When a professor really wants his students to learn, if that means letting a student bring his infant daughter to class—and then holding the baby so the student can take notes—so be it.
It all started when Wayne Hayer came to Nathan Alexander’s algebra classroom at Morehouse College, and according to a Facebook post by Nick Vaughn, another student in the class, explained that he couldn’t find a babysitter for his five-month old daughter. Alexander, who is a visiting professor in the mathematics department, didn’t mind having the baby in class if it meant his student could attend, especially with midterms looming.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, when Alexander noticed that Hayer was distracted attending to his daughter, Alexander decided to help the student even more. He offered to hold the baby, so the student could take notes and Hayer took him up on the offer. So Alexander put the child in an infant carrier and taught class with a baby in a pink coat strapped to his chest, rocking her with one hand, and lecturing her with the other. The child, unfazed by her new career path, slept through the lecture. In typical cool professor style, Alexander couldn’t help but quip, “My lecture must be getting boring.”
According to the Facebook post, Alexander even stayed late to make sure everyone understood the material he had gone over that day, while the baby girl snoozed.
The photos of the professor holding a baby have since gone viral, impressing current students, former students, and educational professors with a professor’s idea to wear a baby to ensure his student had the opportunity to learn. For Alexander, though, it’s all part of Morehouse’s mission—and his boss agrees. The viral moment reached Morehouse College President David Thomas, who tweeted, “This is about #love and #commitment. Loving our students and being committed to removing any barrier to their pursuit of excellence.” Morehouse, a historically black college, is the nation’s sole college for African-American men and includes among its graduates, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.