Teacher Educates Her Class From Her Hospital Bed to Keep Them From Falling Behind

Remote learning is hard: holding students' attention through a screen, managing technical difficulties, interruptions at home, and that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Add recovering from surgery and staying in a hospital bed, and it would be entirely excusable for a teacher to take some time off before returning to the virtual classroom. Still, one Texas teacher wanted to make sure her students didn't fall behind and continued to hold class from her hospital bed.

Stephany Hume, who's a fifth grade teacher at the Garland Independent School District's Sewell Elementary School in Sachse, continued logging on and giving students lessons even after an unexpected surgery sent her to the hospital, early in the school year.

Hume is a two-time cancer survivor who said she put off going to the doctor, because she didn't want to risk her students falling behind. "I had put off going to the doctor because I didn't want to miss anything. It turns out I had to have surgery," she told local NBC affiliate NBCDFW.

After the surgery, Hume said she was anxious to leave the hospital, but couldn't due to her running a high temperature. She had to stay at the hospital for 11 days. Thankfully, her substitute was someone she could easily trust with her class: her mother, who is a retired teacher. "I was thinking she needed to rest but being a teacher myself I understood," her mother said.

Even though she was in touch with her mother about lesson plans and what her children needed to do, she made sure to keep up with the current book the class was reading, appearing via video chat to read and answer questions for students. "I left them hanging. We were, like, on chapter eight of the book and I went to the hospital and I thought, 'I can't leave these poor kids hanging without knowing what happens," she told WRCBTV.

Students said that seeing their teacher step-up and educate from the hospital encouraged people to participate in the chat, saying it "meant a lot" to have her read to them post-surgery.

Hume said she wanted to make sure they could pick up immediately when she got back. "I wanted them to make sure that it was going to be consistent and that I was going to be there," she told WRCBTV.

Hume also said that reading to children was "therapeutic" during the difficult time. "It's easier to be here with these kids that are so full of hope and promise and potential," she said.

Hume returned to her class in mid-October.

Newsweek reached out to Hume via Facebook message, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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Students sit with their laptop computers at St. Joseph Catholic School in La Puente, California on November 16, 2020, where pre-kindergarten to Second Grade students in need of special services returned to the classroom today for in-person instruction. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty