Wizard of the Month Spotlight - March 2024 - Ryan Molina


Our employee of the month is Ryan Molina from San Jose, California.



Ryan is a dedicated instructor who is well-liked by students and schools. He truly cares about making his classes the best he can, and has tons of creative ideas for new teaching tools. We are so grateful to have him on the Chess Wizards team!


Ryan, 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.


Chek out our interview with Ryan below:


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

I’m Ryan Molina. I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. I currently reside in San Jose, California. I’m going to St Louis, the chess capital of the US. 


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

I've been teaching with Chess Wizards for about 6 months, and counting…


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

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned since I started teaching is that a complex problem or situation doesn’t require a complex solution. Rather, it requires firstly simplification and then solution follows. 


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

The most exciting experience I had as a chess teacher was when a grade 2 student gave me a thank you card last Valentines Day. The card reads: “Thank you teacher Ryan for teaching me chess. I'm now getting better at beating my dad in chess.” 


5.  How do you motivate your students to succeed? 

I just tell them: “Try to have fun in whatever they are doing, regardless of the challenges. Whether it’s in their academic subjects, their homes, when they play outside, chess or other sports, try to enjoy the moment and have fun.” 


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 tomorrow and never worry about money again, I’ll probably be teaching chess to more and more students. 


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

I imagine these handful of students are my own kids. Then everything I plan to do shall fall into place. 


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

About two decades ago, I was a youth volunteer in a slum area in Manila teaching poor street children the beautiful game of chess. 


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

Nothing much. I’m a typical person. 


10. What’s your #1 teaching tip?

Carpe diem, seize the day! 


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

I do long distance running. A full marathon every summer. 


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

If I see a kangaroo and chimpanzee play chess, I’ll watch intently and observe how each play and try to learn from them. I’d think the chimpanzee will prevail - smart beats speed most of the time. 


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

I’d rather watch the Hunger Games. lol. 


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

The flexibility. The opportunity. 

Chess Wizards gave me an opportunity, a platform. I’m able to juggle between my full time work - my main source of income, fulfill my familial duties, and have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the kids I teach chess to.