Low graded players teaching chess

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.

Do you think one should be ECF 150 above and do an exam before teaching with chess in schools?

Yes
8
20%
No
30
75%
Yes but higher rating
0
No votes
no but lower rating (please comment)
2
5%
 
Total votes: 40

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:29 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote:
Andrew Zigmond wrote:That said it contains the following slightly inaccurate advice; `If you are white, always open e2-e4. If you are black always open e7-e5 unless your opponent players d2-d4 in which case open d7-d5`. It did take me a few years to unteach myself that.
It's also unwise against Nf3 :lol:
My point exactly!

I've just done a search on Amazon. The Chess For Children I remember is by Raymond Bott and Stanley Morrison, first published in 1960. There are two more recent publications of that name; one by Murray Chandler (the one with the alligator) and another by Sabrina Chevannes.
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Brian Towers
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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by Brian Towers » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:26 pm

Trefor Owens wrote:
Joshua Gibbs wrote:My personal belief is that people should be or have been graded 150 ecf and pass an exam before teaching: what does everyone else think?
My personal belief is that people should be or have been graded 150 ecf and pass an exam before debating teaching: what does everyone else think?
I'd go further than that, Trefor. As well as having reached ECF 150 I think you should have passed the PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education), the qualification would-be teachers have to have if they have an academic degree, before debating teaching.

Seriously, Joshua, where do you get your nonsensical notions from?

I taught maths at Emanuel School in south London from 1978 to 1980 after doing a maths degree followed by a PGCE. I shared one of my A level groups with a more experienced teacher who I was stunned to learn not only didn't have a maths degree (he had a degree in philosophy from an Irish university) but he failed his PGCE. Nevertheless he was regarded as an outstanding teacher by the school, the department and the pupils.

How could this be? Not least because the rules seemed to forbid it. The rules said that if you had an academic degree (as opposed to a teaching degree, a Batchelor of Education) then you had to have a PGCE. As a temporary measure (which had been if force for 10 years at the time and is probably still in force) if your subject was one of the shortage subjects (STEM plus stuff like woodwork, metalwork) then you didn't need a PGCE but couldn't teach if you'd failed your PGCE.

Curious, I buttonholed the teacher the next time we were down the pub to try and find out how it was possible, particularly the failing the PGCE part. The year I'd done mine something like 2 people had failed out about 150 students. You pretty much had to fail the teaching practice to fail. One had psychological problems which made him unsuitable to teach and the other had chronic BO combined with an apparent soap allergy. The school where he did his term's teaching practice complained to the department and sent him back after the first week.

Brian: "Come on, Richard, you've got a good honours degree. How on earth did you fail your PGCE? It's not that difficult. There are massive shortages and they want, need even, everyone to pass."
Richard: "Well, I failed my teaching practice."
Brian:"What?!?"
Richard: "Yes. The day my supervisor came in to assess me it was all going really well until suddenly a quiet boy at the back of the class who normally just sat there behaving himself got up, ran out to the front, punched me in the nuts and jumped out of the window. Fortunately we were on the ground floor. 'Inability to maintain classroom control' is what they put on the form"

There's no answer to that. I pressed on.

Brian: "But Richard, that's the top maths set we've got, doing double maths. I'm doing the pure, you're doing the applied. I know for a fact that some of the stuff is really difficult particular since you've only got A level maths yourself. Do you even know all the stuff?"
Richard: "This is actually the first year I've had the top set and no, there's quite a lot of stuff I don't know even after I've taught it."
Brian: "So, how is that even possible? How can you teach stuff you don't know?"
Richard: "Well, Baigent and Tinker are both very good. Baigent is better at explaining. When I'm coming up to something I don't understand I usually give Baigent one of the problems I don't understand and ask him to prepare it for the next lesson. Then the next day I'll present the theory from the book and then ask Baigent to come out and do the question on the board explaining it to the rest of us. On the rare occasions when he struggles, rather than step in and play the authoritative teacher role, I turn it into a class discussion which normally gets the answer out but if not gets us to the end of the lesson when I can ask somebody like you, Brian :-)."
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by Joey Stewart » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:33 pm

To a beginner level schoolchild a 100 grade is going to be a chess god - simply hoovering up every piece they drop or pulling off mate in one traps. This is the kind of thing a learner player needs to experience if they are going to start the road to improvement, teaching them opening theory, endgames and complicated piece play is pretty useless if they are still making random moves - Cutting out blunders is key, and that is something that ANY level of graded player should be able to communicate.

Plus it is not as though the chess community is so vast and well funded that we can afford to be this picky - in the current state of things, ANYBODY who is willing to give their time to support the wider community should be congratulated for their efforts.
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

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Joshua Gibbs
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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by Joshua Gibbs » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:39 pm

Joey Stewart wrote:To a beginner level schoolchild a 100 grade is going to be a chess god - simply hoovering up every piece they drop or pulling off mate in one traps. This is the kind of thing a learner player needs to experience if they are going to start the road to improvement, teaching them opening theory, endgames and complicated piece play is pretty useless if they are still making random moves - Cutting out blunders is key, and that is something that ANY level of graded player should be able to communicate.

Plus it is not as though the chess community is so vast and well funded that we can afford to be this picky - in the current state of things, ANYBODY who is willing to give their time to support the wider community should be congratulated for their efforts.
I disagree with the bit in bold.

The last sentence is a very good point, but i think Chess in Schools teachers are paid?
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Michael Flatt
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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by Michael Flatt » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:12 pm

Joshua,
Since you mention the Charity Chess in Schools and Communities you might like to visit their website and particularly the page on the training courses they run. You may even benefit from attending one, as I have.
CSC [1] wrote:CSC courses are aimed at teachers, teaching assistants, parents and anyone involved in school chess.

No teaching or chess playing experience is required to attend.
It should be remembered that Chess is primarily a game and it is only those few exceptional players who have the skill and determination who might consider playing it professionally. For the vast majority of players it is a significant leisure activity which can be pursued to whatever standard one chooses.

Why do you think it necessary to put artificial barriers in the path of those who wish to introduce the joys of the game to children and other beginner players?

References
[1] CSC Training Courses: http://www.chessinschools.co.uk/training_courses.htm

Paul Cooksey
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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by Paul Cooksey » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:58 pm

I mostly agree with Michael. So I'm being devils advocate a little bit here, but not entirely

I think kids want to improve and that chess is fundamentally a competitive game. That is a big part of the enjoyment for most players. So the playing strength of someone who is trying to teach positional play matters at some point doesn't it?

Nick Grey
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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by Nick Grey » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:31 pm

Brian - it is a very small world - :D I as at Emanuel 1974 to 1981 - though you never taught me maths but I remember a Mr Towers coming in & helping & probably taking over the chess club. On the Monday & Friday lunchtime classes some of us did not attend because either rugby or cricket or rowing training came first. We played in Briant Poulter league which is going strong. That tended to be on a Friday early evening.

Andy Tinker is still playing chess - I bumped into him at 4NCL a couple of years ago. He was also the star maths pupil. He moved into medicine like his father.

As for not having teaching qualifications - the school was a grammar school so did not have the same constraints - I was in the last year of grammar intake & the following year the school became independent. The school then started to recruit female teachers.

I do not believe you need a teaching qualification to teach chess. Also, I cannot say that I've had any formal coaching or teaching from those that have helped me to play.

I also wanted to teach when I graduated but to the extent that I was relieved when I failed to get on a PCGE course because the bank manager said I could not afford another year on a student grant - & suggested accountancy or banking as a choice.

Personally have had some youth work training to teach youngsters through Scouting Association, and coaching qualifications in sports - so if I wanted to teach chess I feel am more than qualified.

Though I'd rather use my finance experience for local authorities in our constant battle with dfe on fair funding - & stopping most of the funds from London disappearing up north. I spend a lot of time talking with parents (mainly they are my age or younger) & encouraging their chess but also that education should come first.


On Joshua's points - he needs to get out there face to face and communicate whether it is over the board and after the game - and sell himself to parents. I've got a lot of time for those that have got involved in teaching chess.

David Williams
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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by David Williams » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:48 pm

Nick Grey wrote: . . . stopping most of the funds from London disappearing up north.
Don't you mean "appearing up north"?

Nick Grey
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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by Nick Grey » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:00 pm

No - whilst we have argued that the reasons for London having better and higher education results than elsewhere is because of higher amounts of pupil funding than elsewhere. Government have not seen that as an answer and proposing to change the gap by taking money away from London schools and academies and giving it to schools elsewhere.

That basically is that education funds that are currently in London will disappear from schools budgets but go to schools up north despite higher costs in London than elsewhere.

Those hiring premises for chess teaching etc are likely to find that there is unlikely to be a free let anymore and have to pay a commercial rate. Oh yes nndr - business rates - are also going through the roof in this part of the world.

Mick Norris
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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:32 am

David Williams wrote:
Nick Grey wrote: . . . stopping most of the funds from London disappearing up north.
Don't you mean "appearing up north"?
That would be nice, if true, but there's no evidence of money arriving here to pay for education; there is evidence of masses more money per head being spent in the south east on transport than in the north, and a feeling that our councils get less money per head too
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PeterFarr
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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by PeterFarr » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:22 am

Mick Norris wrote:there is evidence of masses more money per head being spent in the south east on transport than in the north
I wouldn't repeat that in Sussex or Surrey if I were you, as the transport infrastructure has largely ceased to function in the last year.

Agree on education though - wealthier areas tend to get better schools; though London is always different and complicated - you have to look behind average numbers into what's really happening in a borough.

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Jon Mahony
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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by Jon Mahony » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:02 am

I’d say its fine to start with, a lot of teaching kids in the beginning is basically the rules, basic tactics and most important keeping it engaging, so they don’t go back to their Xbox.

I’m reasonably confident I could get a group of children new to chess, up to competitive standard, quickly. The trick is if you are lower graded yourself (im 131 and going down) don’t over reach yourself - show them what you know to be true and what has given you success in your own games. For advanced opening and endgame theory they would have to be passed on to a player who knows what they are talking about.

Obviously if they ended up with some old cock that has never made it above 97 and thinks they are a GM, they are going to be in trouble, when he drums into them a load of rubbish which will be difficult to shift out their heads later.

At the start it should be kept fun and light, show them some of the old tactical games with all the tricks and traps, get them playing like that in their own games. I recently played a kid who couldn’t have been more than 9, he looked miserable as sin and played a Catalan against me - your feet aren’t touching the ground on that chair, where’s 1.e4?!

Right in the beginning I think the most important thing should be to keep them interested. The problem with players 180+ is they would find it very difficult to engage children to teach them chess at the basic level. Plus (and I know there are exceptions to this so don’t all jump on me!) have you spoken to the average 180 strength player lately? Would he have a prayer of keeping kids interested? Cos it’s usually bloody rain man :roll:
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Mick Norris
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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:22 pm

PeterFarr wrote:
Mick Norris wrote:there is evidence of masses more money per head being spent in the south east on transport than in the north
I wouldn't repeat that in Sussex or Surrey if I were you, as the transport infrastructure has largely ceased to function in the last year
6 times more per head in London

Bus carriages on train tracks

There needs to be more money spent outside London, not less spent in London
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

PeterFarr
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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by PeterFarr » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:40 pm

Mick Norris wrote:
PeterFarr wrote:
Mick Norris wrote:there is evidence of masses more money per head being spent in the south east on transport than in the north
I wouldn't repeat that in Sussex or Surrey if I were you, as the transport infrastructure has largely ceased to function in the last year
6 times more per head in London

Bus carriages on train tracks

There needs to be more money spent outside London, not less spent in London
I agree with that, but at the moment down here we have few trains of any kind ( none at all today) and often cannot physically board the ones that do turn up. Investment in cross-rail isn't helping that.

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Re: Low graded players teaching chess

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:26 pm

Yes, I have heard about the problems; must be a nightmare

The only trains that work properly round here are nothing to do with the Government of course East Lancs
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