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  1. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    08 Sep '10 15:28
    I've been offered a job teaching juniors (yippee!!) and i now need to try and prepare material to teach them. We're talking about 10-13 year olds mainly. I could use some tips if anyone has any?
  2. Standard member Thabtos
    I am become Death
    08 Sep '10 16:35
    Spare the rod and spoil the child.
  3. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    08 Sep '10 16:56
    Originally posted by Thabtos
    Spare the rod and spoil the child.
    It's groups of between 10 and 15. I'm not what you'd call a disciplinarian, tbh i would imagine they'd be quite keen seeing as they have chosen to participate rather than being forced...
  4. 08 Sep '10 17:14
    you might find this article from the USCF to be of interest. it's about a chess youth camp for strong 12-to-14 year olds.

    link is http://main.uschess.org/content/view/10654/601
  5. Standard member Thabtos
    I am become Death
    08 Sep '10 17:26 / 1 edit
    First thing you need to do is assess your student's ability. If they don't know basic ideas then there's no point in working on much opening theory. If they already have a lot of ability, then you would waste everyone's time going over simple ideas.

    Do they know how to move the pieces? Correct castling and en passant?

    If so, try to assess their basic knowledge like simple tactics, simple endings like elementary KP, basic rook endings etc., then you'll have a general idea about where to start.

    Encourage their strengths and discourage their weaknesses.


    Keep things fun.
  6. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    08 Sep '10 17:28
    Originally posted by Marinkatomb
    It's groups of between 10 and 15. I'm not what you'd call a disciplinarian, tbh i would imagine they'd be quite keen seeing as they have chosen to participate rather than being forced...
    AThousandYoung could probably give you better advice, but in my very limited teaching experience I find that you have to earn their respect in order to be an effective teacher. Some students will be good listeners who are well-behaved, others will have short attention spans and will talk during the lessons, still others will challenge your authority outright. Each type requires slightly different handling: good kids seek praise, so praise them to encourage their participation; unfocused kids crave entertainment, so pique their interest with fun facts and neat tricks (but don't hesitate to remind them that there's no talking aloud while you're talking); difficult kids come in a lot of varieties, but in general you need to let them know that bad behaviour won't be tolerated - address bad behaviour as it happens, be firm with them, always follow through with your threats of discipline to the letter (make sure you keep your threats effective but reasonable so that you can carry them out without hesitation), and always keep your cool. From the sounds of it, it's unlikely that you'll have any kids in the "bad" category, but it's always good to plan ahead of time how you're going to deal with them.

    As far as what material to teach and how, I think greenpawn34 does a bang-up job in his blogs. He always manages to keep the classics fresh by injecting quite a bit of humour in his analysis, he uses a calculated amount of warm derision to prod the reader (and the butt of the joke!) without being insulting, and he's strong (and quirky) enough to maintain the wow-factor by pointing out missed tactical opportunities along with the elegant irony of most of our common mental blocks. You may not be able to imitate his style exactly (who could?), but his approach is pure gold.

    Good luck and have fun!
  7. 08 Sep '10 19:52
    Hi MarinK.

    Fat Lady is the guy is the lad you want to hear from.
    He been teaching Juniors in England for years and has no doubt a
    long list of do's and dont's.

    (I'm still contact with him. I'll see if I can get him to throw
    some hints your way)

    I'd say enthusiasm is the chief ingrediant. If you can put across your
    love for the game and infect them with that then everything is far easier.

    If you are using a demo board (a must have accessory and now quite cheap).
    Practise on it for an hour or so. Get to know how to use it.

    Know your examples well and inside out.
    Anticipate questions and have a reply ready for where you think
    the questions will come.

    Preparation is very important.
    I've always like using games played by the class or players of
    their class. They too can produce these wee gems we see in books.
    It's the same game, the same rules.

    Don't try to the wing it.
    The class can see the game better than you and if you have to keep
    moving 5 feet back to see what they can see then you will lose them.

    Cannot stress enthusiasm, You have to get that across.
    Of those crowd of kids I had in '82/83. Most are still playing, some are
    running their own clubs, others went onto to become better player than me.
    (That rat Ruxton was one them, wonder where he got that from?).

    I Still get sleged when I meet them.
    "I was a normal kid till I met you, you hooked me on chess."

    I use to take them on field trips to watch a league match in action and
    their first vist to the Edinburgh chess club was a real hook.

    But that was '82/83 you now have to beat the XBOX and Playstation and
    the other 100's of things that I never had to contend with. Good Luck.

    (Hey thanks for the kind words PB. I enjoy what I do, I think that comes
    across more than anything. The instructive points are by accident. )
  8. 08 Sep '10 22:11
    Keep the students busy and try not to be busy yourself.
  9. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    08 Sep '10 23:33
    Originally posted by Marinkatomb
    I've been offered a job teaching juniors (yippee!!) and i now need to try and prepare material to teach them. We're talking about 10-13 year olds mainly. I could use some tips if anyone has any?
    As an assessment tool, you could line them up and have them play a simultaneous exhibition against you. If you write down the moves as you go around the boards, you will be able to see their strengths and weaknesses, and you will have a recorded example against a stronger player (yourself) that you can draw examples from.

    If you see common patterns in the games, then it gives you easy stuff to work on.
  10. 08 Sep '10 23:40
    What are the expectations here? Is this just for fun? Are you going to be taking these kids to competitions?
  11. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    09 Sep '10 12:04
    @tonytiger41: Thanks for that, i think that school is for slightly more advanced players but food for thought, cheers

    @Thabtos: I think i'll leave out teaching them specific openings initially for two reasons. Firstly i don't think my knowledge is advanced enough to give them specific schooling on various lines and secondly i don't think teaching a group how to play the French defence really aids everyone as their individual styles might not suit that opening. I think i'll start with tactics and only cover basic opening principles rather than discussing specific moves and move orders...

    @PBE6: Thanks, i think i'm going to need some luck! I don't think discipline will be too much of an issue, these kids are joining and after school club, not sitting through a normal class in school so hopefully that won't be an issue.

    @greenpawn34: Thanks that's great advice. Some of the kids i will be coaching are actually quite strong already. One of the schools has a lad who plays for England u12's and is graded over 100 bcf already aged 10, so he'll no doubt be beating me pretty soon. I have committed to three schools so far, a couple of primary age so it's literally showing them the rules and getting them to play. There is only one class that will require me to prepare material so i have a little time to get a feel for teaching. Potentially i could be taking two or three different classes a day, 5 days a week if i choose to so i'm going to have to get moving with some lessons!

    @National Master Dale: Most classes are 1 hour long but i think the kids will want to be playing some games in that time so the teaching will be limited to 15-30mins (tops) a lesson. I'll keep that in mind

    @Paul Leggett: While i'd like to think i could beat most of them individually, i'm not sure i'm willing to risk being beaten by all my students. How could i possibly teach them if they gave me a hiding? LOL

    @Eladar: The expectations vary. Basically i'm taking a job with my friends company that goes into different schools and teachers/organises a chess club. Like i said before, a lot of them are very young kids who are just learning to play but there are some classes that have been playing for a few years and are well beyond 'beginner'. These are the ones which require me to stretch them, if anyone has any useful links to materials that would be very useful indeed!
  12. Donation ketchuplover
    G.O.A.T.
    09 Sep '10 16:17
    Perhaps "Chess Exam and Training Guide" by Igor Khmelnitsky and his two other books(one on tactics on one Fischer's games) are what you need. What's the highest current rating of your students? Please convert to USCF rating if possible. Thanks.

    What materials are you currently employing? tia
  13. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    09 Sep '10 17:24
    Originally posted by ketchuplover
    Perhaps "Chess Exam and Training Guide" by Igor Khmelnitsky and his two other books(one on tactics on one Fischer's games) are what you need. What's the highest current rating of your students? Please convert to USCF rating if possible. Thanks.

    What materials are you currently employing? tia
    I haven't started teaching yet so i have no materials at present. The highest graded player i will be teaching is currently about 100bcf which is roughly about 1600 fide, whether there is another conversion from fide to USCF or not, i'm uncertain, but you get the idea...
  14. 10 Sep '10 02:12
    Sounds like you will have a wide range of abilities in your class. What will be useful for your highest rated player will be way beyond most I'd imagine.

    Looks like you are going to need to get a module thing going on. You've got to hit each at the proper level.

    In general, I think end-games would be a great place to start. Be it a queen and rook mate/ King and pawn vs King or perhaps Rook end-games for the more advanced guy. Silman's End Game book has the end games broken down by level. That would probably be a great resource for teaching.

    Hit them where they are at and give them lots of time to practice. Practice, practice, practice. Practice doing it right that is. My knowledge is limited when it comes to chess, but I do have some experience in teaching and coaching. For most people, repetition is key and some of us require more repetition than others.

    But repetiton isn't fun, so you've got to know how to change things up. Good luck.
  15. 20 Oct '10 23:58
    Originally posted by Marinkatomb
    I've been offered a job teaching juniors (yippee!!) and i now need to try and prepare material to teach them. We're talking about 10-13 year olds mainly. I could use some tips if anyone has any?
    Well are there any updates?
    I have started coaching chess to grade school children, and I found it works best to play them first and make mental notes about the game. I then challenge them to a game and offer to explain every one of my moves, and I ask them about their moves. See if they can explain them to me. In the month or so some of the kids really jumped on board with the style, and others give me the "yea, yea, yea I know better than you" bit. The ones that take the advice games are improving rapidly. I work with them an hour and a half and by the end some of these kids are so mentally fatigued they look wilted. I do try to end the learning games with draws.
    I haven't incorporated any "lessons" yet and am curious if you tried it. My thoughts are to do a mini 5 min. lesson on a topic/tactic and have them keep score on a greaseboard for every time they use one. Last week was a beautiful moment when I taught myself into a loss, the kid had about 15 forced moves to finish it off and he stuck with it and thought the moves all the way to the end. His dad got to watch the finish, I was very proud of his accomplishment.