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‘Dedication Personified’: 89-Year-Old Retired Virginia Teacher Becomes Viral Sensation After Virtual Tutoring Lessons Go International

Attending school virtually has not been easy. However, a retired Virginia schoolteacher is doing her part to make it a little less challenging and has since gone viral, “Good Morning America” recently reported

Eighty-nine-year-old Delores Spencer has been an educator in Newport News, Virginia, since 1958, and after more than three decades of teaching, she retired from the school system in 1991. However, she refused to let go of her passion for teaching and started tutoring in an after-school program for the past 20 years.

Spencer saw a real opportunity to help students at the height of the pandemic when in-person learning at schools was canceled nationwide and students were forced to learn from home.

With the help of her godson, she created a unique way to help students learn virtually on Facebook with “Mrs. Spencer’s Math Lab.” The veteran teacher told WGRZ that she was inspired to take her teaching talents to social media after realizing parents were struggling to teach their kids math. She added, “Most parents have the attitude of, ‘Well, I didn’t do well in math, and it’s all so different now.'”

Spencer’s approach to learning includes breakdowns of mathematical formulas and positive affirmations such as “I can do this” and “Fractions are your friends” — a sentiment she’s often heard saying in one of her many viral tutoring videos. 

The virtual class on Facebook is free and has been viewed by students and parents both in the United States and in various countries worldwide. She even offers one-on-one sessions, telling the outlet, “I just wanted to really help students get over that fear of math. So many parents and students have fear of mathematics.”

Spencer understands how finances could be strained, especially during the ongoing pandemic. She told “GMA” she wanted to help people who couldn’t afford tutoring during these difficult times but needed it. She added, “If I can find out what blocks you, then I can remove that block, and usually you don’t need me anymore until you get to another block. And so that’s what real tutoring is about. Sometimes you tutor a student all the way through a course. But most of the time, you move the block, and they come back when they need you again. And that’s what you really want.”

The math teacher has gotten high praise from others on social media, including one Twitter user who described the educator as “dedication personified.”

“Now THAT’S a teacher. And, she has such a kind face and welcoming vibe to her. I’d bet she’s excellent at what she does,” wrote another. 

A third commented, “Bc when ur an amazing person, you can’t just turn it off.” They added, “You just keep doing what you do. What an awesome lady.”

“Mrs. Spencer’s Math Lab” takes place every Tuesday on Facebook Live at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. 

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