92-Year-Old Retired Teacher Inspires with 38-Year Career and Love for Learning
Vida Day, a 92-year-old retired teacher, has recently garnered attention for her remarkable 38-year career in education and her unwavering passion for learning. Her story is one of resilience, determination, and a genuine love for teaching.
Day’s journey began in a rural one-room schoolhouse, where she found herself one grade ahead before even setting foot in the classroom. Her eagerness to learn and her early reading skills propelled her towards her dream of becoming a teacher.
Retiring from the Little Rock School District in 1989, Day continued to share her knowledge and skills by teaching part-time at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and tutoring students in math. Even in her retirement years, she remained dedicated to her true calling.
Day’s desire to become a teacher was instilled in her at a young age. When her sister started school, Day’s father acquired books for her so she could join in the learning process. Raised by her father after the death of her mother, Day and her siblings were fortunate to have a strong and devoted parent who doubled as a minister and farmer to support them.
At the age of five, Day’s sister’s teacher recognized her academic abilities and invited her to start first grade a year early. Day’s exceptional spelling skills won her a spelling bee, ultimately leading to her advancement to second grade at the mere age of six. Although she moved to a different school the following year, it was in fourth grade that Day flourished academically, citing it as the best thing that ever happened to her.
High school further solidified Day’s passion for teaching when she worked with a third-grade class during her study hall periods. Her experiences reinforced her desire to pursue a career in education, and she wasted no time in attending college. Graduating from Arkansas State Teachers College, now the University of Central Arkansas, Day managed to complete her bachelor’s degree debt-free.
Day’s teaching career began in Brinkley before she relocated to Westside Junior High School in 1951. From there, she went on to teach at Central High School. When Parkview High School opened its doors in 1968, Day joined the faculty. Despite briefly transitioning into an assistant principal role, her heart remained in teaching, and she continued to teach math classes for several years.
Throughout her career, Day’s determination to expand her knowledge led her to explore various opportunities. She was the recipient of a Shell scholarship, which enabled her to study computer science at Stanford University. Day’s expertise in teaching algebra earned her master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas and Central Michigan University.
In addition to her commitment to education, Day also had a thirst for adventure. During summer breaks, she embarked on backpacking trips to Europe and even climbed Mount Fuji in her 80s. Her travels extended to Japan, Hiroshima, and Glacier Park. Day cherished the cultural experiences and the opportunity to learn about people from across the globe.
In 2013, Day journeyed to China with her brother, who unfortunately fell ill during the trip. She stayed by his side for four weeks while he received treatment in a hospital. During her time there, Day learned about the one-child policy and gained valuable insights into the lives of the Chinese people.
After retiring completely, Day continued to share her passion for teaching by training math teachers at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Additionally, she tutored children at Brady Elementary and volunteered in an after-school program at the Church at Rock Creek. Day’s love for learning and her dedication to helping others remained constants in her life.
Now in her 90s, Day enjoys reading historical fiction, solving puzzles, and avidly following the Razorbacks. She cherishes the friendships she has cultivated over the years, whether through teaching, church, or volunteering.
Vida Day’s admirable career and her everlasting thirst for knowledge serve as an inspiration to those around her. Her love for teaching and commitment to learning have touched the lives of countless students throughout her 38-year tenure. Day’s passion for education and her adventurous spirit have undoubtedly left a lasting impact on all those she has encountered.