This teacher is going viral for finishing a lesson plan moments before giving birth.

The school day might be over by the early afternoon, but for many teachers, the work doesn't end there.

Grading, lesson prep, and professional development often roll right on into evenings, weekend, and holidays.

And, at least in teacher Jennifer Pope's case, up to the very minute she gave birth.


Photographer Andrea McDonald captured Pope, a second-grade teacher from Texas, wrapping up some lesson planning ... in the hospital ... during labor.

"No, she is not doing her taxes," McDonald wrote on Facebook. "Those papers would be her lesson plans her husband is about to go drop off with her sub in the parking lot."

"[This week] is Teacher Appreciation Week here in Texas. Spoil them rotten because even in labor, they care."

All photos by Rooted in Love Photography, used with permission.

The photo went viral in a flash and inspired other teachers across the country to share their own moving (and sometimes hilarious) stories of devotion.

"I once went dumpster diving for a missing retainer a student accidentally threw away," one wrote. "You would be amazed at what a teacher will do for her students!"

"I remember having the stomach flu," recalled another. "My mom was sitting on the bathroom floor with me, with a notepad. In between heaving I dictated sub plans from in front of the toilet, trying to remember which math lesson I was on, special events for that day etc. She had to type them up and email to my principal."

"My water broke with my first & we stopped at the school (at 2 am) for me to make last minute copies & prep a few more things before heading to the hospital," commented a fellow teacher-mom. "Most teachers are extremely dedicated to their most important responsibility — their students!!"

Have we mentioned teachers are, in general, severely underpaid, overworked, and underappreciated?

Because they are.

So, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, let's look past the seemingly cushy hours, the summers off, and the winter vacations.

Let's look at teachers like Jennifer Pope, who take their responsibility to their students so seriously that no obstacle could possibly keep them from giving the job their all.

Not even excruciating labor pains.

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via Stratford Festival / Twitter

Service dogs are invaluable to their owners because they are able to help in so many different ways.

They're trained to retrieve dropped Items, open and close doors, help their owners remove their clothes, transport medications, navigate busy areas such as airports, provide visual assistance, and even give psychological help.

The service dog trainers at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs in Canada want those who require service dogs to live the fullest life possible, so they're training dogs on how to attend a theatrical performance.

The adorable photos of the dogs made their way to social media where they quickly went viral.

On August 15, a dozen dogs from Golden Retrievers to poodles, were treated to a performance of "Billy Elliott" at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. This was a special "relaxed performance" featuring quieter sound effects and lighting, designed for those with sensory issues.

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"It's important to prepare the dogs for any activity the handler may like to attend," Laura Mackenzie, owner and head trainer at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs, told CBC.

"The theater gives us the opportunity to expose the dogs to different stimuli such as lights, loud noises, and movement of varying degrees," she continued. "The dogs must remain relaxed in tight quarters for an extended period of time."

The dogs got to enjoy the show from their own seats and took a break with everyone else during intermission. They were able to familiarize themselves with the theater experience so they know how to navigate through crowds and fit into tight bathroom stalls.

via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter

"About a dozen dogs came to our relaxed performance, and they were all extremely well-behaved," says Stratford Festival spokesperson Ann Swerdfager. "I was in the lobby when they came in, then they took their seats, then got out of their seats at intermission and went back — all of the things we learn as humans when we start going to the theater."

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The dogs' great performance at the trial run means that people who require service animals can have the freedom to enjoy special experiences like going to the theater.

"It's wonderful that going to the theater is considered one of the things that you want to train a service dog for, rather than thinking that theater is out of reach for people who require a service animal, because it isn't," Swerdfager said.

The Stratford Festival runs through Nov. 10 and features productions of "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "The Neverending Story," "Othello," "Billy Elliot," "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Crucible" and more.

Inclusivity

15 'habits' of people who grew up with an 'emotionally fragile' parent

Having an emotionally fragile parent can leave lasting damage.

via The Mighty

If you grew up with an "emotionally fragile" parent, chances are, you didn't have the typical, idyllic childhood you often see in movies.

Maybe your parent lived with debilitating depression that thrust you into the role of caregiver from a very young age.

Maybe your parent was always teetering on the edge of absolute rage, so you learned to tiptoe around them to avoid an explosion. Or maybe your parent went through a divorce or separation, and leaned on you for more emotional support than was appropriate to expect of a child.

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Jasmine has been used as a natural treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress for thousands of years. Oil from the plant has also been used to treat insomnia and PMS, and is considered a natural aphrodisiac. It turns out, our ancestor's instincts to slather on the oil when they wanted a little R&R were correct.

A study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and according to Professor Hanns Hatt of the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, revealed that jasmine can calm you down when you're feeling anxious.The results can "be seen as evidence of a scientific basis for aromatherapy."

"Instead of a sleeping pill or a mood enhancer, a nose full of jasmine from Gardenia jasminoides could also help, according to researchers in Germany. They have discovered that the two fragrances Vertacetal-coeur (VC) and the chemical variation (PI24513) have the same molecular mechanism of action and are as strong as the commonly prescribed barbiturates or propofol," says the study.

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Nature