Psychology Teacher Speaks Out


Mrs. Hargrave smiles as she gets ready for her AP Psychology class. (Image courtesy of Luis Ortiz)

Luis Ortiz

As the only AP Psychology teacher and a member of the AVID department, Mrs. Hargrave has had much experience teaching all grade levels at Segerstrom High School. On top of being a teacher, she is also the advisor for the student-led organization called Key Club.

Mrs. Hargrave has been teaching in the district for over 20 years. She has taught at different middle schools as well as high schools. Originally, she majored in psychology with the purpose of becoming a clinical psychologist. However, she decided to become a teacher instead. Upon her arrival at Segerstrom High School, the school noticed that she had a degree in the psychology field and offered her to teach an AP Psychology course and she accepted the offer. Besides teaching AP Psychology, she also took the role of teaching AVID to 9th graders. 

“I felt I was best suited to teach the freshmen because I would be able to help them understand what it truly means to be an AVID student,” says Mrs. Hargrave.  

Anyone walking into Mrs. Hargrave’s classroom would notice a quote written on the whiteboard in front of the class. Mrs. Hargrave finds it important to write a different quote weekly because they help her students with possible motivational issues. The quotes often include advice telling students not to give up in her classroom and mainly serve as a source of inspiration for them. She cites the most important one she ever read as follows: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. This quote in particular applies to one of the messages you’d hear from Mrs. Hargrave. 

“You have to love what you do. If you are happy about what you are doing, you are going to be successful. So find what you are passionate about,” says Mrs. Hargrave. 

As to what keeps her going everyday, Mrs. Hargrave credits her husband and family for it, as well as her long-time pet dog Bradley Cooper. She feels proud to have been able to find the dog with the perfect personality, and someone to come home to after a hard day’s work. 

Overall, what makes her a great teacher is that she always spreads positivity during class everyday even when she might not be in the best mood. 

“She establishes an atmosphere in her classroom that allows for a fun, yet educational experience. It also helps that she tries to connect with us and apply the concepts that we learn in class to our lives, often in humorous ways,” says Bryan Garibay (12).