I often say that I am a missionary, and my job is to take students as they are and do my best with them. You don't complain, you just move forward.
Recently, I thought that another description would be as a wrangler. Wranglers control and care for... horses, bugs (as in movies, where there are bug wranglers), or underwear (as in advertising photography, where an underwear wrangler makes sure the garments are properly put on and reveal just what they want to reveal). That is, my job is to corral, control, and care for my students, who like most creatures want to go their own way even if that does not serve their interests or the university's.
I am both a missionary (in my attitude) and a wrangler (in my actions).