Professor holds baby during lecture so mom can take notes

HOUSTON (KTRK/CNN) - A Texas Southern University professor is getting major kudos for the kindness he showed to one of his students.

Ebony Greenfield is pursuing a masters degree while juggling the duties of being a full-time mom. She says she's getting that degree for the benefit of her 1-month-old son, Carter.

Greenfield thought she'd be able to handle the semester and had already registered for classes. Carter had other plans and came into this world months early.

"But at 20 weeks I was having contractions," Greenfield said. "They were every three to five minutes apart, and the doctors wanted me to go and give birth to him."

An early arrival meant a new dilemma for Greenfield.

"The teachers don't say, you just know don't bring your kids to class," Greenfield said. "I think it's just kind of a thing, you just know you don't bring your kids to class."

After waiting weeks to jump back in to her studies, Greenfield decided to take Carter to a film writing lecture.

"It was like ok I've had the baby I can go back," Greenfield said. "Yesterday, I was like, 'You know what? I'm going to go.'"

Not only did Dr. Tyrone Dixon allow her to bring her baby to class, he even held the child during the lecture so she could take notes.

"I was amazed. Are you serious? This doesn't happen. Teachers don't hold kids but he did," Greenfield said.

Dixon cradled Carter in his arms and the lesson went on.

"I just had to hold that baby and give her an opportunity to take in what we were talking about," he said.

He said educators need to lift up their students.

"What that says to me, they're determined. They're focused. They're ready to get it by any means necessary. I feel like it's my duty to support that," Dixon said.

It's a small act of kindness that will having a last impact.

"I actually went home and cried. I was full of joy," Greenfield said.

Dixon said teachers should keep an open mind about their students' life circumstances and look for ways to reach them.

Copyright 2019 KTRK via CNN. All rights reserved.