I had the opportunity to attend a talk by Abraham Verghese, M.D., and author of the best selling novel, Cutting for Stone.
Although the talk was primarily about his philosophy of medicine, I found parallels that cross over into teaching.
Some of his more memorable quotes/phrases for me were:
“Books are about those quiet epiphanies.”
“To love the sick as if they were your own.”
“A human to human interaction.”
“Words of comfort.”
“The difference between curing and healing.”
I think a good teacher is a lot like a good physician. Verghese’s theme seemed to be: getting back to the human element in being a doctor, and taking the time with the patient. Studies have also shown the importance of getting to know your students, and the positive benefits it has on the student. I hope with all the emphasis on test scores and results, we hold to the human element of teaching as well.