GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — A virtual teacher in one South Carolina school district is being credited with saving one of her student’s parent’s lives.
Last Tuesday, Tatiana Oliveira said one of her students tuned into virtual class a little bit later than usual.
“She came in and kind of put something in the chat and I didn’t see it at the time, just in the middle of a lesson,” Oliveria said. “It was actually another student who said, ‘Hey are you OK?,’ then, at that point, I was like okay…let me address this.”
That’s when Oliveira moved into a into a private ZOOM chat room and asked what was going on.
“She just unmuted and started sobbing,” Oliveira said. “She was like I’m trying to wake my mom up; she’s not responding to me. I’ve tried calling out for her but she’s just not answering.”
After another attempt to wake the student’s mom, Oliveira jumped into action.
“I said okay, I’m going to need you to be really brave,” Oliveira said. “I’m going to need you to call 9-1-1.”
The student’s mom is a diabetic and was low on insulin, but they didn’t know that at the time. So the student called 9-1-1.
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“She’s actually a new student, as of a few weeks ago,” Oliveira said. “So she didn’t even know her address. So I had it pulled up on my computer and was speaking to the EMTs on speakerphone to be like alright this is the address of the emergency.”
Moments later, paramedics arrived and Oliveira stayed on the ZOOM chat to help with the process.
“I felt like my hands were tied,” Oliveira said. “I was watching all of this unfold.”
Fortunately, emergency services were able to get the mom what she needed. Because of all of this, Oliveira said she now has that special connection with her student.
“If she hadn’t been such a strong and brave student throughout all of that, I don’t think I could’ve composed myself, too,” Oliveira said.
But this is just one of the many hats teachers wear when doing their jobs, especially amid a pandemic.
“I think that this is one of those situations where we’re really thankful for virtual school, and we’re just really happy and grateful that she was able to be home with her mom to save her,” Oliveira said.
Oliveira has since been awarded The Miracle Workers award on behalf of the school district.
“This is an example I think of teachers going above and beyond,” said Tim Waller, spokesman for the Greenville County School District. “They always go above and beyond. That’s the nature of teaching.”
That award is something Waller said is one of the highest of honors.
“Tatiana Oliveira is a perfect example of a teacher who is not just paying attention teaching her students, but also to the wellbeing of everyone in her class,” Waller said.
Oliveira said she was just doing her job.
“I really hope that all educators can be recognized for all that they’re doing, especially now,” Oliveira said. “We’re just really putting ourselves out there every day trying to help our students as best we can and love them.”
Oliveira was with the school district for one year before becoming a virtual teacher.