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Chris

Chris is a graduate of Kent State University's Musical Theatre & Honors College programs, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2009. Since then, he has worked extensively as a professional actor in theatre (he's taken a bow with Tom Hanks), film ("Bachelorette" w/Kirsten Dunst), and TV ("Orange Is The New Black," "Blue Bloods," and "The Good Wife" to name a few). Oh, and he's pen pals with Kevin Spacey! Most recently, Chris received a rave review NY Times for his acting work in the stage adaptation of "Tuesdays With Morrie." Offstage & screen, Chris enjoys reading, writing, travel, food, chess, music, swimming, & spending time with his 1-year-old son.

Chris's teaching philosophy is the same one he uses to approach his acting career: "You must always be willing to be the student." In other words: What is your objective? How badly do you want it? What do you need to do (or LEARN to do) to accomplish your objective successfully? Whether approaching a role, a career, or even an ACT test, there is an understandable, achievable objective which you can fulfill. He strives to create engaging and challenging learning environments for his students and firmly believes in the ability to strategize personal, professional, and academic success.

Chris has 10 years of experience coaching & teaching. Alumni of his acting studio include current undergrads at NYU as well as graduate students at the prestigious Columbia University in New York City.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Kent State University - Bachelors, Musical Theater

ACT Reading: 31

Books, Movies, TV, Travel, Food, Chess, Swimming

What is your teaching philosophy?

Socratic method! I am not going to give you the answer. I am going to work with you and ask you questions to make sure you understand concepts. This will give you the tools you need to succeed when I'm not around.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Get to know you. I gotta know if you want to be there or not, right? Do you like school? Learning? O, are you suffering through and hate it? What do you like? What motivates YOU?

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Patience and persistence. I believe you CAN learn the necessary skills for success. I also understand that everyone has different strengths. We'll find the best way that works for YOU.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I am your #1 fan. I get it -- this school stuff can be tough. But part of being an awesome tutor is being a cheerleader. I'm here to cheer you on!

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Let's go back to the last thing you are 100% sure you know. How do we build from there? Where did I lose you? Let's find a new way to understand it together -- one that will give you confidence. Sometimes, it may come down to simple repetition. Other times, we may need to spend a little more time on it so you can move on to the next skill/concept.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Break the passage down. Let's go sentence by sentence. Stop with each sentence. Ask questions. Prompt thinking.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I need a baseline assessment from them. Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Show me what you know. How do you feel about it? I can evaluate from there, and then we can build. I, as a tutor, need to be honest, open, and trustworthy -- I believe this shows the student that I'm human too and learning will be achievable. If it helps to talk about some of my own strengths and weaknesses in order to help them open up, then I do.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Ideally, it would be to find a bridge. How can I find a way that it relates to what they DO care about? Usually simple things can work. "I hate math," a student says. I could respond with, "Sure. But do you like money? What do you think math is?"

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

First, repetition. Drilling can work quite well. Then, we rest it (briefly) and return to the concept. And I have YOU teach it to me. When you can put it into language, then I know you understand it.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Show 'em you have faith in them. I think faith takes time and patience. You have to stay motivated for them.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Keen observation. It's my job to be paying attention to you. If you need me to create some extra practice problems, then I will. If you need more time with a concept, then we will spend time there.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

By meeting each individual student at his/her own individual level. Some will require a very detailed explanation. Some may only be missing a single piece, which, once they have, solves the whole puzzle for them.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Calculator, scratch paper, pen/pencil. Practice tests and questions.