My father-in-law is visiting with us for a while as part of his cross-country journey. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, but he's made a trip across the United States pulling his small Casita travel trailer behind his truck. He's been to Missouri to see his grandson play baseball, visited his sister and his brother in Indiana and Kentucky, and when he leaves us in Birmingham, he's planning to go to the Florida coast for a while before returning home.
You may already be able to tell that he's a very interesting man! He tells terrific stories and is always ready for a laugh. Most interesting to me is what he spent most of his life doing, and that was social work. He started out as a teacher, then became a social worker and eventually ran children's homes in Florida, Wyoming, and Tennessee.
He was a social worker for 30 years, and he's been retired for about 15 or so years. He isn't on twitter, and he hasn't been to educational conferences... but as we were talking the other night about my job, he said something that reminded me that the very essence of teaching hasn't changed and won't ever.
He said, "I was a social worker for 30 years, and what it all comes down to is very simple. It's about relationships."
I bet we'll be saying the same thing 30 years from now!