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Math teacher steps out of retirement and into the virtual classroom during pandemic

88-year-old Delores Spencer left retirement to start hosting Zoom and Facebook live math tutorials because she heard parents were struggling.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Delores Spencer, now 88-years young, is a retired mathematics teacher. 

She started teaching in Newport News in 1958 and retired from the school system 29 years ago, but that hasn't stopped her from tutoring math on a regular basis. 

Due to the coronavirus outbreak cancelling in-school classes, Delores knew she wanted to still help students with their homework.

So, she and her godson came up with the idea of teaching virtually on Facebook Live. 

"I came up with the idea because I realized that parents are struggling trying to teach their children math. Most parents have the attitude of, 'Well I didn't do well in math and it's all so different now,''' said Spencer.

Delores tries to relate to her students and uses that approach in her teaching, choosing topics like division, fractions and algebra, which most students have difficulty learning. 

The feedback from her Facebook Live tutorials and Zoom tutoring sessions has been overwhelmingly positive. She's received a lot of praise from viewers. 

"This is my fifth week and I have over 9,000 people that have looked at my videos. The response from the students and parents have been so encouraging that I may keep this going after the pandemic calms down and is over," Spencer said.  

Don't let a number fool you. For those who wonder about this Hampton University graduate's motives, Delores says it's her passion for mathematics that keeps her going.

For more information on Mrs. Spencer's virtual teaching, click here.

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