Teachers Who Humiliate Are Not Real Teachers

An old man meets a young man who asks, “Do you remember me?” The old man says, “No.” Then the young man tells him he was his student. The teacher asks, “What do you do, what do you do in life?” The young man answers, “Well, I became a teacher.” “Aww, how good, like me?” Asks the old man. “Well, yes. In fact, I became a teacher because you inspired me to be like you.” The old man, curious, asks the young man at what time he decided to become a teacher. Then the young man tells him the following story:

“One day, a friend of mine, also a student, came in with a nice new watch, and I decided I wanted it and stole it… I took it out of his pocket. Shortly after, my friend noticed it gone, he immediately complained to our teacher, who was you. Then you went to the class and said, “This student’s watch was stolen during classes today. Whoever stole it, please return it.”

“I didn’t give it back, because I didn’t want to.” Then you closed the door and told us all to get up, and you were going to search our pockets one by one until the watch was found. But you told us to close our eyes, because you would only look for his watch if we all had our eyes closed. So we did, and you went from pocket to pocket. When you went through my pocket, you found the watch and took it. You kept searching everyone’s pockets, and when you were done you said, ‘open your eyes. We have the watch.’

The student says, “You didn’t tell me, and you never mentioned the episode. You never said who stole the watch either. That day you saved my dignity forever. It was the most shameful day of my life. But this is also the day my dignity was saved, and I decided not to become a thief or a bad person. You never said anything, nor even scolded me or took me aside to give me a moral lesson, I received your message clearly. And thanks to you, I understood what a real educator needs to do. Do you remember this episode, professor?”

The professor answers, “I remember the situation, the stolen watch, which I was looking for in everyone’s pocket, but I didn’t remember you, because I also had closed my eyes while looking.”

This is the essence of teaching…If to correct you must humiliate; you don’t know how to teach “