88-year-old math tutor helping families through social media during pandemic

Delores Spencer.png
Posted at 9:11 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 22:38:08-04

HAMPTON, Va. - The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how children learn in school.

One longtime Hampton Roads math teacher is helping families across the country.

Throughout her life, Delores Spencer has been teaching.

“From a little girl I was teaching, teaching doll babies,” Spencer said. “One of my teachers, one year, was out six weeks after surgery, and I taught the class because the substitute said that she didn't know how to teach algebra, and the class voted me to be the teacher.”

She became a math teacher back in 1956.

After years in the classroom, she does private tutoring.

At 88 years old, age, for her, is just a number.

“I tell people it's 'G, G and G': God, genes and good living,” Spencer said. “Being active make a difference in how you grow old.”

She wanted to help families during the pandemic.

“Parents are homeschooling their children in mathematics,” she said.

She and her godson, John Wilson III, brought her classroom to Facebook Live with "Mrs. Spencer’s Math Lab," tutoring every Tuesday night from her Hampton home.

“I choose topics that students have come to me about, that they're having difficulty with,” Spencer said. “We work together, and we build up together.”

“She breaks it down into small, intelligible pieces,” Wilson added. “She makes you feel that you can do any problem.”

Related: Portsmouth teacher finds ways to connect with students during pandemic

Wilson told News 3 people from as far as California and Washington state have tuned in for Spencer's tutoring.

“We have people from Los Angeles, all throughout the country who are saying, 'We need this, we need more of this and I can understand what she's saying,'" Wilson said.

Spencer doesn't intend on slowing down anytime soon.

“At 100, we'll consider, seriously consider retirement,” Wilson said.

“I'll just do it as long as I can,” Spencer said. “This is just the beginning.”

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