Call National Master Todd Bardwick at 303-770-6696 (wk) for information on:
Teaching chess interview (2006) with Fred Wilson
Denver and Colorado Chess Teacher referrals:
Contact Todd for a recommendation of a good chess teacher anywhere in Colorado.
Todd is a nationally recognized by the other top master-level chess teachers in the country as a leader in the fields of chess instruction, education, and journalism. He has well over a decade of full-time teaching experience in the classroom, camps, private and group chess lessons, and training other people how to effectively teach the game.
Todd grew up in Denver and knows most of the Denver chess players and Colorado chess players who give lessons. There are many quality chess instructors in metro Denver and Colorado that he can refer you to for lessons in your area.
It is very important to know that any competent chess teacher with a good reputation will not have to travel very far from home or to a new city in search of new students; his plate will be overflowing where he lives. A chess teacher who looks for students outside his hometown should raise a red flag that something isn't right. History has shown that these individuals usually run low-quality programs and need to have a constant influx of new students to survive.
BEWARE OF "CHESS TEACHERS" FROM OUT OF TOWN:
is a shame to have to bring this up, but as many of you know, the
Colorado Front Range region of the state in the last several years has
been plagued by a number of unscrupulous individuals and organizations
that have committed various immoral and criminal acts (with
prosecutions) passing though the area from other states looking to make
a quick buck teaching and organizing chess. The quality of the chess
teaching from such entities is usually quite poor.
Aside from the risk of potential criminal activity, individuals and organizations that pop-up from time to time and attempt to teach chess out of their local area tend to run low-quality programs for several reasons:
1) The individual running the organization usually has limited chess teaching experience him/herself (often has less than even 5 years of full-time, hands-on, experience); and
2) They attempt hire anyone they can find willing to teach a chess class (or classes) for them where they make a large percentage of the tuition. People willing to work for them in such an arrangement usually have even less chess teaching experience or possibly no experience at all (of course these recruited teachers are promised quality training !?).
The problem for those running this type of business model is that it is difficult to find a quality chess teacher foolish enough to go in for this type of arrangement since they already have the chess instructional skills and experience to teach on their own and have no reason to pay someone else or ride under their banner for the privilege to teach.
The goal of the person trying to hold chess events that tries to hire other instructors to work for them is nothing more than an attempt to get rich quick by making overrides on other's time. After developing a poor reputation in one city, they usually move on to the next one. Being able to teach a technical subject well requires more than just teaching a few classes here and there...it is a skill that is developed over time. If by chance a company does manage to successfully recruit someone to work for them, the overall quality usually decreases due to the problems listed above. It is important to remember that quality chess teachers don't work for other people - they work for themselves! Check out these companies carefully so you don't end up paying for a high-priced baby-sitter to watch your kids play chess!
end result of these situations is the consumer ends up paying a higher
price for far less quality then they would by hiring someone who lives
locally with more teaching experience and historically a much better
program and reputation. There is a network of Colorado-based instructors
who have a proven track record of running solid programs. As with most
things, it is better to go for quality, not quantity – you will be
happy you hired a chess teacher who is confident enough in his/her own
teaching skills that they work for themselves and not others.
Todd has referred hundreds of students over the years to other quality chess instructors with good teaching skills living in Colorado who are in it for the long haul and teach good local chess programs. Should you have a question pertaining to a particular program in the state, give Todd a call at 303-770-6696. He will be happy to discuss your options.
Colorado and Denver area chess instructors for years have acted respectfully toward each other by not soliciting each other's students. Any newcomer to the area should respect those who have taught here for years and have abided by this unwritten rule and not poach students from anyone else upon moving to the state.
Denver Chess Classes
Todd has trained and helped out many people in the Denver area who are new to chess to run successful chess programs at their schools. Give a call if you wish to have some assistance in running a successful chess program (and for no charge!!).
What to Look for in a Chess Coach:
Chess Coaches for Children:
When it comes to teaching children, first and foremost you should look for an instructor who is a good role model for your child. This day and age, it is prudent to screen and do a background check on anyone who is working with children (ALWAYS do background checks on any and all prospective chess teachers who are working for an organization from out of state prior to attending their event).
Once again, ask for referrals and check out the reputation of the prospective instructor because adult chess players, as a subculture of society, can be quite a bit stranger than the average person you meet in the general public.
Characteristics of Good Chess Teachers
A good chess teacher has a written plan or road map of their teaching philosophy and what areas are most important for the student's progression from beginner to the Expert level (95th percentile of all rated chess players). Ask the teacher what his plan for your progress is!
Chess Class Instruction for Children
Teaching chess classes requires additional skills than just teaching private students. Not only should the teacher have the traits listed above (good role model, sufficient playing strength, and a proven plan of action), but also be an energetic and exciting speaker, relate well to the class (getting inside many student’s heads simultaneously), keep control of the class, and make chess fun for the students. As a general rule, the higher rated and stronger the chess teacher is as a player, the poorer the social skills and ability to relate to and effectively teach the children in the class. Carefully check out the personality of a chess teacher before hiring him. Strong chess players tend to have social interaction issues and act in a quite strange manner to normal people. Children quickly identify weird acting adults ... always put good role models in front your students! Your students will learn much more from a normal, average rated player with a more limited knowledge about the game who makes learning fun, than a master, with communication and personality issues who can't effectively relate chess knowledge to young students.
Click here for an article on how a student will normally progress up the rating scale and what realistic expectations should be expected.
Denver Chess Camp and Class Instruction
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