Sometimes it can be hard being a college student, and especially if you are also a mom to a young baby. Professor Ramata Sissoko Cissé has kids of her own and she knows just what a challenge it can be.
After her student reached out to her having been unable to find a sitter before her class the following day Cissé, 51, told her to just come to class with the baby and they would ‘figure it out’.
The student studies at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Ga where Cisse is an assistant professor lecturing on anatomy and physiology. She knew that this was a keen student who worked hard and wanted to do well so she decided she was going to help her out.
When the student arrived it was clear that she was struggling to write, concentrate and hold her baby and this is when Cissé stepped in to help. Knowing that the student was studying hard for an upcoming exam, Cissé wanted her to be able to focus on her studies and said that her instinct told her to find something to hold the baby.
A Good Teacher Improvises
Back in her native Mali this would have meant using a sheet, blanket or other fabric but all she had to hand was a lab coat. So she grabbed that and secured the child to her back. The baby slept through most of the 3-hour long class allowing the student to focus on her studies.
Even when he woke up towards the end of class the baby still seemed pretty happy with the arrangement. At that point, Cissé just took him off her back and fed him from a bottle.
Later that day, Cissé’s daughter, Anna, was so proud of her mom that she posted a photo of her teaching class with the baby on her back. She said she was proud to be the daughter of a woman who was so inspirational. The photo soon went viral with more than 56,000 likes on Twitter but Cissé just sees it all as being part of her role as a teacher.
She said that she decided to help the student because the school’s ethos is that nothing matters more than helping the students be successful. Knowing how hard it can be having a young child to take care of and having to study she didn’t want to see the student fall behind or struggle.
The Professor’s former and current students all remarked on the photos saying that she is one of the best professors and how everyone should have teachers like her. Others suggested that the college should give her tenure and a raise for going above and beyond in her quest to help her students be the best they can be.