Compassion in the Classroom

Compassion in the Classroom

The challenges of a college math class can reduce many students to tears.

But when a visitor to Dr. Samuel Reed’s class at Lander University began crying, he did the unexpected. The assistant professor of math education picked up the visitor and continued teaching.

The “visitor” was Aria, the 2-month-old daughter of Peterra Richburg, a senior majoring in elementary education and a student in Reed’s class.


The father of a 2-year-old child, Reed said, “As a parent, I think I have always had a healthy expectation that ‘my community is going to help me raise this child, right?’ I feel it would be rather hypocritical of me to not be willing to turn around and help another parent who needs a little love and compassion in the moment.”

Reed said he is very fortunate to be a faculty member at Lander and to be a member of the Lander community.

“I am not a unique Lander professor who goes out of their way to accommodate students. In fact, I am not even the first of my colleagues in the mathematics department to go viral for holding a student’s baby and continuing to teach,” he said.


“Dr. Reed said that I can bring Aria back any time,” Richburg said. “I’m not sure when that will be, but maybe on a day when I’m not student teaching.”

And in another 18 years or so, maybe Aria can be a Lander Bearcat, too.

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