Some years ago I was teaching at one of the secretarial schools in New Jersey. In one of my classes was a lovely young lady from Haiti. I immediately knew after working with her in one session that she had chosen to aspire below her ability. One day after mustering up enough courage and hoping that I would not offend her, I asked, "Why are you taking this course?" and she looked at me and said, "Because I want to become a secretary." "No you don't," I answered.
The girl was quite surprised at my response. I then said to her, "You're too smart to be contented with a position like that." After she insisted, I told her I would find her a job as a secretary, which I did. However, I had the foresight to find one for her at a university.
About three months later, I met her in the supermarket. "Still want to be a secretary?" I asked. Her prompt response was, "No!" I looked at her and smiled, "That's why I found you a job in a university."
To make a long story short, the young lady has since completed a Master's degree in Labor Negotiations. Can you imagine how proud I am? As instructors we can play a significant role in the lives of our students if we just help them see themselves as we see them.