Corey Simmons, 42, from New York, had the work on his lap as he travelled on the subway to pick up his son from his grandmother’s house. His son had struggled with fractions in the school test, so Simmons was trying to work out the correct answers himself so he could explain to his son how to solve the problems. But he didn’t get very far.
He mentioned out loud to those around him that his son, who was in third grade (Year 4), had failed his maths test but he couldn’t work out where he had gone wrong. The man sitting to his right asked Simmons what he was studying.
“You look a little confused, maybe I can help,” the man said before explaining to Simmons that he used to be a maths teacher. The exchange was witnessed by a fellow commuter, Denise Wilson, who snapped a photo of the pair and shared it on Facebook.
″[Simmons] asked the guy to quiz him and everything he got wrong or was confused about he broke it down and corrected him,” the onlooker, Wilson, explained on Facebook.
“By the end of my train ride, the guy in the red [Simmons] had a better understanding [of fractions] and can bring home a new method and teach his child. I really love seeing shit like this.”
After Wilson posted it on Facebook, someone who knew Simmons saw it and got in touch to thank her for sharing. The status was shared more than 400,000 times and many parents who are often faced with helping kids with homework could relate to Simmons.
“I know what that feels like,” one woman wrote. “If I only I had a maths teacher next to me every time I’m struggling with my child’s homework! Maths is a killer. What a lovely, lovely man.”
Another person praised the stranger’s kindness, writing: “This is the way it’s supposed to work and how human beings are supposed to interact and help each other. What a wonderful thing to share as a reminder of how we all should treat each other.”