Story at a glance

  • A Texas elementary school teacher taught her students virtually from her hospital bed.
  • Some called her a hero, while others questioned why she wasn’t able to rest and recover.
  • The story highlights the strain on teachers in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic.

After a Texas elementary school teacher made news by teaching her students from her hospital bed, readers were torn. Was this really something to celebrate?

Hours after Stephany Hume had surgery, she was online, teaching her students at Garland ISD's Sewell Elementary in Sachse, Texas. 

"I am a two-time cancer survivor," she told the local NBC affiliate. "I had put off going to the doctor because I didn't want to miss anything. It turns out I had to have surgery."


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But some readers were alarmed that Hume wasn’t taking the time to rest and recuperate and saw the story as an example of how our education system is failing both teachers and students. Online, teachers shared similar stories about the lengths they went to when dealing with an unexpected illness during the school year.   

 

Hume did have a substitute teacher — her mother, a retired teacher with 41 years of experience. She arranged to have her mother take over as substitute while she was in surgery and allow her to jump back in afterwards. 


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"I was thinking she needed to rest but being a teacher myself I understood," Susie Harris, Hume's mother, told NBC5.

Another user pointed out that Hume was setting a dubious example for her students by not taking time off to rest and recuperate. 

 

"I was asking the doctor, 'Can I go now? Can I go now?' And he's like, 'You have a temperature of 102. You have to stay,'" Hume told NBC5.

But Hume has a special connection with her students, several of whom told NBC5 she was their favorite teacher. With so much upheaval and learning loss due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Hume just wanted to be there for them.

"These kids are feeling the same feelings we're feeling," she told NBC5. "They're afraid, they're unsure of what's coming next."


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Published on Nov 18, 2020