Teacher's Inspiring Maternity Leave Photo Goes Viral

This pregnant elementary school teacher didn't let going into labor stop her from doing her job. 

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May 12, 2017

Teacher's Inspiring Maternity Leave Photo Goes Viral

In general, teachers make big sacrifices and work long hours so that our children can learn, but this teacher’s dedication to her students is one for the books. 

Jennifer Pope, an educator in Burleson, Texas, went into labor earlier than planned, forcing her to finish her school work – preparing the new substitute teacher for when she begins maternity leave – in the oddest of places: her hospital bed at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.

Pope with her husband filling out lesson plans before going into labor. Photo by: Andrea McDonald

 “We think about our students like our own children,” Pope told ABC News. “So it would be an easy transition for my students, I was making sure I gave adequate directions of what [lessons] and when I wanted them to be taught,” she added. “I wanted it to be a typical and normal school day for them while I’m gone.”

Owner of Rooted in Love Photography, Andrea McDonald photographed the 35-year old and shared it on Facebook where it received thousands of likes and hundreds of comments to praise Pope’s valiant efforts.  One comment read, “Bless her heart! Been there! Working all the way up until it's time.”

Some of the commenters shared their connection of being an educator and doing the same thing if they were in her position or their mothers doing the same when they were giving birth.

 Jennifer gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Clara on April 23. The new mom will return to the classroom at the start of the next school year. She told The Huffington Post that she’s “glad the photo is getting so much attention because she believes it empowers women to know they can be mothers and also pursue their careers.” Just shows that a teacher’s (and a mom’s) work is never done!

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