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Mar 19, 2021

Al Bender is an extraordinarily dedicated teacher for Bridge For Youth, a nonprofit organization that promotes youth bridge in the Seattle area. After the pandemic struck, Bridge For Youth and Al switched from a face-to-face teaching model to solely virtual instruction. He caught my attention through this Bridge Winners article on the benefits of teaching online. To say the article brightened my day would be a massive underbid. Read it! 

The most important takeaway from Al’s experience is that virtual instruction is an incredibly effective teaching model. We want to see this model duplicated across the country!

Episode Highlights:

2:20- The many flaws of teaching face-to-face

4:25- Advantages to virtual teaching

5:05- Bridge For Youth’s journey in learning how to teach online

7:55- How Bridge For Youth got a staggering 110 students

9:50- Interesting gender discrepancy

12:40- The power of the Shark Teaching Console

  • “I no longer have to watch my partner make stupid mistakes”

16:10- Testmoz and the allure of competition

18:55- A serendipitous success

20:40- The dedicated student

23:40- Summer camp will be taught by former Setting Trick guest, Tom Carmichael

25:35- Collaboration to on youth tournaments

29:20- SharkBridge is free for teachers who teach youth bridge for free

30:05- Teachers must be good with youths

32:10- Bridge For Youth is in search for teachers!

37:50- The important thing is having FUN!

40:35- A big weakness is the lack of social interactions when using Shark Bridge

45:00- Al warns you to not use the word “kid”

47:00- Al wants to make a difference in his students’ life