What separates a good teacher from a great one?

A good teacher knows their topic, knows how to teach it and can work with a range of learners.

A great teacher …

Well, a great teacher changes everything. They teach the topic and, along the way, transform lives.

They are mesmerizing. It's hard to look away or lose interest. Something about them plants hooks in your attention and gently holds it.

They care about you. This is not just a job or something to get through – they are driven to help you master the material.

That makes them flexible, too. If the class struggles on a topic, they spend more time there. If they get it, they move on.

They use humor, stories, fun, laughter, tension, anger and joy. Their words and actions pull you along not just intellectually but with your whole self.

This is not a complete list, of course.

But you get the idea.

Imagine a tribe of people. Hunter-gatherers from before recorded history. One of the tribe traveled several days to trade goods and information with their neighbors.

She returns with a tool for hunting and war. A bow. She did not know what to make of the curved wood until one of their hunters showed her. He fired an arrow further than the best hunter could throw a spear.

The trader exchanged goods and information of her own. On the way back to her tribe, she practices. She understands the principals enough to make her own bows. (Or try to, at least).

It was a costly exchange, requiring all of her animal skins, but worth every hide.

When she gets back to her people, they're confused. They do not understand this device. In hunting and war, their warriors close the distance to their target and fight within spitting distance.

Why bother with this new, flimsy weapon?

The fate of her tribe depends on her ability to teach them how (and why) to use it. If rival tribes master it and they do not, they'll struggle to compete for food and territory.

She has to teach them.

Now, she could stand there and list the features of the bow. Smarter would be to list the benefits, focusing on what matters to the tribe.

Yet both approaches lead to extinction.

Or she can show them. Talk to them like she's known them her entire life, which she has. Use enough authority to convince them to listen while still remaining one of them, part of the tribe.

She could mercly inform them about the bow.

Or she could inspire them to use it.

Being inspiring is easy to decide but not so easy to do. Without you know self-hypnosis, that is. If you're lucky enough to have had great teachers, then you know what the end state is. Trust your unconscious mind to create that in yourself.

In the trance state, explore what your greatest teachers did and how they did it. Imagine what they would say if they could teach you the art of teaching. Think about how they must view the world … and their learners.

Absorb their lessons and become their wisdom.