There’s a hint of fall in the air! And it’s time for Chess at Three to announce the Tutor of the Month for September: Clayton! Clayton came to New York to study at NYU, and he graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and a minor in French. Let’s learn more about Clayton!
Where are you from originally?
How long have you worked for Chess at Three?
I’ve worked for Chess at Three since 2018, soon after graduating from school.
What is your favorite fall activity in NYC?
In the fall, I like rock climbing, bike rides in Central Park, and hiding from pumpkin spice.
Favorite chess story from our curriculum?
My favorite story from our chess curriculum is the Secret Missions Trilogy! These stories teach three of the most important fundamentals of chess and have a giant green dragon! Who doesn’t like awesome dragons? I use these same Secret Mission concepts in competitive chess and when I teach older students.
Favorite moment with a student?
I had a young student play in a tournament against a group of 8- to 10-year-olds. It looked like he would lose every single game but he was so focused. In one of the last games, his opponent made a careless move with their queen; my student took it and went on to win the match. When he saw the checkmate at the end, he threw both fists in the air and went “Yes!” I thought I’d just seen Tiger win the Masters…
A favorite online teaching moment?
I once, maybe, kinda, was Darth Vader when my student entered our Zoom meeting and let me tell you… you become a much more focused 5-year-old when dueling a Dark Lord of the Sith in chess.
Your record has proven you’re an amazing tutor, what is your secret?
I make sure I get to know my students and make it as fun and specific to them as possible. It is surprising how quickly a 7-year-old can learn the “Stonewall Setup” opening if you call it the “Minecraft Diamond” opening!
What was the “ah-ha” moment when you realized working for Chess at Three wasn’t just a job but something you loved to do?
Wait… this is a job? (Seriously though, I think seeing my kids improve to win games is seriously awesome. I watched one of my students beat his dad so badly that the dad asked, “Do you teach adults?” That might be an all-time high.)
Thanks Clayton, we’re glad to have you on board!