Bruce Johnson is a physics professor at Arkansas State University. This picture went viral in 2018 when one of his students, Kristen Black, posted the picture on social media. The student had a daycare conflict and Bruce just told her to bring the child to class. “This actually happened about two weeks ago,” Johnson said. “I just couldn’t resist her disarming smile and her little arms reaching out to me. So I asked her mother if I could pick her up. I hope that no parent ever feels like a classroom is an unfriendly place for their kids,” Johnson said.

Beyond being just touched by this story and picture, does it also provide us with incentive to truly support our students recognizing their contexts and responding to their explicit and implicit calls for assistance in ways beyond helping with homework? Many students tell of their gratitude for teachers who think of them as whole human beings, not just as math or social studies students. In face to face interviews, students reflect on their favorite teachers by talking about their willingness to be there for them during difficult personal struggles.

Lausanne Learning offers this spotlight to continue to highlight the importance and impact of the student teacher relationship in and out of the classroom!