This Teacher Is So Devoted To Her Students That She Made A Lesson Plan Right Before Going Into Labor

"Teachers are extremely dedicated and love their children as their own."

They say, "A teacher's work is never done." Jennifer Pope, a second grade teacher at Christian Life Preparatory School in Fort Worth, Texas, embodied this timeless adage when she made her lesson plan – less than an hour before going into labor. 

In a picture taken by her friend Andrea McDonald, a professional photographer and former teacher herself, Pope was putting the finishing touches on her lesson plan before handing it off to her husband, who then gave it to Pope's substitute. "Jenn's baby came two weeks earlier than planned so in this case it was definitely a surprise," McDonald told A Plus via email. "Jenn already had her plans written but was double checking everything before the final hand-off to her husband... [who] is also a teacher so he knows the drill." 



Though Pope never intended to be, well, laboring before going into labor, "she is very dedicated to her job," according to McDonald, who has known Pope ever since their sons were in first grade and gets together with her every Friday for coffee after dropping off the kids. (Pope has Fridays off, a schedule flexibility many teachers do not.) 

After McDonald posted the photo of Pope to the Facebook page of her business, Rooted in Love Photography, it received more than 2.6 million views and 20,000 likes, shocking both McDonald and Pope. "We both think it's just so crazy," she said. "It was my very first birth session. In fact, I wasn't even supposed to be there." McDonald usually only shoots portraits, but decided to surprise Pope with photos of her last child's birth after Pope had "hinted that she thought it would be cool" a few months prior.

 "I almost didn't post it because it's not my normal portrait work, but I just thought it was funny to see her handing off her lesson plans and having her baby less than an hour later," McDonald added. "I'm used to 50–100 likes (give or take) on photos I post, so I was even blown away when it had 500 likes... So wild!" 

While Pope's tireless dedication is admirable, as evidenced by the positive response on social media, it also reflects a larger problem in the modern American workforce. Too many teachers — and working parents — do not have the support they need to ensure they don't have to work through their time off. Though Pope handled her unexpected extra workload with grace and a sense of humor, teachers take it upon themselves to work overtime — overtime that many would argue that they are underpaid for.

"Jenn is a mother of four, so it's extremely hard being a mom of four and working full-time as a teacher," McDonald explained. "Teachers' jobs are far from done when the bell rings. Many have tutoring, lessons plans, meetings, loads of paperwork, grading, etc.," Nonetheless, she added, "Jenn loves and adores her school... She's very creative, loving, and nurturing — both as a mother and as a teacher." 

Andrea McDonald, Rooted In Love Photography
Andrea McDonald, Rooted In Love Photography
Andrea McDonald, Rooted In Love Photography
Andrea McDonald, Rooted In Love Photography

"Teachers are extremely dedicated and love their children as their own," McDonald concluded. So it's fitting Pope delivered her fourth child mere moments after taking care of dozens others. Though it's not part of her job description, it's a part of her life she wouldn't give up for anything. 

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