Why offer a TAP in your area? The most obvious answer is that it will develop new bridge teachers and help experienced teachers refine their skills. The teachers in turn will create more local players and generate new interest in bridge. TAP participants must be at least 14 years old.
The TAP can be run at a profit by a unit, district or individual willing to promote the program. The ACBL charges $1,700 for the TAP (the average cost) and the sponsor keeps the course fees. TAP expenses (both ACBL and local) will be fully recovered with as few as 20 participants paying a course fee of $95 each.
The sponsor sets the course fee to be paid by the teacher candidates and collects these fees. The course fee generally ranges from a low of $50 to a high of $95. When held in conjunction with a regional tournament, discounts on the base price of $95 are normally offered to members of the sponsoring district and/or unit. (The ACBL charges $125 for an NABC TAP.)
The ACBL provides the TAP Teacher-Trainer fees and expenses, course materials including the Bidding (Club Series) text, all administrative and processing fees, and listings in The Bridge Bulletin and online Accreditation Calendar.
The sponsor provides a room for the course classes and testing session, a local TAP Coordinator to take registrations, make hotel and site arrangements and assist the TAP Teacher-Trainer and any advertising for the program.
The TAP is a 10-hour course and can be conducted over a weekend. It is preferable to schedule the three study sessions as four hours, three hours, and three hours. The TAP test is an open book test to be taken at the convenience of the participants. At a tournament site, two formats are possible. (1) Three consecutive morning sessions, or (2) two sessions (afternoon and evening) on the day before the tournament begins, followed by a morning session the next day.
Procedures for TAP Coordinators
- Discuss dates, times, site arrangements, budget publicity, and the teacher-trainer with ACBL Education Dept. (firstname.lastname@example.org). Be sure to keep good notes with contact names and dates. Be certain you understand your commitment to the ACBL.
- Talk with the teacher-trainer assigned or suggested, to insure that you are working within a proper schedule for the 10-hour course. Discuss supplies, how to be billed, shipped and returned. Note who will handle supplies at the site. Have supplies sent to the site, not your home, and returned from there if possible. Pre-arrangements can be made with UPS and handled through ACBL Headquarters in the USA only.
- Call the local secretary and get labels for club owners, district board, unit presidents and current teachers. Get two sets, as a follow-up letter works well. The more people you notify about the TAP, the better the attendance. You need about 20 people (paying a fee of $95 each) to recover the expenses of putting on this program.
- Keep a calendar to record the things that have been done and the things that need to be done. Use the calendar to note phone calls and expenses.
- Create information letters to units and plan your ads for The Bridge Bulletin and area bridge publications. Fliers can be printed and distributed at all tournaments. They must be bright, catchy and simple. Talk up the TAP at every opportunity. Your enthusiasm will convince people to take the course and they will come back and thank you.
- Set up the computer to take names, street addresses, phone numbers, ACBL numbers and payment. Get a unit number (you will need it if your unit/district is offering special prices or rebates to locals).
Four months before the TAP
- Write to all area units and club owners to ask for their support.
- Put a tickler ad in all local bridge papers.
- Prepare publicity and get it to these publications two months prior to the time you want to see it in print. Plan carefully. If your ads are too early, people forget and if they are too late, bridge players have already made playing arrangements.
Two months before the TAP
- Run ads with all the TAP details in The Bridge Bulletin, district inserts and area bridge publications.
- Distribute fliers at tournaments.
- Send a second letter to club owners and ask them to make two or three announcements in the next two weeks to get their players excited.
- Make hotel reservations for you and the TAP Teacher-Trainer.
- Keep ACBL updated regarding anticipated attendance.
Six weeks before the TAP
- Send ACBL all names of the paid participants in order for the TAP course materials to be sent early enough to allow study time.
- Update names on a weekly basis from this point on.
One month before the TAP
Check with the tournament chair to:
- Make certain a proper room has been assigned for the TAP
- Order card tables with chairs, a podium and a hand mike if there are more than 30 attending the course
- Confirm the arrival of TAP materials
- Order coffee for the TAP (and pastry if within your budget)
- Make arrangements for billing the TAP expenses
Note: The rental of the TAP site, catering and your hotel room nights are your responsibility and are not paid by the ACBL.
Two weeks before the TAP
- Send in your last participant list and request course materials for 25% more to be sent to the site for people who sign up at the last minute.
- Confirm that the ACBL will send pencils, TAP tests, markers, ACBL Teacher Info Manuals, E-Z Deal Cards and name tags to agreed location.
- Contact the Teacher-Trainer. Send class list, hotel arrangements, plane schedule with airport transport plan and a time and place that you will meet to check the TAP room, etc. (night before).
One week before the TAP
- Confirm the hotel arrangements, catering order and billing instructions.
- Confirm arrival of TAP supplies.
- Ask a volunteer to help you with TAP registration for at least half an hour on the first day of the TAP. One of you can make name tags; the other can sign up last-minute candidates who have not yet paid.
Night before first session of the TAP
- Meet with the tournament chair for any last-minute changes.
- Meet with the teacher-trainer.
- Make sure materials are in the room and the room is secure.
- Place signs in hotel lobby noting TAP location.
- Check with catering about the beverage order.
- Ask hotel to add the TAP to internal TV information channel.
45 minutes before the first session of the TAP
- Be at the door to greet early arrivals.
- Have coffee ready.
- Make out name tags (first names only) for all participants.
- Check names and information.
- Collect any last-minute money.
- After the TAP begins, make sure the teacher-trainer knows how to reach you if there is a problem. It is not necessary to stay in the room for the entire session.
- Be available at the start of each successive session for a few -minutes. There are always questions.
End of TAP
- Repack materials to be shipped back to the ACBL. Each shipment in the USA is pre-paid by the ACBL, and the ACBL will arrange for UPS to pick up the supplies at the hotel.
- See if the teacher-trainer needs any help getting to the airport.
- Report to the tournament chair when the classes are finished.
Day after TAP
- Tally expenses and submit to the tournament chair with a report summary on the TAP program.
- Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Remember that this class is very small in the scheme of a large tournament, but if you can make it run smoothly and profitable it will be good for all.
At each TAP some time is spent on marketing. This checklist was created to help teachers identify their goals when starting classes.
- Number of classes
- How much time does each class take?
- Pre-class preparation
- Actual class time
- How much time do you have to give to this endeavor?
- How much time does each class take?
- Number of Students Per Class
- Take into consideration the amount of time it takes to prepare the material for a class. The larger the class, the more hands you must pre-deal. (E-Z Deal Cards should be used but consider the initial cost.)
- How many students do you need to make the amount of money you want to earn?
- Hourly Rate of Pay
- All of the time you will spend on each class, as identified in question #1, must be considered.
- What expenses will you have?
- Site Rental Fee
- Mailing Costs
- Graduation Party
- Age Range of Students
- Have you had any experience teaching the age group you are interested in?
- Are you free at the time of day best suited for the age group you are interested in? (For example, senior classes are generally offered during the day.)
- Bridge Knowledge of Students
- Consider that some students may never have played any card games.
- Consider that the language of bridge may be a foreign language to beginning students.
- What do you expect?
- Time Your Students Are Expected to Spend on Bridge Between Classes
- How much time do you expect them to spend?
- How much available time do they have?
- Are they willing to spend more time than class time on bridge?
- Team-Teaching or Alone
- If you teach with a partner, how do you divide responsibilities and profits?
- If you should teach alone:
- How will you arrange for a substitute if an emergency keeps you from teaching a class?
- How will you handle make-up lessons for students?