Teaching Groups

Recently I started a new challenge when I became a chess coach for one of the prestigious schools in my state. The maximum number of kids in a group is limited to 20 and it is their hobby time compulsory activity. When you teach students in a group with different levels in chess knowledge and interest, your task becomes quite challenging. Below are the problems I am facing while teaching this kids group together with the solutions:

Involvement of students; The biggest question for me was how to involve students who weren’t interested and teach them basic chess. I started with a question and answer series in which everyone has to attend at least one task, and this was quite successful. Another universal approach I have found is to find the leader and get him/her down (using stage fright!). I like to call the leader on the stage where he or she has to demonstrate the solution of the problem and as a result now they are paying much more attention to anything I say! Another interesting idea is to divide and rule; make some small groups and arrange competition between them which develops desire to learn chess.

Another way to interest disinterested students is to increase playing time rather than teaching. Just listening to someone talk about chess is quite boring until and unless you love the game and already have some knowledge. Another effect of increasing playing time is that kids often love to come to my class for enjoyment! And I have noticed that hammering some points home while monitoring their game is much more fruitful than teaching a theoretical lesson.

These problems and solutions are dynamic in nature which must be changed with the level and interest of the group. I’ve generalized them so they can be used by you in order to reach to quite concrete solution via trial and error.

Although I’ve only been coaching for a year, what I’ve learned during this time is that kids can do better when they are in group rather than individuals. Though personal tuition generate has more remuneration, I am transferring my personal students to the academy or into groups for tuition.

Ashvin Chauhan