Reading, writing, and bottle-feeding. Because of the state's financial woes, one Creek County teacher is combining duties in the classroom. News on Six reporter Patrina Adger went to Olive and has the story.
Andrea Bruce is teaching Olive High School students algebraic equations. Itâ€™s a job she's enjoyed for 12 years. These days, this math teacher is dividing her duties in the classroom between teaching and motherhood.
Bruce had baby Will just three weeks ago. She was ready to come back to work but didn't have anyone to watch him. Her husband works during the day and Will is too young for daycare right now.
Bruce was supposed to be on maternity leave for six weeks. The school even told her to take as long as she needed to care for her baby. But she decided to come back three weeks early because she knew the district couldn't afford a substitute. Andrea Bruce: Mother and Teacher: "So, they just said whenever you feel like it we'd like you to come back and they offered to let me bring the baby so I took them up on it.â€
And after three days of juggling sharpies and bottles, she says things are working out just fine." I've walked around a little bit to get him to calm down if he's really upset.â€ But for the most part, Will sleeps while Mommy works. And the students don't seem to mind. Grant Studenbaker: Junior: "It's really not that different, hasn't changed that much except she's carrying around a baby.â€
Jamie Janzen: "She's a lot nicer now since she's had her kid.â€
Kit McVay: Sophomore: "Every once in a while you can hear him but it doesn't really bother anybody.â€
Brandy Ridgeway: Sophomore: "I think he's cute and we might not do as much work if he starts to cry."
But, he doesn't do much of that. Thankfully, this kid is the only one who gets to sleep in her class. She says once her baby turns six weeks old, she will put him in daycare.