Ivy League trained tutor, actor, and coach in test prep, academics, and college counseling
8 Years Tutoring
Over the past decade, Billy Calder has developed a unique, process-oriented tutoring philosophy that inspires his students to maximize their potential and both set and achieve lofty goals. Whether students are looking to boost their performance on standardized tests, craft the perfect personal statement, or develop and maintain sustainable academic success, Billy’s focus on building internal motivation and creating effective habits paves the way for long-term success in the classroom and beyond.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Billy attended Saint Ann’s School, where he developed a passion for theater, Shakespeare, and the classics from an early age. He continued to pursue these interests at Dartmouth College, majoring in Theater and founding an undergraduate Shakespeare company. After Dartmouth, Billy earned his Masters in Acting from Harvard University and the American Repertory Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training.
Billy’s creative pursuits inform his teaching philosophy, and his performance background fuels a dynamic and engaging learning environment. Billy believes that developing a strong tutor-student relationship based on trust and compatibility is the cornerstone of a fruitful and productive tutoring experience, and he strives to foster a personal connection with his students from the first session. Well-versed in improv, clowning, and sketch comedy, Billy aims to balance productive academic work with revitalizing levity, inspiring his students to maintain a positive and energized relationship with their work.
Billy works with students from elementary school all the way through college, guiding them through formative moments and supporting their journeys of self-discovery. Billy is an expert on all middle school, high school, and college entrance exams, as well as many of the College Board’s subject-specific AP exams. Billy is also a gifted writing coach, using his advanced dramatic training to help students express their voices clearly in academic essays, personal statements, and college applications. Finally, Billy’s deep experience with ADHD, dyslexia, executive function challenges, and other specific learning disabilities, along with his compassion and empathy, make him a highly effective academic coach.
Outside of tutoring, Billy loves to spend time with his two young children, Lilac and Milo. His hobbies include watching and playing soccer and hockey (LGR!) and binge-watching Seinfeld. Billy is a voracious reader who tends to read two books at the same time, one fantasy/sci-fi and one literature. Billy studied abroad in both England and Mexico during college, and his MFA program included a 3-month residency at the Moscow Art Theater. He loves to travel; his happy place is a beachside taverna on a Greek island. Billy is also a tea and coffee nerd and can often be found in the kitchen with his apron on, cooking stew or pasta sauce. Billy splits his time between Madison, CT and New York City.
“It is with great pleasure that I write a resounding recommendation for Billy Calder as a tutor for the ACTs and SATs. Billy shepherded two of my children through the labyrinth of the standardized testing process.
My daughter was an excellent student but considered the entire concept of standardized testing as boring, ridiculous and unnecessary. Billy was patient and persistent, keeping her on track and literally dragging her through. Halfway through she shifted from the ACT to the SAT and Billy gracefully and graciously pivoted along with her, helping to give her the support she needed to succeed. She was accepted Early Decision to her first-choice school.
My son was a completely different story. He wasn’t nearly as focused as our daughter, and we were convinced this process was going to be torture. Instead, Billy managed to inspire him to take the process seriously and to make it interesting enough to keep his attention. He did practice tests at home and took several at the testing site all without too much complaining. His scores exceeded our expectations and helped to propel him over the hump and well into the center of the scores needed for his reach schools. He too was accepted ED at a school that we considered a reach before his test scores.
Billy is patient, kind, expert, and well versed on the ever-changing parameters of the different tests. It was a pleasure to work with him and he navigated the emotional and academic pressures of the testing process with grace, good humor and a steady hand.”
“What to expect if you work with Billy Calder: First, he will share his vast knowledge of the science of how the tests work and which test to take (we were unsure), and confidently and calmly recommend an action plan to your teen (who is likely dreading this process). He then shows up to each appointment on time (or early) with a consistently optimistic, patient and kind attitude. Billy encourages and supports and answers texts and is truly rooting for your teen to reach his/her goals. The interest he takes in his clients is appreciated, meaningful and inspiring. Emotions aside, Billy is clearly adept at helping students improve their scores and take tests with confidence.”
“Billy Calder was recommended to us because of his approach and sensitivity toward children of high intelligence with perfectionistic tendencies employed to mask their insecurities. From our first conversation with Billy, he exhibited the qualities of an ideal tutor: kindness, content area knowledge and facility working with preteens. He was able to confront the know-it- all qualities that stood in the way of our child meeting the demands of the SSAT.
It can be very challenging for kids our son’s age to trust their preparation without seeing the outcome as the only relevant part of the tutor’s instruction. Of course, the outcome we hoped for was a significantly improved upon performance on the SSAT; however, we got not only that outcome but also a child with 1) an improved and realistic sense of his capacities, and 2) a confidence in his ability to perform under significant time constraints and make informed guesses that put him in a position to meet the demands of the test.
We feel very fortunate to have met Billy and for our child to have navigated the first of many high stakes situations with the tools to meet task demands without crumbling under expectations.”
“We have twin boys that are distinctly different people and learners. Billy is a perfect fit for our range of needs with his easy going manner, sharp technical skill and experience. He is a deft teacher and motivator and a careful, thoughtful communicator. Billy has an array of intuitive, easy to assimilate test taking strategies and clear illustrations why a standardized test environment is different from the traditional in-class exams. He is a deep listener who offers nuanced and differentiated encouragement and consistent acknowledgment of the progress made and what still remains. He would reiterate the importance of the cumulative benefits of small, focused practice habits as the pathway for the boy’s to realize their aspirations.
We can’t say enough good things about our experience with Billy, we love him and look forward to his help on the PSAT and SAT.”
“Billy Calder worked with my son to prep him for is ACT. He was very conscientious and took a great interest in Justin. Billy Calder was always professional, prompt and very organized. He helped Justin tremendously in prepping him for his ACT. Justin related to him well and liked working with him. He had excellent follow up and after every session he gave me a thorough and very detailed review of what they went over, where Justin needs work, his progress, and what they will be working towards. Justin did very well on the ACT and even worked with him a second time to improve the already excellent score. He achieved even a higher score on the ACT retake. They were able to reach the goals they set out for Justin. I would definitely use him again for tutoring!”
“I highly recommend Billy. He is an excellent tutor who engages and encourages his students to do their very best. My son really enjoyed working with him and learning about how to improve his SAT scores.”
Bachelor of Arts, Theater
Master of Fine Arts, Acting
- ACT, ACT Composite, ACT English, ACT Math, ACT Reading, ACT Science, ACT Writing, Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, American History, AP English Language And Composition, AP English Literature And Composition, AP United States History, AP US History, Arithmetic, Classics, College Admissions, College Application Essays, Creative Writing, Elementary Grammar, Elementary K-6th, Elementary Math, Elementary Reading, Elementary Science, Elementary Vocabulary, English, Essay Editing, European History, Executive Functioning, Expository Writing, French, General AP, General Elementary, General English, General English Language Arts, General History, General Mathematics, General Science, General Social Science, General Test Prep, Geometry, GMAT, Grammar, History and English Essays, Homework Help, Humanities, International Baccalaureate, ISEE, Linear Algebra, Literary Theory, Literature, LL ISEE, LL SSAT, ML ISEE, ML SSAT, Pre-Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Prealgebra, Precalculus, Probability, Proofreading, PSAT, Public Speaking, Reading, SAT, SAT Math, SAT Reading, SAT Verbal, SAT Writing, SHSAT, SHSAT Math, SHSAT Verbal, Social Studies, Spanish, Speech, Spelling, SSAT, SSAT Quantitative, Study Skills, Trigonometry, UL ISEE, UL SSAT, US History, Vocabulary, World History, Writing, Writing Skills Development