Photo via: CNN
And the teacher of the year award goes to… Dr. Nathan Alexander, a mathematics professor at Morehouse College who held his student’s baby during class after the father couldn’t find a babysitter.
Wayne Hayer studies kinesiology at the Atlanta historically Black men’s college and works two jobs. On the day the 26-year-old had Dr. Alexander’s class, his wife made plans to go get their baby girl Assata‘s birth certificate. However Hayer, didn’t want her struggling with their 5-month-old daughter on public transportation while trying to run an errand. He decided to take Assata instead, but when he couldn’t find childcare, Hayer figured he’d take Dr. Alexander up on his offer.
“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,” Hayer told the Washington Post.
So that’s exactly what he did. Hayer walked into his algebra class with his daughter and explained to Dr. Alexander that he was unable to find a sitter and didn’t have anyone else to watch her. What happened next is what touched the internet’s heart.
“My professor NATHAN ALEXANDER said ‘I’ll hold her so you can take good notes!'” one student said on Twitter.
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, 2019advertisement
Another student, Nick Vaughn, wrote in a Facebook post: “It was this encounter that truly showed me the power and impact HBCU’s can have for the Black community. For this professor to understand that life happens and sometimes there are just no ways around it.”
Hayer remembers his mother telling him stories about her taking him to her community college classes when he was baby, but he was still concerned about how he would be received bringing his daughter to class – especially at an all-male’s college. “Then Dr. Alexander saw me and welcomed me with open arms,” Hayer shared.
He also received an overwhelming amount of support from classmates and the online community. His wife Frida Amelia Hayer took to Facebook to express her appreciation.
“Seeing the outpouring of support from friends, family, and strangers for Assata and Wayne is a sight to behold. I can feel the genuine love and enthusiasm. We never asked for attention; all that I’ve personally asked for is authenticity in your love and support. We are new parents. Wayne works two jobs and is a full-time student. He’s rarely at home because he’s out there providing for us,” she wrote.
“With us being thousands of miles away from family and friends, I’m usually left with the baby to myself. Anyone who is and has been a new mommy understands how overwhelming it can get. Wayne wanted to give me a break. Plus, he’d get to spend more time with Assata in the process. It’s a win-win. Thank you for encouraging us to continue to push forward. Thank you to Black educators like Dr. Nathan Alexander for your compassion and understanding. This came at the right time.”
Wow! Thank you, everyone. #CommunityMatters
— nathan alexander (@professornaite) March 3, 2019
Dr. Alexander, thank you for your compassion and willingness to go the extra mile to help your students.