A student who attends a college in Georgia had some issues finding a babysitter one day this past September. She risked missing a class because of it. But when she advised her professor about it, that professor said for her to bring her baby into class and she would take care of things. That professor was Ramata Sissoko Cisse, who is an assistant professor of biology at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, just outside of Atlanta. The student had called her professor the night before class and told her about the babysitter situation. Ramata, who is the mother of three children herself, told the student to bring her child to the class and everything would be fine and taken care of. And when she got to class with her young son, Ramata told her to hand her the baby, which the student did. And then the student took her seat. Ramata quickly learned that she was going to have some difficulty teaching the class while holding the baby. And there was no baby carrier available to her. So she improvised. She got a white lab coat and used it to tie the baby around her back, carrying the young boy on her back the entire three hours of the class.
That impromptu back ride was just enough to keep the youngster settled and put him to sleep for quite a while. The boy was even incorporated into class discussion on his being able to fall asleep so easily, which related to the nervous system, brain function and metabolism. After class, the young mother emailed Ramata a big thank you letter for doing what she did, to which Ramata replied that she was welcome, and that she would always be there for her. Most of the students who take Ramata’s class go on to secure careers in nursing and the health profession. But aside from biology, there is something else she likes to teach in her class. Says Ramata: “Love and compassion are part of the philosophy of my classroom…I’m hoping they can spread love, take it to other people who need it.”