The dean of students--one of my thesis committee members--reminded me recently that being half-way through grad school, I really should be starting to think about what I'm doing afterward. I still have 2.5 years of grad school, but it's not unusual for top labs to have postdoctoral fellows lined up 1-2 years in advance. So though the future is still pretty far away, the day I have to decide whether to become a professor is looming much closer than I'd like.
There seem to be quite a few complaints about teachers voiced around here. So I'm wondering... Has any teacher ever truly made a positive difference in your life? Even if the teacher was teaching a specialized topic you'll never use again?
And to educators on this board, what do you love about your job? What do you hate? Would you do it all again? Even if alternate career paths could give you far more money? (Say, 400% more.) Have you ever seen a student "get it" and have a figurative light bulb turn on in his/her head? And apply it generally to life in general even though the light bulb was in a specialized subject that doesn't have much direct connection to the student's life?