What Makes a Master Teacher?

Matt Church, the founder of Thought Leaders and a mentor of mine paid me a pretty big compliment the other day when we were talking (well, actually, we were exchanging texts) about teaching the Million Dollar Expert Program. He said "you get it ... that's what makes you a master teacher".

My mum said to Trish at her baby shower that one of the things she loves about Trish is that she follows her heart. From my mum, that’s about as big a compliment as you can get. My mum is all about heart. If she likes a movie, she says it has heart.

Matt calls himself a teacher – it's what he fills out on any form where they ask for occupation. He’s founded an education company. So I reckon that master teacher is pretty high praise coming from Matt. And while I think I’m still a fair way off mastery, I was pretty humbled by the acknowledgement.

And I think there is something pretty profound in what he said – you get it … that’s what makes you a master teacher. In other words, to teach masterfully, you have to understand something at a deeper level than you teach it.

Looking back, perhaps that's why in year 12 maths I used to have a longer queue of people asking me to explain stuff at my desk than the teacher had at hers. I understood year 12 maths from first principles, could explain it better than my teacher. I got it at a deeper level than she did.

It’s also the opportunity of being a Thought Leader in any field. To really claim thought leadership in any domain, you have to really get it. You have to not only understand the thinking in that area, you have to be extending it. We call it doing a commercial PHD. You have to do the work, but having done it the competitive advantage is huge. And you give yourself a shot of being a master teacher in your area of expertise.

Love to hear your thoughts and experiences – what does it take to be a master teacher? You can leave your comments below.