A college professor in South Carolina is getting major props for helping a student who couldn’t find childcare.
In photos that were posted to Columbia College’s Twitter account on Wednesday, professor Amanda Stefanski is seen presenting in front of her class with a baby carrier strapped to her body. And although she looks like a natural with the little boy, the tweet points out that the baby’s not her own. Instead, he’s her student Abby Harvey’s.
Today a #CCofSC student couldn’t find childcare & needed to be in class for a presentation. She contacted her professor who encouraged her to bring her baby boy to class. Dr. Stefanski then offered to hold him the entire class so that her student could focus on her school work. pic.twitter.com/UyvORhEUxq
— Columbia College (@ColumbiaKoala) October 17, 2018
Stefanski tells Yahoo Lifestyle that Harvey reached out to her prior to class to explain the childcare dilemma she was facing. However, the issue was quickly mitigated when Stefanski offered her help.
“A couple of days ago one of my students stopped by my office to let me know she didn’t know what to do about the next day’s class because she had no one to watch her 6-month-old and she needed to be there for our group presentations,” she explains. “I told her that I completely understood and that, yes, I had been in classes before that my students had needed to bring their children for one reason or another, and she should absolutely bring Emmett — and she should let me hold him all 50 minutes.”
As soon as Harvey arrived with Emmett, she helped Stefanski strap on the baby carrier. Students immediately pulled out their phones to take pictures of the multitasking professor. Stefanski believed the photos would get some attention but wasn’t prepared for them to go viral.
Now, Stefanski explains that she’s happy the photos have gotten so much attention because of the positive message they’re sending to moms.
“I am most excited about getting the word out about what an amazing place Columbia College is to be at, to be an example of how young moms don’t have to choose between academics and children, to show my current and past students that I am invested in their lives, and to maybe put forth the reminder that teaching is about so much more than just teaching content,” she says.
And although the special education professor isn’t the first teacher to do something like this, she hopes that she’ll be a strong example to others — including the future educators that she’s teaching herself.
“All of those young women in my class are studying to be teachers or service providers of some sort,” Stefanski says, “and I’m happy that I got to show them a real-life example of flexibility and the importance of developing relationships with their students.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
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• Meteorologist straps her son to her body while reporting weather forecast on live TV to raise awareness about ‘baby wearing’