A Georgia Gwinnett College student recently found herself without a sitter for her baby while she went to her anatomy and physiology class.  So, she took her baby to class with her.

Assistant professor of biology for anatomy and physiology, Ramata Sissoko Cisse, knew this particular lecture on the integumentary system, which is the organ system comprised of the skin, hair, nails and glands, was an important one for this class to hear. Not only that, Cisse needed her students to totally focus so they could fully absorb the meaning.

The class was three hours long with intensive note-taking. Cisse knew a baby was going to make listening and taking notes almost impossible.

Cisse asked to hold the child. She told the student she would hold the baby for the duration of the class. Raising three children of her own while attending graduate school made her empathetic to the young mothers on campus.

Cisse told NPR,

“I just wanted her to be a student, a normal young student in the class. I didn’t want her to think about the baby. I wanted the student to have a little break.”

Cisse make a sling out of a lab coat and carried the sleeping baby on her back to keep her hands free for writing on the whiteboard.

She believes compassion is inside every person and part of her role as an educator is to bring it out.

When the mother handed over a cold bottle of milk to feed the baby, Cisse asked her to warm it so the baby wouldn’t have to use his own energy. It was the perfect opportunity to talk about metabolism.

One of the students took the picture of Cisse with the baby and Cisse’s daughter posted it.

Watching the compassionate image go viral inspired Cisse. She wanted to make a statement before her moment disappeared:

I want to make sure young people understand that we are here for them. We are here to support, to nurture, to guide, to love, to inspire, to teach, we are here for that. So I don’t want them to give up on us. We’re here. We take them very seriously.

The baby would nod every once in a while during the lecture. Cisse said that meant he fully approved.

Well done Cisse!