Interested in Becoming a Tai Chi Teacher?

The Tai Chi Foundation (TCF) and The School of Tai Chi Chuan (STCC) have been delivering exceptional professional training programs for 40 years.  If you would like to become a teacher with our organization, the following information explains, in part, how to proceed.

If you are not already taking classes with us as a student, please visit our Teaching Locations page, Find a Tai Chi Class or email us at [email protected].

Since the onset of COVID-19 restrictions, TCF has increased the ways you can study from home:

  • Online live-streaming classes.
  • Recorded video of live classes OR of specially designed content for viewing “on-demand” at your convenience.
  • Occasional intensive online events lasting 3-4 days, 2-3 hours a day.

The online options are a valuable supplement, not a replacement, to the in-person learning experience.

Since teaching relies on strong body-based knowledge, we draw candidates for teacher training primarily from our pool of advanced students, usually several years into their study. You can study with us via a weekly class or weekend workshop in a location near you and at an summer retreat programs, usually 6-7 consecutive days at an attractive retreat site.

The Teacher Training Program

After completing several levels of study with us, you may apply to enter our Teacher Training Program or we may invite you. After teacher training, there’s a period where you teach under supervision and then may choose to become certified.

Participating in the Teacher Training Program is a multi-step process involving an application form to fill out and submit, an interview, attending a Summer and/or Winter Training.

1.      Click here to be directed to the application form. Fill it out and supply the various component parts that make up the application. Submit it to [email protected] with a non-refundable application (administrative) fee.

2.      Interview with a member or members of the Admissions Committee as part of your application.

3.      Upon acceptance, participate in intensive preparation to learn to teach, usually as part of a TCF Summer or Winter Training, held in the US or Europe.

4.      There is an extended period of teaching in your local area with support from more experienced teachers and eventually, in a teaching team where your co-teachers have a similar amount of experience teaching to you.

5.      You and other teachers in training undergo periodic supervision with feedback. This feedback and team interaction prepares you to teach in approved TCF trainings and in classes that you may organize yourself and co-teach in your location.

6.      In time, you may become the more experienced member of a teaching team and it will be your role to help the less experienced teacher to prepare for class and/or to receive feedback afterwards.

7.      Advancement to each successive level of teacher training is done in agreement with supervising teachers, and after an evaluation of your teaching a real-time in-person class.


How does the “apprentice” designation fit in with becoming a TCF teacher?

Our founder, Patrick Watson, called everyone an “apprentice” if you were learning to teach tai chi, whether you had just started or you had started years ago. Being an apprentice meant a life-long journey to acquire skill and, eventually, mastery in an art by practicing regularly at the side of a master teacher. Although many of our school members can now rightfully be considered excellent and highly competent teachers, some still refer to themselves with the familiar historical designation of apprentice.  It is a nod to our past and our progress since those early days, as well as a reminder to live with humility and to stay receptive to learning. So although you will still hear the word “apprentice” and “apprenticeship” used by many, it is no longer an official category or phase in the teacher training process. Especially in talking with public students and potential client organizations, we anticipate using the more conventional labels of “teacher-in-training”,  “instructor” or “teacher”.

What do the following labels mean: “teaching staff”,  “faculty,” or “senior faculty”?

These designations refer to those teachers who teach/transmit the core curriculum of our teachings. They are hired or work under contract to teach advanced tai chi form work, advanced push hands, sword, pole, and to teach teachers in training.

Teacher Certification

Interested in the Becoming a Certified TCF teacher?

Teacher Certification is an additional step that we encourage all our teachers to take, resulting in official authorization by the organization that you represent our school and transmit our teachings in established program formats with the highest standards.

If you are currently a teacher trained by us, please Contact [email protected] for further information on TCF Certification.

You may also read about Certification visiting this page.

This additional credentialing enables you to teach both at TCF sponsored trainings and in programs offered on site at client organizations or agencies.

If you have been trained to teach elsewhere, we welcome your request for certification. Your request will need to include a teaching transcript, two letters of recommendation, and an opportunity for us to evaluate your teaching skills across our qualifying criteria. Additional details about our certification program are available by contacting [email protected] and indicating the source of your teacher training. Thank you for your interest!

Similar teacher training is available for Roots and Branches Five Element Qigong SM, The Eight Ways of Tai Chi Chuan™, and other advanced courses.

For more information, start by talking to teachers in your local affiliate school or your teachers at a TCF intensive program, and then contact Teacher Services at [email protected]

©2020   Roots and Branches Five Element Qigong SMi

©2020 The Eight Ways of Tai Chi Chuan™

Click here to learn more about Tai Chi As a Career.

Feel free to contact us at [email protected] with any questions you have about teaching.