The Teacher Is the Student – 3


This series features some simple hacks that can help supercharge anything you’re learning; anything you want to internalize; anything you want to become more competent at, no matter the topic.

If you do the things suggested in this series…

* You will learn faster

* You will comprehend difficult, new concepts more quickly

* You will blast through obstacles in life more swiftly and easily

The concept here is based upon a well-known phenomenon. Each time a teacher teaches their material, they learn it themselves at a deeper level. The more anyone engages in the process of disseminating information that is interesting and useful to others, the more the nuanced finer points of that subject matter become ingrained within the person who does it.

The practices that are promoted in this six-part series involve things you know how to do. Because no technical difficulty is involved and the actions are easy to incorporate, you can begin to notice and enjoy the three above-listed benefits in no time. 

The activity highlighted in this installment…


Once you’re pretty sure you’ve absorbed the content of a particular chapter, have someone quiz you on that chapter.


  • If you schedule these quizzing “sessions” to occur on a regular basis, that accountability will incentivize you to read and study more material from each chapter than you would if you were doing this all by yourself
  • You will also be motivated to read (study) more carefully. No one likes to do poorly on a test, right? By, including a friend in this pursuit, you will naturally pay more attention to what you’re reading. Thus, you’ll absorb more of what you want to learn.
  • You are including someone else, which means the material you’re learning will, by this exposure and almost by osmosis, benefit the other person as well as you
    Password is an entertaining TV game show, originally produced by Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions, in which a player provides one-word clues to help their partner figure out a secret password before the opposing team does the same. [Pictured here is Hollywood icon Betty White, during one of her many appearances on the show – this one originally aired on January 2, 1962. White and Allen Ludden, the host of the show (standing behind White in this pic) got married in June of 1963. They happily remained “quiz partners” until Ludden’s death in 1981. Betty White never remarried.]
  • If you stick with it – and including someone else in the learning process increases the likelihood that you will – you’ll eventually finish the book!

And lastly

  • The benefits of the above-described accountability likely will not end once you’ve completed the book. It is likely that you and your study partner will make favorable references to the material you’ve studied over and over again to each other and to others for years to come

The involvement of a quiz partner could be the difference between success and failure in terms of learning your study material at the comprehensive level you want to learn it. If they are a person whose opinion means a lot to you, then you will be loath to let them down. Not that this should be the primary reason for you to commit to learning the material and applying it to your life. Far from it.

This is a learning hack to take very seriously if prior efforts to really buckle down have petered out. If you shame yourself over making and breaking commitments you make with yourself, let’s end that right now. Anyone you think of as a friend has that distinction, in part, because you’ve sensed they are for you. There is no shame in asking for a little help.* And if you think about it, there is very little risk of rejection in asking for help from someone who you already know wants to see you succeed.

* My favorite Brene Brown quote: “Vulnerability is not weakness, but rather the most accurate way to measure courage.”

ARTICLES ELSEWHERE – Links to a few other voices on the above subject matter:

A book club is what the above method of learning could naturally lead to. Here are three resources for starting a book club…

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