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Vestal, NY - Teacher Accreditation Program (TAP)

The following article and photos were submitted as a Dedication by ACBL member, Mary Poplawski.

DEDICATION by Mary Poplawski

April 3-4, 2009 marked the days for the Teacher Accreditation Program (TAP) in Vestal, NY, sponsored by our District 4. This was held in the local club in Vestal, called The Bridge Studio, hosted by the club manager/director/teacher, Mary Poplawski.

On April 3, Binghamton, New York, seven miles away, made national news. Word filtered in to us when we adjourned for lunch. Many people were murdered at our local American Civic center. One of our students was a frequent volunteer there teaching English. On this day, she was with us learning to teach bridge. She called us Saturday morning to say her student was one of those killed, so she couldn't manage to continue the course for the last three hour session. This article is dedicated to Eileen and her murdered student, who had been experiencing a difficult life here in the USA. Another person lost life that day. A bridge student of mine was teaching the English class that morning, and was killed. She was an awesome, dedicated person, mother of 10, and loved her students. Roberta King, we will all miss you.

Who came to this TAP class? Forty-four people signed up to the joy of us all. The presenter was Carol Mathews, from Long Island. How was it? Great is a mild word. The first event of the ten hour session is a quick student to student buzz session and introduction of each other. What did we all hear? We wanted to learn to teach new people and especially, kids. Carol and another class participant had plenty of experience with kids to end our ten hour class giving us the wisdom we needed to teach adults and kids.

ACBL provided each student with the text for Bidding in the 21st Century, and a summary sheet explaining the bidding covered in this book. An open book test is given to be handed in when finished, and can be worked on with others. Why? This is to make each person study the text to be able to pull answers from the text to this style of bidding as opposed to their own style of bidding. The point is that to teach, know what is in the text you are teaching so you see what the student sees.

The TAP course given today is far better than the course I had in the 1990's. It includes teacher sources by Roberta Salob, Audrey Grant , Eddie Kantar, Pat Harrington, and a section on how to write your own lesson plan. Hand out sheets give information on cruises, advertising, co-op program of ACBL, and so much more.

I hope that the students all hand in the tests and become accreditated. I hope they all become dedicated teachers, and that our district and others in ACBL have more bridge players as a result of the efforts of persenter Carol Mathews. As we go out and help others have fun at this game, we will all remember this student of Eileen's who lost her life suddenly. Life is short. Let's help others enjoy what time they have on this earth.