Today I received word that my application for level 4 chess coach certification has been approved. If you are not familiar with the program, USCF has started to put an official stamp on those who are qualified to teach chess.
At first, I was very skeptical of the program, our game has a few personalities that while rated highly are not the kind of people I would want teaching my kid. The certification has nothing to do with saying whether a person is a good teacher or has the classroom skills to be effective, it merely tests if someone has the base chess knowledge, and a track record to be successful.
When I stopped by the office in Crossville a couple weeks ago, I was told that about 50 or so applications had been submitted. When you consider that there are probably more than 50 people in Chicago teaching chess, it is safe to say that so far the program has been underutilized.
So the question is, does certifying coaches have merit? And how important will it be to schools in the coming years?