At first I was skeptical about all these positive reviews, I mean, the reviewers almost unanimously award 5 stars and were overly enthusiastic. It sounded too good to be true! My feeling didn't improve as the first session I booked with Valeriy through their website last January 2010, having paid via Paypal, ran into some difficulties-- weather was bad one time, Valeriy was sick another, that it led to a couple weekend cancellations. My expectations were pretty low at this point but at least I'd paid only for one 60 minute session and was willing to write up the loss. A couple weeks after that first booking, I had my first session with Valeriy and from the very first minute, I was aware being in the hands of a master. Valeriy's tone and manner of speaking is calculated to put you at ease and soothe your nerves while he immediately directed me to go to the Belt Parkway and face the fear of highway driving. As a 40+ year old male who'd last driven over 20 years ago in my home country for a few times (and very unsafely I must add), I realized I had a lot of unlearning to do. In some ways, it's a little more difficult than learning from scratch because of the "cultural conditioning" observing driving behavior back home. Valeriy is an expert in zeroing in on bad behavior and, to this day, his voice rings mantra-like in my ear. Whereas others might've thought parallel parking the most difficult technique to learn with me, it had to do with other things. For example, in my country, if you make a broken U turn, you better get out of the way as quickly as possible as everyone else drives aggressively. That led me to "prepare the wheel" before shifting to reverse. While that doesn't sound too dangerous, the fact that I did this hastily often caused me to overlook checking for incoming traffic on my right. Valeriy noticed this immediately and corrected it at the source-- after turning towards the curb, don't rush, shift to reverse *then* turn the wheel, look both ways and back, then back up, look both ways again (the part I often forgot) then turn in and go forward. I had a few more bad habits and Valeriy would always point them out. Especially helpful was the "driving simulations" he'd do and throughout the next five sessions we did, I watched my score go down from the grossly failing 90 all the way to the "barely passing" score of 30. That was the "simulated" last score I had before my road test and Valeriy wasn't entirely pleased but schedule-wise, the die was cast and the road-test had to be done. So last April 1st, 2010, Valeriy picked me up to go to Staten Island and I took the exam. While the examiner sat with me in the car, I tried to remember Valeriy's presence and it had a calming effect on me. But this was all up to me now. I knew the areas where I had problems with and managed to avoid them, e.g. passing a Fedex truck that was double parked on a two-lane street and my usual trouble with the broken U turn. I aced the parallel parking (using Valeriy's technique-- best to learn this from him!) and it posed no trouble at all. When the road test ended, the examiner told me I had passed but the receipt he gave me had dinged me for one mistake. Coming out the car, Valeriy approached me with a huge smile on his face and said congratulations. I said the results weren't perfect and he said-- remember he wasn't in the car with us and couldn't have seen it-- "yeah, you make short turn."-- and sure enough, my error was "Poor judgment - Turning." On the ride home, I tried to remember the reasons why it took me so long to get over the essential skill of learning how to drive. Unlike a teenager who takes driving lessons and only has to deal with "fear," an adult like myself also has a good amount of deeper "shame." It's taken over twenty years for me to rid myself of this baggage and I couldn't have had a better teacher than Valeriy. Thank you
VALERIY THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! On 03/14/2012 I passed my road test on my first attempt Valeriy was my instructor and sometimes I unintentionally tested his patience by doing what he told me not to do. A major challenge for me was parallel parking. It became an issue because I was trying to memorize the turns. Valeriy realized what I was doing and told me that this can't happen and my focus should be to think of the position I would like the rear or front of the car to go in and then turn the wheel accordingly. His advice made the world of a difference as he was spot on. Valeriy is a stickler for driving properly and safely. He brings the simplest mistake to your attention even if he has to repeat himself over and over. With that he reminds you of what you should have done. Ensure that you do as Valeriy says and you will be well on your way to passing your test. Trust his judgment when he tells you whether or not he thinks you are ready for your test. When he felt I was ready he gave me a mock test which I had failed because at that time I was trying to memorize the turns to the parallel park. Before the mock Valeriy explained the point system and when I was through we discussed the points deducted and the reasons. Valeriy and I agreed that my next lesson would be scheduled couple days prior to my test date so that we would focus mainly on my parking. This was done and I was well prepared. Embrace Valeriy's criticisms as you would his praises, because you will receive them both. Valeriy is an excellent and patient instructor! Don't hesitate to call him right away and request his services. You will have no regrets. He will answer all your driving questions. Left Turn Diving School is really Excellent!
I absolutely agree Valeriy is unique Instructor. Left turn driving school has excellent staff however it would be desirable to share my own experience. I have heard to 5 hours a class with instructor Valeriy and he has suggested me to take driving lessons with him but his prices have seemed me very high and I have taken a cheap package with instructor Anastasiya. She was very patient with me and taught me well, thanks. My husband was practicing with me additionally but I did not pass my first road test. I continued to be engaged with Anastasiya and my husband but 4 next attempts to pass the test have not brought to me success. I was in despair and did not know what to do. Finally I have addressed to Valery and we have started to prepare me for the road test. I shall tell to me it was not easy but my driving became better from a lesson to a lesson and I began to understand more nuances at conducting the car. We was simulated the road test many times during every lesson. Valeriy tested me very strictly and thoroughly. After such practice I have understood all the previous mistakes and have passed the actual road test with 5 points off only. I would like to note Valeriy's the highest professionalism. His skill to explain in detail what is a mistake and why and how to avoid it. Valery possesses natural gift to calm. You forget about excitement and fear with him and start to take pleasure in driving the car. My opinion is if you over 30 years old or nervous – Valeriy are your driver instructor! P.S. I have lost plenty of time nerves and money. To pay it is necessary to professionals – it is strongly lowers expenses and reduces time.