Michelle, a secretary for a huge law firm, gets into a huge fight with her boss, Tom. She’s angry, so she begins to raise her voice. In an instant, he’s screaming back at her. Tom starts insulting her, and eventually she gets so nervous that she spills her cup of coffee on herself. Humiliated, Michelle takes the rest of the day off, unsure of how to handle the issue.
What comes to mind when you hear the words “sex trafficking”?
If you’re like a lot of people, you might think of a sinister alley in a foreign country serving as the local red light district.
Around this time of year, I often get emails from individuals who had just gone through the application process for graduate school, but did not receive any offers. The emails always have a similar theme: What can I do now?
“Your child is bright. He could grow up to become the President of the United States.” I was in the fifth grade when I heard those words from my teacher. Because my parents spoke only Spanish, I was asked to be the translator at my own parent-teacher conference. I relayed the words to my parents with mixed emotions. I was proud hearing them, but also troubled. I knew at an early age I could never become the President of the United States—I was an undocumented immigrant. Yes, I was bright and I had goals and ambitions, but I was uncertain whether I could ever reach them. Through hard work and perseverance, my family earned our permanent resident card and, in 2009, we became U.S. citizens.
We all like having someone to blame. Whether it is the state of the economy, security, sanctions (or lack thereof), it just seems to feel better if we can point a finger. Learning is no exception. Educators point fingers all the time. Americans bemoan the state of public education. States experiment with different ways to resurrect dropping exam scores and poor testing results. College faculty often blame high school teachers who often blame middle and elementary school teachers. Teachers also blame parents for not fostering good study habits or disciplining their kids, and blame students for not studying enough.