Before a candidate is accepted
They must first pass a test on bidding and card play (the pass mark for both is 70%). These tests can be organised for you at a venue and date in your local area (within limits!). You must familiarise yourself completely with the three CBAI Teaching Manuals, (Manual 1 – Basic Bidding, Manual 2 – Basic Card Play, and Manual 3 – More Advanced Bidding) and know your basic Acol thoroughly (4-card majors and Weak (12-14) NT is the standard that is being taught). These manuals are available to buy from the CBAI (cost €30 each plus postage). You can phone us with your debit/credit card number and we can send them out. The purpose of these tests is to establish that candidates are competent in the basics of bridge before they can become teachers; you do not, however, need to be an expert player to teach bridge, certainly to beginners or in schools. Samples of the kinds of questions you will be required to answer may be found here.
Once you pass both of these tests
You will be invited to take part in the second element of the course which is a full weekend seminar. This programme for the weekend consists of a series of sample classes given by professional teachers, a MiniBridge demonstration class, and sessions devoted to topics such as presentation skills and the use of Powerpoint, the resources available to bridge teachers, planning and preparing a class, etc. There is a charge of €140 for the weekend, to include light refreshments.
Candidates are also required to prepare two lessons
On bridge topics of their choice, from which one will be chosen by the assessor for the candidate to demonstrate their teaching skills before a peer group. Your preparation should include a lesson plan and objectives, handouts for the students, and sample hands for the students to play that illustrate the key points you want to get across. Whilst the CBAI manuals may be used to assist with your preparation, the assessors will be looking for some evidence of independent thought – i.e. what is submitted should not simply be a regurgitation of the material from the manuals. These lessons and the associated plans must be submitted no later than one week in advance of the relevant seminar.
Marks for the lesson assessment will be allocated under the following headings:
- Preparation: evidence of having rehearsed, lesson notes, prepared deals, etc.
- Content: one main topic, fundamentally correct in theory, organised and developed effectively
- Presentation: introduction, recap of previous lesson, repetition, reinforcement, handling questions, recap, summing up etc.
- Personal Skills: posture, body language, voice projection, eye-contact, dealing with questions, moving among tables etc.
- Use of Visual Aids: cards, curtain cards, hand diagrams, flipchart, white or blackboard, projector, Powerpoint, etc.
It is assumed that the candidate will have their visual aids and practice hands prepared in advance.
We have also put together a list of recommended reading for teachers Recommended Reading List
Once qualified, teachers running classes are expected either to refer pupils to suitable local clubs for them to join, or run a novice club for their pupils themselves. We request that all qualified teachers provide us with details of their classes for inclusion on the CBAI website and in our annual newsletter. In addition, a good teacher will encourage those students who wish to develop their bridge skills beyond the beginner level to take further improver classes and to play in local, regional, and national competitions at the appropriate grade.
Prospective teachers could ask their clubs to sponsor their participation in the teacher training course. Ultimately it is the clubs which benefit from the teacher’s work, with the inflow of new members which is critical to the health of many clubs. For a minimal investment, clubs can reap major long-lasting dividends. A number of clubs throughout the country have already done just that and their initiative is to be commended.
In addition, the CBAI provides continuous learning to accredited teachers, via a periodic programme of professional development seminars, designed to enable them to keep both the bridge skills and their teaching skills up to the highest standards.
If you would like to discuss becoming a bridge teacher, please call Dermot on (01) 4929666 or send an email to email@example.com.