Being a parent is hard. Once a little life is out in the world, you find yourself facing the challenging task of keeping it alive and thriving.
Dirty diapers. Constant crying. Night after night of sleeplessness. I’ve gone through the whole process three times and it never seems to get any easier.
One of the hardest parts has to be watching your best intentions fall by the wayside. Thanks to the efforts of one professor, though, a student with a young child found it just a little easier to realize his dream of completing his education.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Nathan Alexander, a visiting professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta, was confronted with a situation that might seem a little odd. A student named Wayne Hayer had told him that he couldn’t stop by during office hours because he needed to pick up his daughter.
Alexander told him that he should bring his child to class next time. Little did he expect Hayer to actually do so.
“I was apprehensive about it,” Hayer told The Washington Post. “(But) Dr. Alexander did say: ‘Bring your kid to class if need be,’ and I had to get to the lecture because we were taking a test soon.”
When he couldn’t find a babysitter for the day, Hayer showed up with his tot in tow.
“I had a book bag on and a baby strapped to my chest,” Hayer said. “I looked crazy. Then Dr. Alexander saw me and welcomed me with open arms.”
“No problem, in fact I will even hold her so you can take better notes in class,” Alexander said, according to one student’s Facebook post.
Taking Hayer’s baby carrier, Alexander strapped the infant to his chest and began to lecture. Eventually, the baby fell asleep.
“My lecture must be getting boring,” he said as the infant nodded off. However, this isn’t the first time that Alexander has experienced such a thing.
Student came to class today with his child due to no babysitter or anybody to watch her while he was in class.
My professor NATHAN ALEXANDER said “I’ll hold her so you can take good notes!” #HBCU #morehouse #Respect pic.twitter.com/oogIqetseS
— TheOriginal™ (@Original_Vaughn) March 1, 2019
He has had multiple students bring kids to class, including one who was almost in double digits. The professor is happy to extend the grace, seeing it as a way he can help others receive an education.
“I’m not an exception,” he said. “We have teachers who (do this) every day.”
He added, “There’s a negative stereotype about African American men not being fathers to their children and a myth that most black people come from single-parent households. To see a young African American man do it was empowering for people to see.
“The image and symbolism were important in changing how we view masculinity. … There’s an idea of what a student is, and we don’t think about ways to support parents that are students.
“That’s where I come in. Community matters.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.