My Best Learning Method
by Aaron M. Zook, Jr
What is the best way to learn something? Are you an audio, visual, tactile, or experiential learner? I’ve found that the best way for me to learn something, to imprint it in my mind and my life, is to teach another person something I know.
I first realized this way of learning impacted me more than other methods when I joined the United States Air Force after one year of ROTC at The Pennsylvania State University. During basic training, my Training Instructor, or TI, conducted no-nonsense training which included instantaneous obedience. My father, a former U.S. Air Force TI, taught me this concept at home. Simple individual and group marching movements to a specific cadence require instant response to commands. I applied my experience from home and ROTC to coach others in my unit, called a flight, creating stronger cohesion and a more orderly formation when we marched or ran. My Air Force TI selected me to be the Flight’s guidon bearer to carry the unit’s flag and lead the platoon wherever we went.
After my U.S. Air Force enlistment, I finished my degree at Penn State and followed the Lord’s leading to become a U.S. Army officer. The Army selected me to be a small group instructor at the Adjutant General School when I was a captain. Each time I taught, my understanding grew, helping me become an expert. I deepened my Christian faith, leading Bible studies, musical worship, and other officers through Officers’ Christian Fellowship, teaching what I knew in the faith, cementing my growth every step of the way.
Learning through teaching helps us in all areas of life, including marriage, finances, education, and spiritual growth. The process doesn’t have to be formal, but I believe you should be intentional about what you pass on to others. For instance, my wife teaches others informally in the church and formally through her own business as a Life and Marriage Coach. Both of our sons became leaders and teachers, using their experiences to help others grow and change.
What’s your area of expertise or knowledge? Build on it. Find others who teach what you know and become an expert in your chosen field of passion.
Aaron M. Zook, Jr. is a multiple-award-winning author and speaker. He’s thrilled thousands with his YA Christian mystery/adventure series about two inquisitive brothers and their dogs who solve one crisis after another around the world. Aaron is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and lives with his wife, Joyce, in Texas.
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