California teacher Janet Udomratsak, currently on bedrest for pregnancy complications, is instructing students from her hospital room
The 2020-2021 is currently underway for many students across the country, with a good number starting off the school year with virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are many cons to online learning, there are also pros — aside from preventing the spread of the virus of course. One of them? Classes can be taught and students can attend them from pretty much anywhere. Case in point? One California teacher, currently on bed rest due to pregnancy complications, is teaching her students from the comfort and safety of her hospital room.
Janet Udomratsak, known as Mrs. O to her third grade students at Tierra Bonita Elementary School in Lancaster, California, has been teaching for 11 years. Only this year is quite different from the others. Not only is a major health crisis going on with the coronavirus pandemic, but she has been hospitalized for seven weeks due to issues during her second pregnancy. Instead of having to take time off work, however, due to virtual learning she is able to conduct classes from her hospital bed.
“Honestly, being in the hospital to me, in this setting, almost feels no different than if I were at home. The only difference is that yes, I am in the hospital,” Udomratsak explained, via WMBF News. “In the beginning of the school year, that’s when you build your relationship with your students, and I didn’t want to miss that opportunity.”
She has her room set up like a classroom, offering familiar sights such as a welcome sign, calendar and white board. And, while the experience is different, she is happy to be able to teach remotely despite her current health challenges.
“My love of teaching, for the kids and building that relationship is so much stronger than me just wanting to sit and do nothing. Obviously, that would be the life: to just take it all in and relax and not have to work. I would love doing that, but my desire is to be with the students,” she said.
Her doctors have even worked her teaching schedule into her care.
“I just review all of her monitoring on the computer, and then, I come in and talk to her once a day or whoever the rounding doctor is. We all kind of know that she’s teaching and doing her thing, and we try to stay out of her way, except for when we have to come in and do the monitoring we need to do,” Kathryn Wright, Udomratsak’s doctor, told the outlet.
While teaching is her primary purpose, she also hopes her presence reminds them they are not alone.
“It’s something that is new for all of us, and I want to show them that I am there with them. The struggle is real for me as a teacher, it’s real for them as the students and really, that we are all in it together,” she said.
Udomratsak tells Scary Mommy she’s due October 20th but may deliver in the next few weeks. “I plan on teaching up until the doctors tell me to take leave,” she shares.
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