Thomas asked many questions in school, and the teacher said that he was addled and can't be taught. Edison's mother stormed into the school insisting that her son was anything but addled.
Your son is addled and can't be taught!
My son is a wonderful imaginative and intelligent child, and you are a failure as a teacher!
Thomas Edison became a candy butcher when he was 12. He would walk down aisles calling out his wares. He wasn't paid, but he was allowed to keep everything he earned.
Newspapers! Apples! Candy! Peanuts! Sandwiches!
Thomas Edison became a professional telegrapher when he was 16. He always tried to improve the equipment, and fixed lots of problems. He moved from job to job, city to city. His skill increased. But, he as slowly losing his hearing.