There are many aspects of my more than decade-long career as a teacher that I'm proud of.

My reputation for giving lots and lots of homework is not one of them.

For most of my teaching career, I taught fifth or sixth grade. Sometimes I gave more than two hours of homework. Kids complained a lot, though parents rarely did — at least not to my face. I think parents mostly felt the same way I did: that homework was the best way to practice new skills, learn responsibility, develop a strong work ethic, and reflect on new learning.

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It's not uncommon for parents to puzzle over their kids' homework.

Sometimes, it's just been too long since they've done long division for them to be of any help. Or teaching methods have just changed too dramatically since they were in school.

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Natasha Rossi believed she had the perfect life.

She had two awesome kids — two and a half-year-old identical twins — and the love and support of her boyfriend, Desi. Life, she thought, could only get better.

All photos via Upworthy/Walgreens.

Then, in January 2019, she was hit with some of the hardest news that anyone can hear.

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