I had a unique experience with a doctor this week. It was unusual to say the least. I’ve needed a new primary care physician for awhile, and this week I had my first appointment with the doctor a friend recommended.
I knew it was going to be a different experience several weeks ago. Her nurse called to tell me that they saw I was coming in and wanted to talk to me ahead of time about my medical and family history and the reason for my visit. She arranged to get all of my medical records, so she could be prepared for my visit. Let me say that again. My new doctor spent time before I ever even met her getting my history, studying my records, and asking about my needs. She said she never wants to waste my time.
At the appointment, she was in fact fully up to speed on my past, so we could spend our time talking about the present.
There were lessons for me every step of the way.
Prepare. Take the time to read and research and ask questions. Make it your goal to know enough up front so that you are not wasting anyone’s time when you are face to face. Teachers know this. They spend their time outside of class learning content and instructional strategies, and they design engaging lessons long before they are in the classroom.
Take your time. Making a connection with a person in more important than accomplishing a task. Everything is easier when you have a relationship. Teachers know this. They’ve spent their time this first week getting to know their students and working hard to build a community of learners. Early steps are about laying the foundation.
Be human. It is so easy in the moment to rush through what needs to be done and move on to the next task. Slow down and focus on the person in front of you. We are all human. We all have good days and bad days; we all have times when we need help; and we all matter. Be sure when you are with someone that you’ve invested in helping them know they matter. Teachers know this. They take time with every student, every day to help them know they matter.
I really just needed a new primary care physician. What I got was so much more.