When a master craftsman begins work repairing a piece of furniture, he proceeds extremely carefully. His first step is to carefully take apart the item, piece by piece, without damaging any part, not even the one which is defective. He proceeds to evaluate each component, determining whether it is in excellent, fair or poor condition. Some parts will have to be replaced whereas others can be refurbished. He must establish the order in which he will execute his work and the exact approach for each separate component.

All of these stages are important when an educator wishes to have a proper impact on a student. He must first carefully review the virtues and shortcomings of his pupil, reflecting on them with great deliberation. He must then assess each factor in the student’s makeup.

A competent teacher who follows this process will meet with tremendous success. Above all, an educator must be calm and patient, directing his mind and heart to the minutest details pertaining to a student and his education.

Sefer HaSichos 5703, p. 221