Being a teacher is an all-consuming job. It requires long hours, intense dedication, and so much patience. No one knows that better than teacher and mother of four Jennifer Pope.
Just last week, Pope was working studiously on lesson plans for her second-grade class. This would have been an average day in a teacher’s life, except that Pope was in labor at a Texas hospital while she was working!
Pope’s dear friend, photographer Andrea McDonald, captured and shared the candid moment on Facebook. Pope had no idea her friend had even taken the photo of her working until after she gave birth! In the post McDonald writes, “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.”
With Teacher Appreciation Week fast approaching, McDonald saw Pope’s selfless moment as a loving reminder to everyone to appreciate the hardworking educators in their lives. She continues, “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.”
As expected, the post has gone viral, with over 21K likes, 7K shares, and nearly 800 comments with educators, moms, and many others pouring out support for this phenomenal teacher.
One educator writes underneath the photo, “There’s nothing we won’t do for our kids, at home, and at school!” Another user comments, “Thank you to the educators on this thread. I am brought to tears knowing that you all care so much.” While a teacher who had a similar experience cheerfully shares, “Been there! I did my final grades between contractions. Way to go! You are amazing!”
For Pope, the moment symbolized everything she already knows about teaching. She and her husband, fellow teacher Andrew Pope, have spent years embracing the emotional bond educators like her have with their students. That bond is one that often goes beyond the average work day and impacts nearly every aspect of a teacher’s life.
“Teachers are never fully disconnected from their job. Even on maternity leave or in the summer, we have a responsibility to our students and their families,” she shares with Babble. “There is so much that goes on outside of the normal school day that teachers do to benefit their classroom and their students. But, also it’s not just a job to many of us. It’s a part of who we are.”
As a working mom, Pope knows all too well how challenging the juggle of her job and family can be. The recent birth of her daughter Clara has added one more adventure to her already jam-packed days. But she simply cannot imagine another way to live her life, telling Babble, “Being a working mom is hard, like really hard. But, it’s also very fulfilling and rewarding. I can’t imagine myself not teaching.”
A teacher herself for six years, McDonald was all too happy to show her dear friend’s dedication to her students in the moment she photographed. And she’s even happier to see the positive impact that moment had on many others.
“I have loved the overwhelming positive response. So much of what a teacher does after hours goes unnoticed, McDonald tells Babble. “When I posted it, it was teacher after teacher sharing similar experiences of what they did for their students. It’s one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs.”
For devoted teachers, Pope is living proof that the job never ends. And for moms everywhere, she has reminded us that caring for our children is a superhuman effort. And that effort is worth every ounce of praise it receives.
Thanks to Jennifer Pope and all of the teachers in our lives for going above and beyond the call of duty to be there for our children!