Being a mum is hard work, as is being a university student. And being both at once can be incredibly challenging. But professors like Ramata Sissoko Cissé make it a whole lot easier.
Cissé, 51, stepped in recently during a recent class carrying an infant on her back during a three-hour biology class after the baby’s mother, a student in the class, couldn’t find a sitter. Now a photo of the good deed has gone viral.
Cissé, an assistant professor of biology for anatomy and physiology at Georgia Gwinnett College in the US state of Georgia, is a mother as well. And the night before one of her 8am classes, a student reached out with a question.
“She asked if she could bring the baby with her to class because she had missed a class already and did not want to be behind,” Cissé told Yahoo Lifestyle, adding that the student had an upcoming exam. “I know the student is very smart and ambitious. She really wanted to learn.”
The professor told her student to bring the baby to class so they could “figure it out” together.
The woman did bring her infant, but was struggling to write with the baby in her lap. That’s when the professor says her “mother’s instincts” kicked in.
“I knew I could make it easy for her not only to concentrate but also to take notes with ease,” she said. That’s when she had an idea.
“In my native Mali, we used sheets and other pieces of fabric to securely carry babies on our backs,” Cissé explained. “My natural instinct was to find a way to secure the baby and I was standing next to a rack with a clean lab coat.”
With the help of her student, Cissé secured the child to her back, where the baby slept for most of the class.
“Towards the end, he woke up and I took him off my back, sat in the first row and fed him with a bottle. He did not cry once,” she added.
Later that day, Cissé’s daughter, Anna, posted a photo that the student took of her with the baby strapped to her back and posted it on Twitter.
“Being the true African mother that she is, taught a THREE hour class with the baby on her back & fed him,” the tweet said. “I’m so blessed to be raised by a woman who loves the world as much as her own children.”
The heartwarming photo quickly went viral online, garnering over 56,000 likes.
While this professor’s current and former students commented on the photo, calling her the “GOAT” and “one of the best professors” they’ve ever had, strangers online were cheering her on from afar.
“She is amazing honestly. We all need teachers like her in life,” one Twitter user wrote. Another user suggested that Georgia Gwinnett College give the professor a raise and tenure at the university.
Although people online are hailing Cisseé as a “saint,” she simply chalks it up to being a good teacher — and a good mother.
“My decision to help out this student was driven by the school culture with a student’s success being foremost. We do all we can for the student to be successful,” Cissé told Yahoo. “I did not want to see her struggling, because as a mother, I know how hard it could be.”
- Yahoo Lifestyle US
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