Although 35-year-old Lancaster teacher Janet Udomratsak knew the upcoming school year would be challenging, she did not expect to be teaching her third grade students from a hospital bed.
The expectant mother thought she’d be swapping her classroom for a virtual one from home, but then she was admitted to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills on July 4 due to complications with her pregnancy.
She was put on bed rest but decided against taking a medical leave from work.
“The beginning of the year, that’s your one shot. … You set your norms, you get to meet your students, you get to meet the parents,” Udomratsak said. “It’s been quite a ride, but we’re making it work.”
Her husband, Chris Udomratsak, says he was shocked to see his wife set up shop in the hospital room.
“The school year was about to start and — without even skipping a beat — she just started prepping,” he said.
She transformed a wall near her bed to look more like a classroom backdrop, not even telling her students that she was in the hospital.
“Being with them has actually helped me get through the day,” Udomratsak said.
Her students at Tierra Bonita Elementary School started virtual learning earlier this month.
Eight-year-old Seth Eisel says he really likes his new teacher and she’s really patient.
“The way she’s made them so comfortable I think has really helped them out,” said Eisel’s mom, Kimberly Scarborough.
Now 32 weeks along in her pregnancy, Udomratsak is inching closer to meeting her second son.