Michael Waxman has been a professor in the Natural Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin-Superior for well over two decades. Now in his 26th year of teaching, Waxman was confronted by the realities of the Russian-Ukrainian war. “It just broke my heart. I wanted to do something to help those kids,” said Waxman.
Waxman started an academic service for Ukrainian children displaced by the war called “Tutoring Without Borders.” Waxman isn’t a rich man, so he decided to use his knowledge to teach children in need a little something.
Waxman is from Siberia, Russia. He has no direct ties to Ukraine, but he wanted to change that. He didn’t always know he wanted to be a teacher, let alone teach Ukrainian children.
Teaching came later in his life. As a kid, Waxman always dreamed of becoming a scientist.
As far as the tutoring goes, it has gone very well. Waxman helps tutor a group of ninth and tenth graders general chemistry, algebra, and basic physics. It has lasted about half a year now. Students don’t necessarily get a diploma or certificate for attending, but they do get to learn and get some sense of normalcy out of it. At least, that is what Waxman hopes.
“It’s hard to learn much more about yourself after 30 years,” Waxman said. He almost never taught 15-year-old kids before this, so the whole process is very new to him. Waxman has learned to be gentler with younger teens, especially since they find themselves in such difficult circumstances.