Fostering a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life, and it’s not unusual for dedicated foster parents to also pursue further education. That means some form of childcare is essential while attending classes.
Sometimes plans don’t work out, so some parents opt to bring their children to class. For one foster mom, the entire course and even the professor stepped up to help her.
A college professor offered to hold her baby during class so she could study.
Traniece Brown-Warrens, 36, is a doctoral candidate and a first-year principal at Markham Elementary School in Portland, Oregon, according to TODAY.com. Every month she goes to Waco, Texas, for the weekend to attend classes at Baylor University.
She hopes to be a superintendent and wants to inspire people that they can do the same. On top of that, she took in her 7-month-old foster son on February 14th, who she affectionally calls “Baby Bear.”
“When you have a dream, you figure out how to make it work,” she said. “I’m dedicating my time knowing that this is just for a moment and [it’s] one that will change the life for my kid, my family, and my students, especially little Black girls who will know they can achieve anything, and I am the representation for them.
She wants to break the stereotype of what a superintendent is supposed to look like. “Superintendents can have braids and tattoos and wear Jordans,” she said.
Traniece had Baby Bear in daycare for the week but didn’t have him scheduled for the weekend as she was going to Baylor. So, she emailed her professors asking if her son could come along or if she should just attend the class virtually.
“They said, ‘Feel free to bring him,’” she said. Luckily, Baby Bear was very well-behaved in an academic setting. Makes sense when your foster mom is a principal!
“He was very inquisitive and didn’t cry,” she said. “He wanted to be in my arms while I took notes and engaged. I multitasked [as] most parents do.”
One professor didn’t want her to be distracted, so he stepped up and held the infant as he taught the class.
The course was “School Business Management and Finance,” taught by lecturer Bobby Ott. He wanted her to engage completely, so he picked up Baby Bear and continued teaching, captured in an adorable photo from Traniece.
But he wasn’t the only one who offered to hold him — the entire class wanted to help, so he got passed around the class as they took turns looking after him.
“The intent look on baby bear’s face lets you know you enjoyed Dr. Ott’s lesson on taxes and account codes. Thank you for holding him so I could take notes & work with my partner,” she captioned the photo.
Ott held the baby for 30 minutes letting Traniece work on her studies. He partially attributed his childhood to his willingness to help her out.
“My mother was single for the majority of my childhood rearing,” he said. “Traniece is a dynamic and authentic person, and when you see someone with that level of commitment, you want to help facilitate that.”
Traniece wants to break the cookie-cutter mold that society puts on mothers by showing what is possible.
“I have a platform to share that leadership can look different, and so can motherhood,” she says. “Foster parents can also pursue their dreams. My mother gave birth to me at 17 and dropped out of school…because of her sacrifice, I have a strong foundation [to help] kids