"When I was still in the classroom, I would tell my students, 'When I see you 5 or 10 years from now, the first thing I'm going to ask is "What are you doing?" and your answer had better not be "Nothing." I often run across former students, and they tell me what they're doing even before I ask. They know.
"I went in for some allergy testing recently and was escorted back by a young woman who looked familiar, but I couldn't place her. When we got to the room, she turned to me and said, 'Come on in, Ms. Fowler, my 8th grade teacher.' That's how I knew her! She had been my student all those years ago, and now she was a medical assistant! I was so proud of her! You know how, when you're tested for allergies, you're stuck with dozens of needles? My former student was the one doing the testing. I held out my arms, and she kept laughing as I told her, 'I'm so glad I was nice to you as a teacher!' And I was. If you're a teacher and you don't like children, then you need to get out of the profession because you're doing a disservice.
"These kids are going to be taking care of us when we get old, so it's important to educate them, help them find their passion, and encourage them to be successful."