Elementary School Teacher Gives Lesson Outside Student’s Home

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. algebra / ˈæl dʒə brə / (n) – a branch of mathematics that uses letters and symbols to represent numbers

    We usually assign the letter “x” to represent an unknown number in algebra.

  2. back and forth / ˈbæk ənˈfɔrθ / (adv) – from one person or place to another

    When I was a child, I moved back and forth between my parents’ and my grandparents’ house.

  3. catch (someone) off guard / kætʃ ɔf gɑrd / (idiom) – to surprise someone by doing something unexpected

    The teacher’s difficult question caught the student off guard.

  4. longtime / ˈlɔŋˌtaɪm / (adj) – having a certain identity for a long period

    The longtime chairman of the company announced his retirement yesterday.

  5. dedication / ˌdɛd ɪˈkeɪ ʃən / (n) – the act of putting effort into one’s work

    After working hard for the project, the company rewarded her for her dedication.


Read the text below.

An elementary school math teacher gave a lesson outside his student’s house while on lockdown.

Madison Middle School teacher Chris Waba received an email from his student, Rylee Anderson, asking about an algebra problem. While they were exchanging emails back and forth, Waba noticed that Anderson had grown frustrated because she was having difficulty understanding the lesson.

He then decided to go to her house and teach her in person. He brought a whiteboard and a marker with him and instructed Anderson to look through her front screen door. Anderson listened and took notes from inside her home as Waba explained the math problem to her.

Waba’s gesture caught Anderson off guard. She was expecting an online video lesson but was shocked when he actually came to her house. Despite feeling shocked, Anderson appreciated what Waba did, saying that he made the lesson easier to understand.

Anderson’s father was the one who encouraged her to reach out to Waba, a longtime friend and neighbor of the family. He said that Waba’s action was not surprising and that the teacher would always do his best to help a student out.

Anderson’s father took a photo of the event and shared it on Twitter, where it has since gone viral. Social media users commended Waba’s dedication, but the teacher insisted that he was just doing his job.

Waba said he realized he was able to achieve his goal when Anderson expressed her appreciation. According to him, seeing that a student is satisfied with a lesson brings joy to teachers.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• If you were a teacher, would you also do what Waba did? Why or why not?
• If you were Anderson, how would you feel about Waba’s gesture? Explain.

Discussion B

• Do you think teachers should always reach out to students in need? Why or why not?
• In what other situations should teachers reach out to a student (e.g. when a student is being bullied)? Discuss.