Mama Professor

To the Struggling Single Mom in My Night Class


Let me start off by saying, I am so glad you’re here. School is a tough goal. It will be even tougher for you, and I have no doubt that you are fully aware of the workload and the sacrifices involved. From where I’m standing, at the board, I see you undertaking school, scrambling to work your jobs, and always making sure your kids are cared for.

I’m impressed. I’m rooting for you, and I know a number of other professors who feel the same way.

As we start our semester, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a little about my policies. You won’t find this particular set of policies on the syllabus, since these only apply to my experience with the needs of the single mom student.

  • Yes, you can answer your phone and run out the door with it in the middle of class.

I’m not an unfeeling machine who will assume your call is about something shallow and, therefore, a needless interruption of class time and my teaching.

I assume it is important. I assume you are listening to the voice of a child, a caregiver, or one of the schedulers of your two part-time jobs.

  • Speaking of part-time jobs- you have to leave early on Tuesday? Because they changed your schedule again, and they don’t seem to care that you have class at that time? And I’m supposed to believe that?

I absolutely believe that.

I suggest tag-teaming for the notes you’ll miss with the other single mom in the second row. She will probably be in the same boat at least once this semester.

  • Oh, and around midterms, when everyone is absolutely dissolving into puddles of mucus from some type of plague, and you are firmly in your seat coughing, wheezing, and going through the large box of Puffs Plus you brought to class, I don’t want you to pop three Dayquil and tough it out.

Humans don’t learn under those circumstances, and I 100% understand that you already used your allowed absences on someone else’s sick days. You spent those “days off” wiping someone else’s nose, and now don’t have any allowances left for yourself.

Go home. You heard me. We will figure something out.

My school is a good school. It’s a caring place. We have policies for extra consideration for all sorts of populations, from our first-time college students, to our veteran students, to our disabled students, and more. I see no reason why a hardworking single mom like you shouldn’t also receive our consideration.

Don’t forget- there are teachers like me rooting for you.


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