My answer will vary from other but I run a school and to me it is not about the Dan but wheather or not the person is able to control and keep the class attention for the entire time. Usually I start letting them get there feet wet at Red/Black stripe and go from there.
The student should start assisting asap, but to run your own class I let them at 2nd Dan if they are capable.
I think Terry hit it on the head. It should be based on how capable they are and not their rank. And I don't like them to take on the beginners when they start. With the advanced students they have the basics down and they can at the least not be given incorrect basics, which is the foundation.
My students begin providing feedback to each other shortly after they start; after all, there are things that any student can see - timing, stances, sections, etc. - regardless of whether or not they know the technique, exercise or pattern being demonstrated. They begin leading warm-ups (sort of teaching "lite") to get a feel for giving others' instruction at about green belt. At about blue belt, I will have students teach step sparring or releases to white and yellow belts, and provide individual feedback and additional instruction on patterns and hand and foot techniques. At red belt, students will begin providing actual instruction to up to several students all learning the same thing; at black belt, students will begin providing instruction to a section of the class (mixed ranks) independently (how independently depends on the ability of the student).
My assistant instructor is a I Dan, and he teaches for me when I can't be there, and also teaches an optional class that I don't go to that focuses on sparring but also includes other things - but he's kind of unusual for a I Dan; the club he started in had no one above I Dan when they left the association he was in, and he was a red belt (1st gup) for 14 years before he tested for I Dan.
I started teaching a class affiliated with my instructor's class as an I Dan; he dropped in regularly to check on me, and they tested with his class, but those were my students. It all depends on whether or not the person is ready to teach - some are ready at blue belt (occasionally lower) and others never learn how to give instruction.
I agree with the general consensus here. Geup levels, and Dan ranks are measurements of a person's technical skills. Teaching is a separate issue that requires special training above and beyond rank. While they are separate, one is dependant on the other. A person can not teach what they do not know, thus they must reach a certain level of proficiency before they can share that knowledge with others.
Beginner students (the first few grades: 9th, 8th, 7th) have not ironed out the wrinkles in their own skills, and often do not fully understand what they are doing. Once a student has promoted to their first rank level (ie: yellow belt), they can help a lower rank (white belt) to remember what the teacher has already shown them.
Middle rank students (6th, 5th, and 4th grades) often make good class leaders (not teachers yet), and they can help lead warm up exercises, and monitor a small group of students within a class that are working on a particular activity while the certified instructor moves about the room from group to group. My policy is that these students are not ready to teach students new techniques that they have not first learned from a qualified instructor. These students are gradually learning how to run a class, so that they can make the transition to instructor "trainee" soon.
High rank students (3rd, 2nd, and 1st grade) are capable of teaching low and middle rank students new techniques, their new form, and one-step sparring concepts. This is usually done in pairs or small groups within the class, and while under the supervision of a certified instructor. I always require that a 1st Dan, certified instructor or higher, start the class, then turn over various portions of the teaching to high rank instructor trainees while they watch. Later, the high rank can be given pointers on what they need to do to improve their teaching skills.
I think that most new customers would not want to walk into a Martial Art school, and see the class being run by a child without an adult in sight, or by a color belt without a Black Belt in the room. I believe an instructor should be at least 1st Dan, and have proper "assistant instructor" training and certification before they run an entire class, from start to finish, by themselves, without supervision. A person who has "Instructor" certification can run all the classes on any given day without the Senior Instructor being present in the school, but this should not be a regular practice.
Just being a black belt (1st, 2nd, 3rd or even 4th Dan) is not enough to run a class. Minimum rank and understanding of techniques, and the curriculum is a prerequisite, but without special instructor training and certification - - it is a "no-go" at my school.
Rank and teaching credentials are two different things! :mst:
I think it depends on who is in your area. For example, if there are no dojangs about and you are the highest graded practioner around, then that would would make you eligible as teacher in my view - I've known 1st Dans who open their own club closer to home because no other higher grades are around. To make it official, you might need to run it past your area's affiliated association to approve.
I agree completely about teaching skills but I think there needs to be a balance between technical competency and teaching skill - walk the walk talk the talk, so to speak. The teachers are the key representatives of the clubs. It's just embarassing for the club to have instructors who are technically rubbish, incoherent, or both.
I was solo teaching under my instructor at 2nd Gup. After I earned my first Dan (in Tae Kwon Do), I moved away (graduated college), and started a martial arts class that I ran by myself. I ran it while training at another school. I earned a 2nd Dan in Tang Soo Do and about a year later, started my own school (Tae Kwon Do) with my primary instructor's blessing. I tested for and passed my TKD 2nd Dan test and in about 6 months should be eligible to test for my 3rd.
However, I still agree that it has more to do with teaching ability and being prepared (trained) to teach than mere rank.