A Pennsylvania professor went above and beyond the call of duty for a student who couldn’t find a babysitter.
Last month, a touching video showcased Dr. Akil Dix, a professor of health sciences at Lincoln University, a historically black college located near Oxford, Pennsylvania. A video of a student holding a student’s baby in class has gone viral. Dix told Yahoo Life that he has a large family and that he was holding the baby facing his mother, which seemed to relax him as he walked through the front of the classroom.
The video was shot in January 2020, on the eve of the shutdown of several universities across the country due to the Newcastle Pneumonia outbreak, but the touching act of kindness has resurfaced and resonated with countless people.
“It takes a village …. When my students needed me, I was there,” Dix wrote in his initial post. “A student came to me and said Dr. Dix, I’m going to miss class. My response was, why …… then she said I don’t have a babysitter. I said ok, bring him to class and I’ll take care of him. I always say that as educators we are more than just our titles. I don’t have students missing class because they don’t have someone to take care of their child. I would put Dr. Dix’s daycare in the back of my class before I would allow them to miss class. Days like this make me love what I do.”
People have been praising the professor’s care in the comments, which have been pouring in since the video resurfaced.
“Beautiful and effective! A professor did something similar for me when my daughter was a few months old and I was still in grad school, and I will always respect and love her for it!”
“The epitome of a ‘beautiful soul’. I love teachers like you.”
“Keep raising the bar!” We need more people like you.”
“This is great brother. You change the lives of others.”
Dix, who has been a professor at Lincoln since 2015, admitted he didn’t know he was being filmed in this class. But helping a student is a no-brainer, and far from unusual. He adds that he often provides special accommodations for students’ parents so they can take charge of their studies.
He says: “I go above and beyond for them.” I bought groceries, and I picked up a student who was stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire. That’s the kind of person I am. So I understand the plight of single parents…they deal with school and work. Carrying so much stuff. It’s hard for people who don’t have kids to take care of to go to school and be successful.”
He added that the video went viral online, especially since a year later he can still see the baby in it, noting that he’s “so big now.” “He can walk and talk now.”
Dix hopes the video will bring awareness to the importance of teachers, especially during a global health crisis. I don’t do things for influence or glory,” he said. “This is me. But I hope people who see this video will understand that teachers don’t just wear one hat. We have more than one role. I want people to understand that teaching is one of the most disrespected professions, but we are the most important. If you didn’t have teachers, you wouldn’t have doctors, nurses and lawyers.”