Double trouble

Teacher returns after having twins

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Courtesy of Amanda Vera

Oldest daughter Alexis Vera, son Noah Vera, and Spanish teacher Amanda Vera all welcome newborn twins Alyssandra and Victoria Vera to the family. During maternity leave Vera had shared everything the class would need on Google Classroom, she also shared the Zoom links for class and tutorials for Spanish teacher Jose Madrid’s class.

She starts on the couch, but the pain of her organs being pushed up as her babies grow causes her to move to the bed, then desk, then table. Soon, her goal is achieving comfort while she teaches on Zoom. Spanish teacher, Amanda Vera, bears the searing pain as her twins fight for the first train ticket out, but she knows when the train reaches its destination, the double sets of dime hands, feet and acute eyes will set their gaze on her for the first time in their life while she falls in love, twice. 

Vera began teaching on Zoom at the start of the second semester, then in the first week of April went on maternity leave for eight weeks. She gave birth to her twin daughters, Victoria and Alyssandra, the following week.

“I love every single moment of them,” Vera said. “I go home at the end of the day, and I swoop them up, kiss them, and I spend every moment with them, [and] then I come back. I mean, it’s hard to be away from them, but it’s also a break. Trying to juggle two all day long, it’s a lot.”

Vera received assistance, not only from the substitute, Beatriz Wilkinson, but from one of the other spanish teachers, Jose Madrid, during her time away.

“I posted resources on [Google] Classroom,” Madrid said. “I shared my Zoom link, and my tutorial hours for anybody who had questions. That is, in addition to, sharing all the lessons and the links and making sure that everything I had, the sub had.” 

As teaching on Zoom brought new challenges such as connectivity issues, Vera worked through those issues from what she would call her “busy-mom mode.”

“I was teaching virtually for a long time before my leave,” Vera said. “That was difficult because I wanted to connect with everybody, but I wasn’t able to walk around the classroom, joke around with everybody and get to see how everyone’s doing.”

Twins Victoria and Alyssandra Vera were born the second week of April. Vera’s husband helped out at home after the birth by cooking and cleaning while also helping take care of the babies. (Courtesy of Amanda Vera)

Vera found help with her babies at home from her husband. 

“He was super dad,” Vera said. “He’s military, so he had everything all written out when one had a diaper change and when one was fed, how many ounces they were fed and dirty diaper, wet diaper. He did a lot of cooking and cleaning which he’s never done ever so that was awesome.”

Vera worked her schedule and daily routine around her pregnancy by having her doctors appointments during her free fifth period. 

“It’s a twin pregnancy, so it was really difficult, physically, and I had a lot of health problems,” Vera said. “[My routine] was me trying to get comfortable to where I could breathe and not look like death on Zoom.”

Vera  used powerpoints to teach as she was posted on the projector in the classroom. She used a microphone to hear the students.

“I would describe Mrs. Vera as a caring teacher,” sophomore Sarenyti McCullough said. “She makes sure we understand the material before we leave the classroom, and she explains it well.” 

Now, Vera is back in the classroom preparing her students for their final exam.

“[I hope] that I can make everyone feel comfortable to take this final next week,” Vera said. “Filling the gap there [and] getting them ready.”

Vera’s family visited the twins in small groups the week after they were born.

“It was mother-in-law and sister-in-law first, and then a different sister-in-law,” Vera said. “Everybody came in very small numbers because we didn’t want to risk the kids all at once. It was nice. Everybody’s in love with them. They complete the family.”