When your children are very young, the best laid plans fall apart when you can’t find a babysitter. Wayne Hayer, a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, found himself in this very situation on Friday when his wife had places she needed to be, he had to go to class, and they couldn’t find a babysitter in time. Hayer packed up his infant daughter, Assata, and took her with him to algebra.
Hayer was nervous about showing up with his daughter in class, but his professor, Nathan Alexander, was a champ. He not only didn’t complain about a baby in class, he strapped on the baby carrier and held the little girl while he lectured so her daddy could take good notes.
It was a little thing, really. Professor Alexander held a baby for an hour. Who doesn’t like holding babies, especially adorable well-behaved ones like little Assata?
It does, however, speak volumes about community, and how small gestures have large impacts.
Last May, photos of Arkansas State University professor, Bruce Johnson, holding a student’s baby while giving a physics lecture went viral. It was not a rare occurrence for Professor Johnson who encourages students to bring their children to class when they can’t find a sitter.
Relaxing unnecessary regulations could make childcare more affordable for these students, and reliability is key. When college students are managing the responsibilities of work, school, and children, the childcare piece is the foundation on which the rest of their commitments balance. It is encouraging to see that professors recognize this and make their classrooms welcoming to parents in a childcare bind.
Strong families build strong communities. College professors play their part in the community when they help young parents juggle the needs of their small children and their other important responsibilities. Kudos to Wayne Hayer for doing such an admirable job of it, and kudos to Professor Alexander for giving him the assist he needed on a hard day.