Guy Manuel Adopts Business Tactics in Classroom Setting
It takes a certain education-hungry mind to acquire their Ph.D from MIT, followed by an MBA from Harvard, and still decide there’s more to learn. Or, for longtime management-consultant Guy Manuel, a desire to apply his decades of experience in a different environment: the classroom. That’s why, in 2010, after 22 years in the business world, Manuel pursued—and recently completed—his Masters in Mathematics Education at Touro.
“I wanted to get out and do something a little more meaningful,” the 53-year-old French émigré remembers. “The big advantage of the [Touro] program is that you get exposure to a whole range of subjects you might not be really familiar with. It made me think about all the issues you might encounter as a teacher, like class management, differentiating instruction, standards, how to devise the right tests. Without experience, these aren’t things you’d think about in the normal course of the day.”
Even though Manuel, who now teaches Calculus, Pre-Calculus and Advanced Algebra at the prestigious Dalton School in Manhattan—the borough where he also resides—was used to a corporate atmosphere, he found the challenges were fairly parallel. “As in consulting in the real world, teaching is still trying to explain somewhat complex concepts and break them down in a way that most people can understand,” he says. “This is where my own background in math is helping in trying to really understand what students need to know so they can move forward.”
The transition into academics has also been humbling for the well-studied Frenchman-cum-New Yorker. As he puts it, “I’m always learning about new ways that students make mistakes or have misunderstandings. You can teach something, you can break a problem down, but without experience, you don’t think of all the possible different interpretations.” Far as maintaining patience while often reinforcing basic, elementary ideas, he credits his time at Touro for being able to “try out new things in a risk-free environment.”
Of course, there’s no limit to just how many degrees and certifications an ambitious individual can acquire. As for Manuel, he laughs and opines, “This might be my last re-invention, but we’ll see.”