hoping to do a bit more but running out of steam.
I elevated the cat litter box so I won't need to bend down, and convinced them to eat on the kitchen chairs lol.
I have a ride there, and a ride home planned for Friday so everything seems to be falling into place -cross my fingers and toes-
See you on the other side
 

Mojo333

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Sending you healing mojo in advance:loveshwr:
Bye bye hip pain!
 

Layla

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Hello, :wave:
With surgery now in the rear view I hope your pain is well managed.
Wishing you peaceful restorative rest and safe travels home tomorrow. We look forward to supportIng you soon on the recovery side.
Hugs and all the best!
@SoKnotKidding
 

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