My son Tristan has always had a little bit of trouble adjusting to the learning pace in a classroom environment, but he is more than able to excel above and beyond what is expected of his age group. We signed up for AP calc last year and had a lot of trouble in our first couple months. Tristan began falling behind and dropping down in test scores because he was unable to grasp the methods that the teacher divulged in the short 50 minutes that were allotted for the advanced course. We signed Tristan up in the academic resource center at school with a classmate tutor, but his peers could only reiterate what they had learned from the same set of teachers. When he told me he wanted to drop down to the pre-calc class, which is considered the âstandardâ level for seniors, I realized we had to get serious about devoting some time outside of PALY to get him the help he really needed. He only wanted the AP course on his transcript if it made him more appealing to colleges, and not if it were simply going to weigh down his GPA.
We found Misha online, and things started getting easier after Tristanâs first session. He noted that Misha was able to teach him the same problems with a completely different approach that seemed to just click for him. I was worried that this was going to be a problem with testing because teachers like to see a certain type of work on the paper that corresponds to what is taught in the classroom; the standardized way to solve an equation. I brought this up with Misha and he was very receptive to my concerns. He took the time to explain to my why Tristan benefitted from the style of solving that he was teaching him, which is something that no teacher has taken the time to do with me before. Every kidâs mind works differently, and therefore some concepts that are received well by one student, may be very difficult to grasp for another. There are different ways to visualize problems and Misha was teaching a personalized curriculum to each of his clients; something else that teachers with 30 students donât seem to be doing. I still wanted Tristan to be able to work the problem in the way that his textbook described, so Misha assured me that he would be able to get there with Tristan.
Tristan used the methods that Misha was teaching to conceptually understand the math that he was learning. Misha also taught him how to apply that method that they worked on to what his teacher was using with all of the students. This is really what helped Tristan to keep up in class, and brought value to the time that he spent there as well, instead of just wasting time, confused, until he could get the one-on-one attention that he needed. Tristan can now look at an equation both ways, and choose which path is the most relevant to solve the problem with. This really gave him confidence and the actual drive to sit down and go through with a difficult problem, start to finish; a place I never thought we could reach at the beginning of the year.
I cannot say enough positive praise about Misha. He has worked my son through the most difficult points of his education, and doesnât leave without giving me a snapshot of their progress for the day. Tristan also really seemed to look up to Misha and turned to him for help with college applications, which he was more than happy to help out with. Tristan is off at Santa Clara now, and told me that he still reaches out to Misha when is he is stuck on a problem!! I have Mishaâs personal number, and so does Tristanâ¦ thatâs just the type of tutor he is. Needless to say, I will be sending this tutor a little something extra for Christmas this year.