As school gets back in session, chess clubs and after school programs do, too! If you're a chess instructor, it's important to get off to a good start and open the school year up for success early on. Here are five tips you'll want to remember as you teach:
When working with kids, it is important to learn their names. Learning a student’s name is the most basic level of verbal respect that can be given and helps set up a positive behavior dynamic. Knowing names of the good chess players and the ill-behaved is not enough: learn all their names!
Have a plan. It is not generally a good idea to
enter a classroom with a rigid syllabus. Instead, begin with a syllabus and
adjust it for the pace of the class. It is better to have a philosophy about
teaching than it is to rely on a syllabus.
When dealing with parents, encourage them to
have a growth mindset when dealing with losses.
Asking their child “Did you
notate?” is much better than “Did you win?” It is better to encourage learnable
skills than subjective outcomes.
Early on, it is better to give players skills
for success at early stages of the game than it is to give them lots of
openings to remember.
Openings are only useful if your opponent plays a line
you know. Therefore, thorough understanding of opening principles backed up
with examples is best.
Understand student behavior is often due to
circumstances outside of the chess class.
Always show empathy for students.
Your understanding will go a long way to gaining their respect. This is
critical to your success as a coach.
We all know chess has many benefits as well as being fun, so don't forget to enjoy the game with the kids so they'll learn to enjoy the game, too!
In addition to the tips above, here are some recommendations for books, software, and chess equipment you might want to consider for your club!
- Beginner's Gear with Combo - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-sets/plastic-chess-sets/beginners-chess-gear-combo-with-clock
- Quality Starter Chess Set Combo - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-sets/plastic-chess-sets/quality-starter-chess-set-combo
- UCA Club Deluxe Starter Set - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-sets/plastic-chess-sets/uca-club-deluxe-starter-set
- UCA Club Basic Starter Set - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-sets/plastic-chess-sets/uca-club-basic-starter-set
- Chess Fundamentals (Capablanca) - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-books/chess-strategy-books/chess-fundamentals-algebraic
- Winning Chess Strategy for Kids - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-books/chess-strategy-books/winning-chess-strategy-for-kids
- Winning Chess Exercises for Kids - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-books/chess-for-beginners/winning-chess-exercises-for-kids
- Chess Strategy Workbook - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-books/chess-strategy-books/chess-strategy-workbook-a-blueprint-for-developing-the-best-plan
- Chess Workbook for Children - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-books/chess-for-beginners/chess-workbook-for-children
- WinTD - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-software/chess-tournament-software/wintd-chess-tournament-pairing-management-software
- Learn to Play Chess wwith Fritz & Chesster - Vols 1-3:
- Chess Tactics ART for Beginners - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-software/chess-software-for-beginners/ct-art-for-beginners
- Chess: From Beginner to Club Player (download only) - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-software/chess-opening-software/chess-from-beginner-to-club-player-download
- Chess Mentor 3 Scholastic Edition - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/sale/sale/chess-mentor-3-scholastic-edition
- Chess for Beginners: Elementary Checkmates I - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-software/chess-endgame-software/chess-for-beginners-elementary-checkmates-i
- Chess King Standard - https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-software/chess-playing-software/chess-king-standard