The paper describes and explains the teaching strategy of Iosif Yakovlevich Verebeichik, a successful mathematics teacher at special mathematical high schools -- schools for students interested in and skilled in mathematics. The resulting strategy seems counterintuitive and contrary to all the pedagogical advice. Our explanation is not complete: it worked well for this teacher, but others who tried to follow seemingly the same strategy did not succeed. How he made it work, how can others make it work -- this is still not clear. In the words of Verebeichik himself, while mathematics itself is a science, teaching mathematics is an art, which cannot be reduced to a few recommendations.