We talk a lot about the transformative power of reciprocity between a student and tutor (learning coach!). It’s something we believe in at our core, and so we’re always thrilled to hear success stories from our clients. Of course, no one’s learning journey is going to be the same, but this week, we’re excited to bring you a recent success story.

Meet Jackie. Jackie’s high-school-aged son, Todd* had always been a confident math student, so it was a puzzle when he began to struggle with Algebra 2 this year. It just wasn’t “clicking” the way it usually did. Worse than his slipping math grades, Todd’s confidence began to flounder as well. Maybe he wasn’t as good at math as he’d always thought? The doubt began to seep into his work in other classes.

Having worked as a learning coach herself for four years, Jackie had the knowledge and educational tools to tutor Todd herself, yet she knew he would do better with an tutor who wasn’t also his mom. Aiming to get him the support he needed, and save her own energies for all of the other work of being a mom, Jackie arranged for Todd to start working with Gabriela, one of our star math and science tutors.

“Right away, after the first meeting, Gabriela reassured us that he was in fact a good math student…a lot of the concepts that she was working on with him he was getting fairly quickly. He was able to do the work.” By communicating directly with the teacher, Gabriela was able to coach Todd through particular concepts he’d be tested on, and close the gap between the abilities he demonstrated with her, and his performance in the classroom. In addition, as Gabriela was well-versed in other subjects, so if Todd had a question about his chemistry homework, for example, he had someone to go to. “That’s been very nice—to work with somebody you can confidently, really call your learning coach!”

Pretty soon, Todd had not only regained his footing in math, but he began performing better in his other classes as well. His grades picked up across the board, and his increased confidence began to show in his demeanor. “Once you’re doing well in a content area that you should feel confident in, obviously that’s going to overflow into the other areas as well,” reflects Jackie.

As a seasoned Learning Coach herself, Jackie was inspired by Gabriela’s ”ability to grab onto the positiveness of the students. To be able to find the thing they’re good at and pull that out. To really build on that confidence.” Todd will continue to work with Gabriela for the remainder of the school year. We hope he’ll carry that confidence with him for life, understanding, too, that stumbling blocks are just part of the journey; they can be an opening for growth. Sometimes asking for help is the strongest choice we can make.

*Jackie and Todd’s names have been changed