When I asked him what he wanted to major in next year he told me, "I want to be a teacher." We then went on to discuss good teaching colleges (he wants to attend the college I attended) and what kinds of classes he will take, and I gave him some of my wisdom about which professors were effective and which classes I liked best.
Later that night, my colleague and I were talking and I told her about the conversation I had with that student. I told her, "He wants to be a teacher-and he could be president! That kid could do anything!"
After I got home, I thought about what I said to my friend, and was mad at myself. Why WOULDN'T I want one of the smartest and most well-rounded students I've met to become a teacher? Why would I say such a thing as, "He could be president and all he wants to do is teach!" That isn't my mentality about kids. I want all kids to believe in their dreams, no matter what!
It got me thinking that the mindset about teaching needs to change. I would never want any other job except for teaching (and never have, except for a brief hiatus where I wanted to be a marine mammal trainer at Sea World). Teaching is the best and most rewarding job in the world, and we should encourage our brightest and smartest kids to pursue it if it's their dream. Even if they are smart enough to become a doctor or confident enough to become the president, we should always, always, always encourage our best and brightest to teach. After all...isn't that who you would want for your child's teacher? Or for your colleague? :)