This teacher lesson-planning during labour is the very definition of dedicated

Jennifer Pope doing her lesson plan during labour

Jennifer Pope was not going to let a little baby birthing stop her getting things sorted for her class, as this now-viral image perfectly illustrates.

“She’s a rock star”

Labouring mum Jennifer’s captured finalising her lesson plans so that her husband (also pictured, also a teacher) can pass them on to her substitute – who’s waiting downstairs in the hospital parking lot.

“She’s the only 2nd grade teacher at her school and a mom of four, so she’s a rock star. She’s extremely hard-working and a devoted mother,” birth photographer Andrea McDonald of Rooted In Love Photography – who took this excellent photo – told Scary Mommy.

No, she is not doing her taxes. Those papers would be her lesson plans her husband is about to go drop off with her sub…

Posted by Rooted in Love Photography on Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Uploading the shot to Facebook, Andrea captioned it with a little backstory and some heartfelt love for the hard work many teachers do.

“No, she is not doing her taxes. Those papers would be her lesson plans her husband is about to go drop off with her sub in the parking lot. Also, next week is Teacher Appreciation Week here in Texas. Spoil them rotten because even in labor, they care. No lie, she gave birth less than an hour later. This post is about showing the dedication of a teacher (I was one myself for many years).”

Excellent teachers ahoy!

Andrea’s post about Jennifer has opened the Facebook floodgates – and stories of devoted and much-appreciated teaching staff are flowing in.

“I once went dumpster diving for a missing retainer a student accidentally threw away. You would be amazed at what a teacher will do for her students!” Facebook follower and fellow teacher Jenni posted.

“I graded papers and wrote lesson plans as I sat next to my 9 month old baby boy who had been admitted into the hospital for the week. There wasn’t a day that week that I didn’t check in with parents or my team. A teacher’s job is never ending. Kudos to this momma,” another teacher, Sara, wrote.

“The EMTs were just in awe and laughed too as I was writing up my sub plan in the ambulance in labour on the way to Regina to deliver my oh so early baby. Thanks for the memory,” Christine – yep, also a labouring teacher – commented.

“I’m the secretary at a school and I had a teacher call during a labor to tell me where her plans were. She did have to stop mid sentence and I listened to her go through a contraction. I told her to hang up we’ve go you covered!! It was hilarious!” school secretary Annie posted.

Thank you, teacher!

Photographer Andrea, herself the child of two teacher parents, says it’s important to remember that teaching is not a cushy job with long summer holidays that many purport it to be. Rather, teachers sign up to play a rewarding but often relentless role in the lives of their young charges and should be applauded for that.

“Teachers love their students as their own. Even in labor and when they’re home sick, they care,” Andrea said.

It’s so true. In an age where the education system is facing many and varied crises, we (often quite rightly) expect more and more from schools and their staff.

It’s important though to reflect on the hard work many great teachers are already doing, under often challenging circumstances – and to thank them for their efforts, too.

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