Overcoming Obstacles: The role of Teachers and Mentors

Ajit Hirekar
4 min readOct 20, 2020


Should 6-year-old kids learn coding?

A lot has already been said about this. My opinion is that education must be encouraged in all possible ways: through a Mobile app or Sports.

But I also believe that it is important to understand any obstacles or challenges that the kid faces. Even if the teachers are available on a screen, the responsibility now is immense to guide these kids. Involving the parents at the same time is also crucial.

Here is a small experience that I had explaining the role of Mentors and Teachers.

Check it out here and definitely share your insights and experiences:

My parents got me admitted to one of the best schools in the suburb with reputed management and some of the best teachers. But I could not read.

As a kid, I liked how my new school had a fish tank and the ground seemed so large. Students, both seniors and juniors walked in a disciplined straight line with hands behind their backs. But as soon as I entered the classroom, it was a completely different story.

I was tall for my age so I was made to sit on the backbenches. And when I was asked to read or copy from the blackboard, I was simply unable to read. I was then made to permanently sit on the first bench yet I was completely blank.

After a while, my teacher doubted if I even knew the basics: The alphabet, the colors, and the days of the week. But I knew them by heart and could sing these in the same rhythm as any of my classmates. Here, I was in the first grade; singing A, B, C, D’s to prove my worth.

My parents were called and informed that I was a sub-par student. If I did not improve in the coming days, I will be immediately demoted to the lower grade. At that age, I had already begun to disappoint my parents and I could not even fully understand the gravity of losing an academic year. I can actually remember their sadness and helplessness. My parents simply did not know how to help their child and prevent demotion. I am sure they would have tried their best to convince the headmistress and my teacher. But the decision was already made.

But as luck would have it, my very first mentor came to my rescue. Somehow, I was lucky to have a new class teacher and that too at the right time. Ms.Lorna was my new class teacher who genuinely wanted to help me. She asked me what do I actually see and I told her: ‘bucket mai pani rehta hai na sab kuch waisa dikhta hai’. Those were my exact words as I tried to explain my blurry vision.

My parents were called again. I was sure I was a lost cause and was to be demoted. But then somehow My parents were relieved even happy after the meeting and they took me to an Ophthalmologist. I had and still have moderate Astigmatism ( Astigmatism is a common condition in which your eye isn’t completely round. With astigmatism, your vision is blurry at all distances.)

And all I required was a pair of glasses.

But without the effort of my new class teacher to understand my obstacles, I would have failed even before starting. Of course, these glasses came with all the ridicule; as for a while I was the only kid with spectacles in my grade but I slowly excelled in my studies and no one could stop me. I could finally see and read clearly.

As I remember this experience, I want to share a few lessons that have shaped my life:

  • All it takes is one person, to believe in a young man or a woman, for them to reach their dreams: You might be underestimated or written out for ridiculous reasons but it takes just one person or mentor to believe in you. Fortunately, people around me gave that little kid a chance and I am forever grateful to them. Even today I realize that being a bit more patient with people who want to learn will yield tremendous results. Without mentors or leaders guiding us, none of us would have realized our true potential. The humble act by Mr.V Vaidyanathan, MD & CEO of IDFC First Bank for his Maths school teacher Mr. Gurdial Saini is an amazing inspirational gesture we can all learn from. Also, I humbly request all leaders and mentors to be more considerate and patient with the new guy; He might surpass your expectations.
  • Complex Problems might often have Simple Solutions: As I said, all I required was a pair of glasses to correct my vision. It was a simple but life-changing solution in more than one way to overcome my obstacle. In my sales experience, I try to understand the underlying problem/requirement first rather than just push a bouquet of available solutions. I aim to look for simple clues and solutions when a problem is presented. Even if I don’t find a simple solution each time, I gain from understanding the problem in depth always.
  • Your Obstacles can be the source of your Superpowers: We tend to get bogged down when we don’t nail something in the first few attempts. We don’t realize the extent of our obstacles or that we require some more practice or we might not even have the right guidance or resources at that time. But the way we uniquely learn, accept, and overcome our obstacles will determine our superpowers. I would definitely like to speak about it in detail someday.

Would love to know about your childhood obstacles and experiences overcoming them that have helped you grow stronger over the years.

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Ajit Hirekar

DGM Sales at KocharTech. #Blogger, Coffee Addict & Pizza Fanatic. And Yes, I do my own stunts!