Retired English teacher sets up outdoor tutoring to help students in Chesapeake neighborhood

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Tim Weston taught middle school English in Portsmouth for over a decade.

He closed his last textbook four years ago — or so he thought.

When he caught wind of the struggles families and teachers were facing with online classes during the pandemic, a light bulb went off.

“Just feedback that I’ve gotten from kids and colleagues, teachers, it ain’t easy. It ain’t easy. So I said fine, I’ll be a resource,” said Weston.

Now, if you drive through Plantation Lakes Circle in Chesapeake between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., you’ll see Weston’s outdoor tutoring setup. He’s got a little bit of everything from old textbooks to comic books; anything to get kids excited about English.

“They’ve got very qualified and dedicated teachers, but I figure it’s got to be tough raising your hand on Zoom and getting called on. If you’re not called on, write your question down. If you have time in the morning, have [a] parent come by, they can bring me the question. I got the resources here. If I don’t know it off the top of my head, we’ll look it up,” said Weston.

He says not many people have taken advantage of his help since he started last week — but he just wants the community to know he’s there if they need him.

Although his help is free, Weston says he gets something out of it too. It helps him fill that empty space in his heart that leaving teaching created.

“Get that warm and fuzzy — it is about the kids, it allows me to come out and talk like I used to. If I get some kids in front of me that will brighten up my whole day too,” he added.

Weston hopes sharing his efforts will inspire more retired educators of other subjects to do the same — because he says quite frankly, he’s not the best at math.

Weston will be out there Monday through Friday except in the case of inclement weather. He says he’ll be there for the foreseeable future.

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