When I was in second grade, I was this quiet, sweet tempered, obedient little girl. I was a favorite of my teacher's for my writing skill and desire to learn. One day we were split into pairs and assigned a station (a small project) to work on for fifteen minutes before we were told to rotate to another station. I was working with a particularly bossy, strong-willed little girl. After five minutes, she was bored with our station and wanted to move to the next before we were given permission. I protested weakly for a moment, but ended up following her so I wouldn't be left behind.
Our teacher quickly discovered what had happened and since we had broken her rules, we were told to "pull our cards" which was just a card system to keep track of how many times you'd gotten in trouble during the day. I had never pulled my card, and as I did so, the entire class watched silently and I couldn't help it- a couple large tears rolled down my cheeks.
I distinctly remember my teacher approaching me, placing a gentle hand on my head and saying these exact words: "Sweetie, I don't like to punish you, but you need to learn something here. Don't ever follow another person if you know what they're doing is wrong. Be independent. Be a leader and always do what you know is right."
It left a distinct impression on me, and I learned exactly what she wanted me to learn, and it has shaped the independent person I am today. I am very grateful for what she taught me.