More teachers getting preggers | June 27, 2008 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - June 27, 2008

More teachers getting preggers

by Casey Weiss

The local elementary school district is on stork watch after an usually high number of teachers have gone on maternity leave this year.

Mountain View Whisman School District administrators say there are more vacancies among certified teachers than usual due to the increased number of pregnancies in the district. There are currently 10 teachers on maternity leave, compared to three to five in a normal year, said Stephanie Totter, director of administrative services.

"People I hired three years ago are now having babies," Totter said. "You hire them as young teachers and they get married and decide to have families."

Totter said she will not know the final number of vacancies from this year until next school year starts. The district currently has 21 vacancies, varying in grade level and subject matter. The district has a total of 250 teacher positions, and normally hires about 40 new teachers a year.

"Things can change right before the school year starts," Totter said. She has hired five people since the beginning of June, and hopes to fill all openings by the end of the month.

"In June you are hoping everyone is taken care of," Totter said. "We are still working on it."

"Sometimes school districts have to open with a sub," she added.

The elementary school district also hired a new principal and assistant principal this year at Graham Middle School and a new principal at Monta Loma Elementary School. Last week, trustees agreed to switch the positions of three top administrators. Meanwhile, the local high school district also has seen "more pregnancies, especially at Los Altos High School," said Associate Superintendent Brigitte Sarraf. But MVLA has already filled the 16 openings it had this year.

Sarraf said in a typical year, the district has between 20 and 25 vacancies, depending on retirees.


Posted by troll, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 28, 2008 at 2:06 pm

nice to call pregnant women preggers - like the racial slur [word removed] isnt it, stop wasting bandwidth idiot

Posted by Woman, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Maybe a cultural thing, but certainly Englishwomen call themselves preggers as a matter of pride. I think Princess Anne started making it more fashionable when she first got preggers with her first, 30sh years ago.

Posted by sad parent, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 28, 2008 at 7:24 pm

Hopefully, the pregnant teachers will get their jobs back when they want to return after their maternity leave. At a local daycare center, Abracadabra on the Springer campus in Los Altos, a teacher who had been employed by the company for 14 years tried to return after her maternity leave only to lose her job while on leave. The Director skirted the law by giving her the "same amount" of hours and not the "same hours". Because the cost of childcare for her two school age children was so high she would of been in the negative had she taken the afternoon shift rather than her morning shift she held for 14 years. What a shame. My children had this teacher and she was excellent with them and with us parents, too. My child was so sad because she just vanished when she went to have her baby...never to return. This is why a lot of women choose to not have children, and this was done to her by a woman.

Posted by Nadine, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 29, 2008 at 9:31 am

Funny, MVWD, has a sad history of screwing over teachers, and even administators, who have babies. Old Totter sees them as too costly and does her best to get rid of them.

Posted by Resident, a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2008 at 11:59 am

I remember many years ago working for a small company that employed many women. The owner of the company was great, the company was great, the job was great, but there was one problem. The boss always treated the girls well until they got married. Then they were treated as if they might be leaving any time since they might get pregnant. It was well known among the younger married women and they felt bad, but they needed the job so stayed where they were. The fact that this was a catholic run company shows a little of why this attitude was held.

Thankfully today these sort of things can't happen, but I often wonder if they still do.

Posted by Shawn, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 29, 2008 at 9:32 pm

I was appalled by this article, both by the use of "preggers" in the headline and by the content. Why should teachers getting pregnant be headline news, even for a local community paper? The article ranks up there with office gossip. And you certainly don't see anybody keeping track of pregnant women at Google! As a south bay teacher and a mother, I think we really need to take a look at what is newsworthy around here!

Posted by Nadine, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 30, 2008 at 6:07 am

Well put Shawn! You hit the nail on the head. The district does seem to discriminate when it comes to the treatment of pregnant women. It simply should not be an issue, but they make it one, and a big one. Itºs all about money, and pregnant teachers cost the district time and money. They view them as too undependable and not loyal to their job anymore. You´d think they´d be more supportive given they are in the business of children.

Posted by Parent, a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2008 at 9:48 am

The issue of women in the workplace getting pregnant is a complex one.

From the point of view of the woman, her need to take maternity leave and the ability to come back to work afterwards is and should be a given. The fact that they should be able to come back with the same standarding as before is also given. The fact that maternity leave is something that is apparent before it happens is actually a benefit if you look at it as a contrast of someone who says has a serious accident or illness and needs to be out on sick leave for several weeks or months when no advance notice can be given.

But, looking at it from the employer's point of view, particularly in the case of a small business, it is difficult. That woman's job has to be kept open for them, but in the meantime that job has to be done. Whether it is employing a long term temp, shifting responsibilities around or taking on a new employee, it makes life difficult in her absence for her coworkers and the company. Added to that, many women change their minds after the baby is born and decides not to come back or to come back part time. Consequently a pregnancy can be a real time of trial for the company. Contrasting that with someone being out for other reasons is similar, but more women get pregnant than others have accidents or illnesses.

And when talking about children's reactions to this. A young child needs the continuity of the same teacher in the classroom for the school year. By the time the teacher returns, that child has moved on a grade and the teacher's return is immaterial after the sad departure has happened, more often than not.

My daughter suffered several teachers departing for maternity leave during her elementary years. Fortunately for her during that time I also had two pregnancies myself, so she was able to understand more than most. But to many children, a teacher leaving to have a baby is the first time they come across pregnancy and for many kids they feel abandoned and that the teacher is choosing their own baby over them (which is in fact what it is) but in their young lives it is the end of the world.

Posted by MViewer, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 1, 2008 at 11:10 pm

I agree with Shawn too. Sounds like a tabloid headline.

Posted by Liz, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 2, 2008 at 3:19 am


So teachers should not be allowed to have children for the sake of your children, but you should be? Obviously, neither you nor your child have moved beyond the ego stage in your development. Your attitude is exactly why laws are in place to protect all mothers, children, and families. A good lesson that your child never learned is that women have a right to have children.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Liz, your response to parent is silly and unfair. There is nothing inaccurate in her post-- it IS hard for a young child to lose their teacher mid-year. It IS difficult for small businesses to lose good people and to keep their jobs open. Doesnt mean that young women shouldnt be teachers or work in small companies. Get the chip off your shoulder and acknowledge that, despite the fact that there are, for lack of a better word, downsides when an employee has a child, that is simply a part of life. Parent is certainly not arguing that a teacher choosing their own child over their students is a bad decision, but it IS the obvious and appropriate choice that the teacher has made. Have you ever favored the interests of your family over those of your employer? Of course you have, as you should.

I would argue further, frankly, that whan teachers have children of their own, they may become better teachers. Short term pain, long term gain for the school.

Posted by Parent, a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2008 at 5:25 pm


Thank you for supporting me in Liz's comment. She does make valid points. But, of course there is no reason for teachers not to have children just like everyone else. I agree further with your comment that teachers actually improve because they have had children. My daughter's third grade teacher left mid year to have a baby (second time for my daughter). She dealt with it very well, but I know that others in the class had a hard time particularly in relation to the sub that came in. However when my younger child had that same teacher a few years later I could see big differences. The teacher was always a good teacher, but she did find it difficult to realise how a visit from grandparents, or a family birthday, made such things as overnight homework difficult not just for the child but the whole family. When my younger child had her, she was more flexible with things like homework when given a good reason because she had realised from her own family that life doesn't always allow a third grade's family to help with homework when something else is going on at home.

I am glad that there are laws to protect pregnant women. If you take note of European laws, the amount of time allowed to be taken off for a new baby for both mother and father are much longer than here. We could if you like debate whether that is necessary.

And again, the other side of the issue is the company a pregnant woman works for. Once again, the company does owe the woman the time to have her baby. I don't dispute the need for it, but I do see that there are difficulties for the company too, just like the school.

See, as I said. A complex issue with more than one side.

Posted by Jennifer LaBreche, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 3, 2008 at 7:48 am

The title choice of calling a woman preggers and using a stork reference in the lead, was a bad one. I am offended by the word choices. The Mt. View Voice needs to treat women with respect in the future. The article is sophomoric and lacks depth and integrity.

Posted by Jamie Lynn, a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Britney is Preggers again!!!

Posted by Britney, a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2008 at 10:38 pm

O no u didn't Jamie Lynn! I w tryn 2 keep that a secret. U promised! I hate you! Your the one who was just preggers, and you aren't even married, so your baby is bastard!

PS U R totally losing UR show on Disney.

Posted by Daniel Plainview, a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 3, 2008 at 10:40 pm


Posted by Jamie Lynn, a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2008 at 10:44 pm

No one asked you, Mr. Plainview.
I'm just like these teachers, I chose to do the right thing and have the baby. That's what Jesus would do.

Posted by Jesus, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 3, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Don't get me involved in this.

Posted by Britney, a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2008 at 10:48 pm

O! U tryn to pretend that u r better than me -- just cuz u didn't shave u r head. O no! Bet u can't even drink 1 btl of Nyquil w not passing out!

I can!

Posted by The real Daniel Plainview, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 3, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I don't know who this person is claiming to be me, but I have only the highest regard for the Spears family.

* Brit - hit me up w/ a nasty text when u r in town, girl. I got two bottles of Nyquil w/ UR name on them.

The Real Daniel Plainwiew

Posted by Stan, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 5, 2008 at 12:13 am

Some women think they can do it all. Let your husband work. Thats what it was for many many years and it worked just fine.

A teaching job is not the job to take if you want babies.

Or perhaps have your children first, then become a teacher later, BUT not both at the same time. Why should the students have to suffer???

Posted by Meghan, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 5, 2008 at 5:44 pm

As a young teacher, I was appalled to see this paper print such crap. "Preggers"?? As it has as many letters as "pregnant," it was clearly a choice meant to demean women. If the district or community see this fact of life problematic, they should address it, rather than just whine and humiliate the teachers who have devoted their lives to the community's children. So why is this a problem for the district? Because the substitutes that they hire are untrained, uncredentialed, poorly-paid mercenaries filling a seat? Well, yes this is a problem. While some substitutes do a wonderful job, I'll tell you that most teachers sweat bullets just knowing that a substitute will be covering their class for a day or two. There appears to be no system, other than the overt intimidation/humiliation that appears in this article, to address the needs that arise when the majority of your employees are young women, starting families.
So, now the MV-Voice, as a peace offering to the community's female teachers, it's your turn to start reporting on what the district is doing to address this problem in a productive and inclusive way.

Posted by Enough!, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 6, 2008 at 1:17 am

Well said Meghan!

Posted by Stuart, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 6, 2008 at 10:09 am