43 ( +1 | -1 ) Teaching adviceI'm the president of my high school chess club, and the 1st board player and have the responsibility of teaching. Today we had a rather large influx of new members, who are mostly around the 1000-1100 Elo level, some even lower. What would you guys recommend that I begin with to improve their skills. I usually would do one-on-one, but I don't have the time to do that with league starting in about a month.
142 ( +1 | -1 ) you could possibly go over a master level game with them for each teaching session. You could possibly use "Logical Chess Move by Move" or something similar to have games and a guide for your own preparedness. Another idea is to just pick some positions to go over with them for each session trying to highlight certain themes.
I personally think though, that the best thing for players like this is probably to go over master level games from a book like Logical chess without actually using the book. Just take the moves from the book and use the analysis as a reference to answer questions and to explain what's going on. And of course don't forget to point out practical points throughout the game like, "See how he didn't attack until his center was secure?," "in this position you can see how knights are good when the center is locked," "if you remember to check for all hanging pieces before you move, you probably won't blunder like this very often," "This is what often happens when the pawns in front of the king move. Any chance you can make your opponent's kings pawns move, take it, and try not to move yours," "e4 is generally a good way to start playing chess," etc.
Hope that helped. And I definately think master games would probably be the best material for teaching.
27 ( +1 | -1 ) My own experience ...... along these lines wasn't too joyful. All the kids (8-13) seemed to want to do is play, and despite my efforts, didn't seem interested in learning much of anything. Sad, really. Even just one or two who wanted to learn something would have been nice... :-(
186 ( +1 | -1 ) ...From my experiences in teaching newcomers, I find that spurtus gave some really wise advice.
In college, I experienced your situation every new year. A few things that I always had to keep in mind were: - Not everyone wants to play competitively. Some people just want a group that plays socially. - Not everyone will stick around, even if you offer them money. School takes priority for many people, and it should. - Some people get really annoyed about losing all the time and give up. Some of these people don't believe that they have the capacity to improve.
My approach was to just encourage the newcomers to play against one another. It's easier for them to get along with someone at their own skill level, and it gives them better chances to win some games and actually feel good about themselves. Then I'd offer a game anyone who happened to be left out in the cold, and just talk to them casually... sometimes throwing in the most basic of pointers at (not to bring the queen out too early, respect your pawn structure, keep the king out of the center, etc). Of course, I would play down a lot (occasionally I would swallow my pride and just throw the game, to see how well they can spot mating opportunities). I wouldn't be going for blood against the new guys. :p
After a few weeks, numbers will naturally decline and you'll begin to see who is actually there for the long haul. At that point, I think you'll find one-on-one teaching a little more feasible.
I'm not sure how your club runs, but that's how I always did things. You'll seem a lot more sociable and approachable, and you'll burn less time teaching people who aren't as serious about chess as you are.
26 ( +1 | -1 ) ..."Then I'd offer a game TO anyone who happened to be left out in the cold, and just talk to them casually... sometimes throwing in the most basic of pointers at THEM"
Maybe GK could program a grammar check for my middle-of-the-night posting habits. :D
139 ( +1 | -1 ) it's kind of funny that I didn't even notice your grammer mistakes until you pointed them out. The words just seemed to fill in for themselves :)
I really like Spurtus's recomendations too. Though the first two are a little obvious and natural (at least for me), I really have trouble with the third one, "Let them make mistakes before you start to correct them." Now that is good advice. I often tend to start trying to warn them about different mistakes to be made and stuff and start talking too much and the words just start to go in one ear and out the other. Let them make the mistake themselves and show them why it's wrong and they'll actually learn something. It seems I tend to try to impress with my really incredibly vast knowledge instead of just trying to help someone find their own mistakes and improve themselves.
So I guess another really big tip which although kind of obvious is very difficult (at least for me) to take care of. The tip is that the lessons are about the students and not about the teacher. Even if the student enjoys the lesson, if it is just the teacher being impressive, the student won't learn that much. And of course, most of us usually don't intend to be this way, but it is very subtle and has to do with our pride and our ego. You have to be sensitive to the students and serve the students. I guess being a teacher is like being a servant.