Teaching, learning, teacher

Teaching is the Best Teacher

The dreaded spelling test.


I hated spelling tests in school. Every. stinking. week.

Here’s how it went down…

Monday – copy the new spelling words.

Monday night through Thursday – Play. Play with my dog, the cat, ride my bike, matchbox cars, build models, and watch stupid amounts of T.V.

Thursday night? – Think to myself, (ONLY IF the thought hit me) Hm…I have a spelling test tomorrow. I’ll study in the morning. Then finish off watching T.V.

Friday morning – Oh crap (or some adult variation that children shouldn’t repeat) I have a [bleeping] spelling test this morning. Then I would spend the time getting to school with notes in hand trying my best to memorize the weekly spelling list.

I usually got a good grade after said test, because I “studied” (memorized) the list right beforehand; and…wrote down the hard words on my palm; and…looked at the pretty girl’s answers sitting next to me.


I flushed everything I committed to memory.


There’s nothing wrong with committing things to memory.

Memorization gives the brain something to chew on. It’s an incredible device. Our brains will make things up to crunch on in a moments notice, and if we don’t keep it busy, it’ll just keep ticking away at whatever it wants to. This isn’t always ideal.

But the learning that gets embedded deep down into our intelligence doesn’t come from memorization alone.

This is why when we teach a new subject to someone, we reinforce it with practical application.

Yet, if you want to learn something that becomes second nature, repetition may help muscle memory in some instances—usually a physical skill versus a cognitive skill—but it won’t suffice to take us to the level of being an expert.

The best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. It’s an old idea but something that we could use reminding, especially if you’re intentionally trying to change things up in life.

A recent study released by Applied Cognitive Psychology revealed that control groups who learned a new subject and then taught a lesson on that subject scored higher on a comprehension test than control groups that did not engage in teaching the subject.

I know in my life when I’ve tried to learn something new, I can be frustrated with the learning curve.

Yet the learning curve is reduced dramatically if I can get myself out of my shell, which is usually tucked away in my cave, and teach someone, anyone, who’s willing to endure my lesson.


Take Away

The subject can be anything. We immediately think of academics here.

What about attempting to incorporate a new way of thinking? Or stop thinking a certain way so that repeatable negative cycles cease.

Teaching the why and the process and the knowledge behind whatever it is will help drive learning into the bedrock of conviction, and it becomes apart of you.

No matter what you’ve given yourself to learning; an new skill set for work, for your business, or even a new mindset (or belief) to better the quality of your life, if you really want to learn it, teach it and you’ll find yourself taking leaps and not just baby steps in the direction you want to improve.

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Posted by Christian Martin Jr.