When teaching his students how to feel for an enlarged spleen, physician-educator Abraham Verghese recalls the first time he managed to become proficient at the technique.
The best teachers know that, although the material they are teaching can become repetitive, it’s the first time it’s being heard by the student. And when talking about his own mentor, Dr. Verghese notes that, “Every single time he said the phrase, he did so with such intensity, enthusiasm, as if it were the very first time those words came out of his lips. It wasn’t. . . but the point is, he knew that for me it was the very first time.”
And to that end, he further adds: “I have to make sure that I bring my all to what might be a seminal moment for the student.”
There it is, the secret to great teaching.