Nonprofit professional with over two decades of tutoring experience who believes that although standardized tests might not be fun, preparing for them can be. I build confidence through humanity and humor.
24 Years Tutoring
Chris is– nope, I’m not going to write about myself in the third person. I’ve always taken the road less travelled – sometimes literally, like the time in 2003 when I let a virtual stranger take me on a day trip to Bosnia.
But you’re reading this to assess my tutoring chops. Math has always come easy to me: even as a college freshman, I tutored my peers in Calculus. But just because you know something, doesn’t mean you can teach it effectively. It was through these early tutoring experiences that I realized my life’s calling: building confidence in others using my unique combination of humanity and humor. I’ve even been formally trained in how to be funny, as I completed an Improv course at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.
So, 24 years ago, I began helping others overcome math anxiety. After I graduated, I saw an ad for a tutoring company seeking Ivy League graduates. I am not an Ivy League graduate. That did not stop me from applying. And, well, I eventually became the longest tenured tutor at the company.
Back to that road less travelled. Having a degree in economics, I could have followed the obvious career path: a job on Wall Street. But that calling – building confidence in others – led me to a nonprofit organization that builds financial confidence in others. Over ten years as a financial counselor, I met with over 7000 people and helped them get out of debt and reach their financial goals. Since 2010, I’ve been crafting learning experiences around money. My classroom has taken different forms over the years: everywhere from a homeless shelter to an FBI Field Office. These days, I produce a podcast with over 25,000 downloads that features inspirational stories of people achieving financial success.
I meet my students where they’re at—whether they’re a fun-loving 4th grader with a penchant for climbing on furniture or a working professional with a budding music career. Some of my students are very independently motivated; others have various learning differences. In all cases, I get the best out of my students and foster a supportive environment.
I recall working with a student who had shuffled through six tutors before me. She was struggling mightily on the SAT essay but wound up unlocking her writing talent. Another student overcame a significant learning difference to boost his ACT score from 24 to 31. Of course, a test score is just a number, but I love sharing in the joy of a student and parent reveling in an acceptance to a school they previously thought was out of reach.
As for my other interests, I’m also a longtime volunteer wish granter with the Make a Wish Foundation. I enjoy tennis, yoga, and cooking healthy (yet delicious) treats. I live in Nyack, New York with my wife and our dog, Apple. The three of us share passions for cheese and long walks in nature.