Mr. Jay Stallings
University of Texas at Austin, B.S., Business
K-6th Chess Instructor
Mr. Jay Stallings was born in Florida, grew up in Texas, and lives in California, where he and his wife Michel raised two sons, Ryan and Jackson. He graduated with a B.S. in business from the University of Texas, Austin, and began his coaching career in 1994 at the age of twenty-seven. Since then he has coached over 40,000 students as a private coach and in intercity programs, hospitals, and summer camps. He has taught chess and chess pedagogy around the world. Mr. Stallings describes his teaching philosophy: “I want students to be able to play chess confidently and use the skills they learn in all aspects of life. Most of all, I hope that students love the game and use it to build relationships and community wherever they go.”
Mr. Jay Stallings was born in Florida, grew up in Texas, and lives in California, where he and his wife Michel raised two sons, Ryan and Jackson. He graduated with a B.S. in business from the University of Texas, Austin, and began his coaching career in 1994 at the age of twenty-seven. Since then he has coached over 40,000 students as a private coach and in intercity programs, hospitals, and summer camps. He has presented at chess education seminars in London and across the US and runs the Wyoming State Chess Championship.
Since March of 2020, Mr. Stallings has been on the cutting edge of online chess education. Within days of the Covid-shutdown, the Grupp Organization got his online platform and schedule running. Not only was digital transition easy, but also the pedagogical transition was smooth.
Mr. Stallings explains, “Years ago, I wrote a bestselling book on how to teach chess to kids. Therefore, my structure for the classes and lesson plan databases had already been laid in such a way that teaching online was just a matter of logging onto my computer. In fact, teaching online has allowed me to develop my curriculum further. On Zoom I’m actually able to display media more easily, such illustrations that help explain chess strategy in a fun and understandable way for young children, or video clips from great chess matches.”
Because of his excellence in online chess education, Mr. Stallings gave a widely broadcasted seminar on how to teach chess on Zoom. He was also nominated 2020 Organizer of the Year for the United States Chess Federation.
Part of the secret to Mr. Stallings’ success is his emphasis on good communication with students, parents, and school administrations. He says, “I was a substitute teacher in my twenties as I transitioned to full time coaching. I learned that chess coaching is not just about being good at chess, but at being a good teacher!” Mr. Stallings has been able to coach aspiring chess teachers who want to become more effective in their own classrooms.
As a teacher, Mr. Stallings’ priority is to give students a love for the game, to “light a fire,” as he describes it. He also emphasizes sportsmanship during competition. In terms of enthusiasm and ability, he loves what he is seeing in JHCA’s chess program. His goal is “that everyone knows the fundamental principles and can play confidently. In a few months I hope to see students become motivated to increase their skills for competition with other teams.”
In his spare time, Mr. Stallings enjoys hiking with his wife. Their love for travel and outdoor adventure has taken them from the Tetons, to Machu Pichu, to the Dolomites, to the top of Mt. Whitney.