Answer by Drew Gormley:
I had a student walk into my room after school (half day) before Christmas break. He was "bored." How he could be bored on the first day of vacation was beyond me. He finally had freedom, and we had only finished school 20 minutes before.So I asked him what he wanted to be as an adult and he said "Lawyer."
My father was a lawyer, studying in his patrolcar while he worked for the police department, and his journey through law school, to his first office in an empty building to his eventual success, ten years into his career, stuck with me always. I felt qualified to help him. I knew how much work it took to succeed in that field.
So I told him, get the phone book, and call every law firm near you and ask to work for free there. They will say no, your job is to try, their job is to say no. Eventually, you'll find someone who doesn't say no.He left, I forgot about it. Kids usually ignore what you teach. But when I got back from Winter break, he'd already started interning at a law firm, the 21st one he called.The firm later played a key role in his adult life too, so somehow I did a great thing teaching him to work the phone, and not be afraid to hear "NO".I consider that my biggest teacher victory. I taught him courage.