Do not link your students’ self-worth to anything

Acharya Prashant
3 min readOct 22, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Question: I am a Maths teacher and I feel like I am forcing the students to learn something that they probably don’t choose to learn. Also, I feel that should I just give away this identity of a teacher because I have a feeling that this doesn’t suit me and I am feeling like I am forcing things like, “You have to learn,” “You have to do more work,” and I don’t feel quite at ease with it. So should I just drop my job?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Is Mathematics something social? Is two plus two is equal to four something psychological?

Listener 1: No.

AP: Or is ten greater than eight, a statement of identification?

L1: No, but the job is social.

AP: If the student, who gets ninety-five percent, is superior to a student who gets eighty-five percent, then it becomes a matter of identification. Ninety-five is greater than eighty, or ten is greater than eight is a pure fact, devoid of any psychological implication, right? It is just a pure fact. But when a student getting ninety-five percent is superior to a student getting eighty percent, then it is no more a fact. Now, you are suggesting something to a student about his self-worth, about his identity, about…