One 12-year-old, Rylee Anderson from Madison, South Dakota, just couldn’t get the algebra concept of graphing a function. So she emailed her teacher, Chris Waba, to ask for his help.
Waba was more than happy to help, and he emailed Rylee back. When it became clear that she needed more help than he could provide online, he made his way to her house. Luckily, he lives right across the street, so he was there within minutes.
“He made it easier to understand,” Rylee told CNN. “I appreciated him coming over.”
Rylee’s dad, Josh Anderson, who is the head coach of Dakota State University’s football team, shared the moment on Twitter.
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
“The picture just shows the length that which teachers will go to help their students at any cost during these times,” Josh told CNN.
Waba, who has 27 years of teaching at Madison Middle School under his belt, said it was an impulse decision that best-suited his teaching style.
“I’m a better communicator face-to-face than (on) the telephone and I think students learn better that way,” he told CNN. “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.”
By the end of the impromptu porch lesson, which complied with all social distancing rules, Rylee finally understood the algebra concept and rewarded her teacher with a smile.
“That’s what teachers are looking for, those smiles,” Waba said. “That’s the joy of being a teacher and that’s what we do it for.”
President Donald Trump announced on March 29 that social distancing guidelines are going to be extended until April 30, so it’s likely that kids of all ages will be on homeschooling for another few weeks at least. It’s unlikely that Waba will be the last thoughtful teacher to make a house call to a student in need!