Wizard of the Month Spotlight - June 2023 - Gavin Thompson


Our employee of the month is Gavin Thompson from Connecticut.



Gavin has been a dedicated Wizard with us for almost 6 years! He is a team player who always does a great job with training and maintaining his classes. Gavin excels in the classroom and truly understands what his students need to succeed and grow.


Gavin, thank you for being such an outstanding employee and teacher!


To show our appreciation for your dedication and hard work – please check your email this week for a special gift from us.



Check out our interview with Gavin below:


1. Who are you, where do you come from, where are you going?

Hello I'm Gavin Thompson from Connecticut, and I usually service the Connecticut and New York area. I have also taught in the New Jersey area when needed. 


2. How long have you been teaching with Chess Wizards? 

I've been with Chess Wizards for about 6 years now. 


3. What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started teaching? 

One of the most valuable things I've learned was to scout ahead and get to know your schools; that way you can learn their systems and tendencies and have better chances of the schools being happy with your performance. 


4. What is the most exciting experience you have had while playing or teaching chess? 

The most exciting experience I've had being with Chess Wizards was traveling with my partner to St. Louis Missouri to teach for a week; a class of over 40 kids. We visited the Chess Hall of Fame, and enjoyed some delicious BBQ. This is by far my best memory.


5.  How do you motivate your students to succeed?

I motivate my students to succeed by challenging them and giving each of them encouragement and a chance to play me. 


6.  If you could retire tomorrow and never have to worry about money again, what would you do with your time?

If I could retire today I'd still teach Chess and give meaningful lessons to people about life.


7.  What’s your go-to technique for dealing with ‘handful students’?

My go to teaching technique is teaching compliance, listening skills and call and response. I make sure that the students understand that I'm the most important voice in the room. We don't play chess until they understand who's voice to listen to. 

I find that it's easy for me to get the students' attention because I'm a Giant lol. I'm 6'3 and 350lbs. 


8. What is an unusual place you have been to?

An unusual place I've visited was Tenerife in the Canary Islands. 


9. Do you have a talent that not many people know about? 

When I'm not playing Chess I happen to be an amazing singer. I use my voice and charisma to entertain the students.


10. What’s your #1 teaching tip?

 My number one teaching tip is to get there early the first few weeks and watch personalities and skill sets so that you next know how to help each student be successful. 


11. What is something interesting that you’re involved in, outside of Chess Wizards?

I'm also involved in human services outside of chess wizards. I have my own mentoring company LLC called Illuminating Futures. 


12.  If you saw a kangaroo and a chimpanzee playing chess what would you do? Who do you think would win?

I think a chimpanzee would beat a kangaroo in a chess match.


13.  Star Wars, Star Trek, or they’re both lame?

I like both star wars and star trek but if I could only pick one I'd pick Star Wars.


14. What do you like most about working with Chess Wizards?

What I like most about working for chess wizards is the agreed upon scheduling and the opportunities you can have if you're interested. They work with you and your needs for the most part.