Selfish Teaching

by Zach Briggs

I find that teaching others is a highly effective way to get better. However, this only works when I'm putting full effort into the task and using feedback to optimize.

If I give instructions to a novice, I should probably use simplified rules and half truths at first.  Giving the nuanced rules to that novice may frustrate them. May put enough of a roadblock in their path to stifle growth. I need to watch the student to see if the answer was complete enough to be useful but not so detailed as to confuse them. Based on that feedback with this student, hopefully I'll limit the damage that I deal to the next one.

However, if I only understand the simple heuristic then I will never advance. To give a simple but effective answer for a complicated question, the teacher MUST understand the nuance. Must assume that they got it wrong and verify those nuanced points with an authority.