The coronavirus pandemic has changed so many things about our way of life, and people of all ages are being affected by these changes. With many schools having shut down due to the outbreak, kids are having to get used to the concept of remote learning, often being emailed tasks by their teachers or taking part in video classes on their computers.
It can be a difficult thing to adjust to, especially when kids are used to being in a classroom, able to raise their hand and ask their teacher for help.
When a teacher isn’t physically around and students don’t have any classmates by their side to help guide them through a problem or show them how something works, it can be difficult to figure things out. 12-year-old Rylee Anderson of South Dakota found herself in that exact situation recently.
Rylee was struggling with a particular problem in her math homework related to algebra. We’ve all been there, Riley!
Since the school was closed, Rylee’s teacher, Chris Waba, had emailed the homework over and asked the kids to work on it.
Usually, she would have asked her parents for a little assistance, but they were both out at the time and weren’t exactly algebra experts anyway. So Rylee did the only thing she could: she emailed her teacher and asked him for help.
Chris replied with some written instructions to try and guide Rylee through the problem, but he could see that she was still struggling to understand.
Fortunately, Chris lives right down the street from Riley, so he decided to go above and beyond the call of duty, stepping out of his house with a whiteboard in hand and walking down the street towards Rylee’s house, respecting the rules of social distancing along the way.
When he got there, he sat down in front of the screen door and set up his whiteboard, giving Rylee a 10 minute, face-to-face math lesson and helping her finally solve the problem that had been bothering her.
In an interview with CNN, Chris revealed:
I’m a better communicator face-to-face than [on] the telephone and I think students learn better that way. Teachers all across the nation have been thrown into a situation like this. I think we’re all more comfortable being in front of our classes and that’s where we’d rather be.
My 6th grader emailed her math teacher for some help, so he came over & worked through the problem with her on our front porch. @Chriswaba9 , our neighbor, MMS teacher & MHS Wrestling Coach. #KidsFirst @MadisonMSNews @MarkOsports @dakotasportsnow @dakotanews_now @stwalter20 pic.twitter.com/aniqt2goPB
— Josh Anderson (@DakSt8Football) March 27, 2020
Of course, Chris made sure to remain well back from the door and avoided any physical contact with Rylee in order to keep both of them safe while carrying out his emergency lesson, and when he saw that she’d understood, he picked up the board and headed back home.
But before he walked away, Chris was captured on camera by Rylee’s dad, Josh Anderson, who shared the story and image on Twitter.
The tweet has received plenty of likes and comments, with some calling Chris a hero for the dedication he showed to his work. In response, he simply said that it was all a part of the job:
That’s what teachers are looking for, those smiles. That’s the joy of being a teacher and that’s what we do it for.
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