NewsNational News


88-year-old math tutor helping students worldwide during pandemic

Delores Spencer.png
Posted at 1:19 PM, Feb 25, 2021

HAMPTON, Va. - Some students are getting ready to return to classrooms after spending much of the pandemic learning from home.

Throughout this time, one longtime Hampton Roads math teacher and tutor has stepped up to the plate to help families around the world.

“It's been a wonderful experience to reach out to so many people,” Delores Spencer told News 3. “If I teach you how to do it, you can do it just as well as I can.”

Spencer has taught and tutored math for nearly seven decades.

“It's so great when you see the light come on in their mind [and] they say, 'Oh!' And that's [when] they got it,” she said.

“We just try to simplify it,” Spencer’s godson, John Wilson III, said. “I often call it, 'math made simple.'”

Now, a viral tutor at 88 years old, age is just a number.

“You retire when you can't do anything else,” Spencer said.

News 3 first met Mrs. Spencer last May, tutoring on Facebook Live for free every Tuesday night as the pandemic came into the equation.

“My thing is emphasizing and understanding the concepts, because that's what transferable when you go to another level,” she said.

She and Wilson said since then, the numbers keep adding up.

“I’ve had students from everywhere,” Spencer said. “All over the United States, and even the Bahamas.”

“We've had over 100,000 views,” Wilson added. “Teachers are sharing this with other teachers who are saying, 'Listen, this woman knows how to teach math.'"

Wilson told News 3 Mrs. Spencer will hold a free Zoom meeting in April to help students and teachers returning to the classroom.

“It is a transitional piece to say now we're moving from our virtual environment, and now we're going to go back to in-person learning,” he said.

To sum things up, Mrs. Spencer doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

“Mrs. Spencer cannot retire until she's 103; that's part of our contract,” Wilson said.

“As long as I can do this - as long as it's helping - I'm really willing to do this,” Spencer added.

This story originally reported by Zak Dahlheimer on