by Naomi Medina

In addition to having the privilege of teaching Psychology at Austin Community College, I am also a licensed therapist. In the context of counseling, I embrace Positive Psychology, which has had an enormous influence on my approach to teaching, and how I view each of my students. In our discussion of Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs,” I use this perfect opportunity to express to my students that I believe they each have enormous potential, and that self-actualization is a human right we are all given. I emphasize that education has the power to provide the support necessary to reach their full potential. I am sure that many of my students did not grow up with words of praise or encouragement from family, and many of them simply do not believe they are smart enough to excel. But if we, as teachers, sincerely express our belief in them, this could be all they need to continue their studies, and succeed, not only in academics, but in life.