When you cheat, you not only break my confidence on you, but you break your future.

Ten years ago I started teaching math to the seventh grade. One of my first students had always passed math and had no behavioral problem, even his teacher from the previous year recommended him as a good student to me; But in the diagnostic exam, where I always ask all students to show their work, I found several surprising things:

He did not know the multiplication tables (he wrote them down the back of the page and consulted them to write down the answers).

He did not know how to do operations with decimals (He did not even know that he had to align the decimal points when adding and subtracting), much less multiplying and dividing.

He did not understand the verbal problems and therefore could not translate them into equations and find the answers.

Watching him carefully, I found that he always sought to sit next to other students, better prepared than he and discreetly copied the answers. When I sat him away from his classmates, he immediately began to drastically lower his grades and failed the midterm exam.

The student’s mother came to talk to me. She told me that his son was very clever and that he had never had problems with any teacher or any subject and that for some reason I was harassing him unjustifiably. I tried to make her understand, without much success, that my role as a teacher is to teach my students what they do not know (even if they are topics from previous years) and that the worst damage we can do to a student is to enable him to advance academically through cheating and deception. I told her that cheating is not being smart, but cheating yourself, trying to deceive others. Immediately the lady protested and even spoke with the counselors and the director to change his class because I accused her son.

Fortunately, I was able to convince this student that if he wanted to succeed, he should first be honest with himself and recognize what he did not know about the subject and study them hard. He began to come to extra tutorial classes, to devote more time to study and less to distractions and even completed his professional studies. It worked, and on more than one occasion, he publicly thanked me for making him study all the gaps he had over several years and finish his career.

As a teacher I always insist to my students that to succeed in life requires above all, being honest with yourself and persevering until you reach the desired goal.

Like this boy, I have hundreds of successful alumni stories that have triumphed and achieved a career and economic success.

You can also succeed, it’s hard work, but it’s really worth it.