Who would have thought that many students in the United States would now be learning from home? Now that the 2020-2021 school year is underway, it is a reality in most households.
Virtual learning due to the pandemic has been beneficial in some ways, and in other ways, it has led to problems. One of the benefits is that classes can be taught and students can safely learn from home.
This has been especially true for a teacher in California who is experiencing pregnancy complications. She is on bed rest but is still able to teach her students from the hospital room.
Janet Udomratsak is the third-grade teacher that her students refer to as Mrs. O. She teaches at Tierra Bonita Elementary School in Lancaster, California, and has enjoyed eleven years of continual teaching. This year has been a struggle, not only due to the pandemic but because of a major health problem.
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She has spent seven weeks in the hospital because of issues associated with her second pregnancy. She doesn’t take time off work to be in the hospital, virtual learning allows her to conduct the classes from her hospital room.
”Some of the first things Janet Udomratsak’s students see when they join the class every day through Zoom are a welcome sign, calendar and white board, but what they don’t see, just steps away, is a hospital bed.”https://t.co/xkyBPG6T0m #TeacherStrong
— mommyteacherfashion (@jenquattrucci) August 30, 2020
“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.”
Her hospital room is set up like a classroom. It allows the students to see a calendar and whiteboard along with a welcome sign when they login. The experience may be slightly different, but Mrs. O is still happy to teach remotely during this difficult time.
“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 according to WMBF News.
Her doctors have also been very helpful, allowing her to teach and working her healthcare around it.
Kathryn Wright is one of her doctors, who told the news outlet: “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.”
Teaching may be different this year but it still has the same purpose. It is important that students and faculty realize they may be by themselves but they are not alone.
Udomratsak admits that she wants to be there for her students, despite the fact that they are all dealing with something new. She realizes it is a struggle, both for her and for the students.
I love to write and it keeps me busy. I've been working online, full time since 1999.