A professor held her student’s baby while giving a 3-hour lecture so the mother could take notes.
I chanced on a picture of teacher carrying a baby at her back while teaching at a university. I’m what comes to mind immediately after seeing the picture would be that’s her own child. Unfortunately it’s far from that.
Rather, a Georgia college student couldn’t find a babysitter, so her professor volunteered to hold the student’s baby while teaching a three-hour anatomy class.
Ramata Sissoko Cissé, an assistant professor of biology at Georgia Gwinnett College in the Atlanta suburb of Lawrenceville, told CNN that one of her students called her late the night before class to let Cissé know that her babysitter was sick.
Due to that, the student would have to bring her baby to Cissé’s anatomy and physiology class the next day.
The professor, a mother of three, gave her the green light. “For her to trust me made me feel like I had to help,” Cissé said. “It’s like a moral responsibility.”
But in class, the baby kept moving, and it was hard for the student to hold her son and write at the same time. “I said, ‘Hand me the baby,’” Cissé said.
However, Cissé couldn’t hold the baby and write on the white board during her anatomy lecture.
The baby became a learning aid. So Cissé improvised. She found a white lab coat and tied the baby to her back – something very common in Africa.
The baby quickly fell asleep and stayed quiet for the rest of class.
Cissé was able to incorporate the baby into the lesson, elaborating on concepts related to the nervous system, brain function and metabolism.
One student asked why he was able to sleep so quietly?
Cissé explained that he was cozy and warm, with her body temperature next to him, and the matching heat made it easier for him to relax.
Later when the baby became hungry, and the baby’s bottle was cold, she explained that warming up the milk would help aid the baby’s metabolism.
A spokeswoman for Georgia Gwinnett College told CNN that the child’s mother asked to not be identified.
‘I teach because they need to be prepared for life.’
Ramata Cisse said the student e-mailed her after class to thank her, and she wrote back, “You’re welcome, I’ll always be there for you.”
And the student replied, “I know.” Those two words meant a lot to her.
Many of Ramata’s students go on to become nurses or doctors, or work in other health professions.
She said teaching them science is only part of her mission to prepare them for life after school.
“Love and compassion are part of the philosophy of my classroom,” Cissé said.
She’s hoping she can instill those qualities by modeling them in teachable moments like holding the baby during class as being a good health care provider is about more than just studying textbooks.
“I’m hoping they can spread love, take it to other people who need it,” she said.
What does the above tell the world especially people outside the continent Africa
The black woman the story you just read revolves is no ordinary person on the street of Africa or elsewhere.
Neither did the picture painted above did happen in Africa -but in the state of Georgia, and in an American university (Georgia Gwinnett).
Ramata Cisse Sissoko is a Professor of Biological Sciences at this university and I must add that she is from Mali in West Africa.
As indicated in the above, on that faithful day, the student mother who could not find a babysitter for her baby and had to come to class with the child.
The Malian teacher, instead of sending the student to the door for the child’s crying and disturbing the class, was rather taken with compassion … like a real African woman.
She took the baby from the student, carried it on her back in a typical African style and taught the lesson for three hours.
The child, very comfortable on her back, did not make a single noise during the three hours she gave the lesson.
All the students could not believe this magic. Yes, it is magic in that part of the world, Africa.
In Africa, there is a fundamental bond, a protection, and a love shared between the baby and his/her mother.
In short this picture from that university class is simply showing the world what kindness and compassion look like.
Yes, we Africans have values to keep and teach the rest of the world!