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The Stolen Watch

Author Unknown

May be a cartoon of one or more people and outerwear

An old man meets a young man who asks, “Do you remember me?”

And the old man says no. Then the young man tells him he was his student, and the teacher asks, “What do you do in life?”

The young man answers, “Well, I became a teacher.”

“Like me?” asks the old man.

“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. And the young man tells him the following story:

“One day, a friend of mine, also a student, came in with a beautiful new watch, and I decided I wanted it. So I stole it. I took it from his backpack after he had shown us it. Shortly after, my friend noticed that his watch was missing and immediately complained to our teacher, who was you.

“You addressed the class saying, ‘This student’s watch was stolen during class today. Whoever stole it, please return it.’ I didn’t give it back because I didn’t want to, and I was scared.

“You told us all to stand and form a circle. You were going to search our pockets one by one until the watch was found. However, you told us to close our eyes, because you would only look for the watch if we all had our eyes closed. We did as instructed.

“You went from pocket to pocket, and 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.’

“You didn’t tell on 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 I decided not to become a thief, a bad person, etc. You never said anything, nor did you even scold me or take me aside to give me a moral lesson. I received your message clearly. Thanks to you, I understood what a real educator needs to do. Do you remember this episode, professor?”

The old professor answered, “Yes, I remember the situation with the stolen watch. I didn’t remember you, because I also closed my eyes while looking.”

This is the essence of teaching. If to correct you must humiliate, you don’t know how to teach.

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