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Guillermo Afonso, Mathematics Teacher

I love teaching because I love sharing the joy of learning. I treasure diving into an abstract idea, wrapping my head around it, and rejoicing when the wonderful eureka moment arrives. Guiding and helping others to enjoy this experience is very important for me. It provides a feeling of deep accomplishment that I find enriching and exciting for both me and my students.

Me and my three older brothers attended a British School in my hometown of Madrid. This bicultural upbringing helped me develop an awareness for diversity, and a love for seeing how different perspectives allow for different resources as we take on life’s challenges. After completing the IB Diploma Programme I pursued further international experiences studying mathematics at St. Andrews University in Scotland.

At university, I understood the enormous variety within cultural perspectives. These were no longer either British or Spanish, it was wider and beyond any national identifiers. A year abroad in France reinforced this belief. At university I realised how even mathematics, with its much celebrated universality, is also impacted by different approaches guided by a diversity of cultural beliefs.

My first few jobs after graduating were in the world of logistics. These involved sitting behind intricate spreadsheets optimising transport routes and travelling to meetings around Europe. One thing I loved in that job was the exposure to very different socioeconomic upbringings. A morning meeting in pristine rooms with a bunch of suited up executives, could easily be followed by a meal in the truckers’ lounge of the local industrial area. It was hectic and interesting, but I didn’t see myself dedicating my whole life to it. After three years of hard work, I decided to shift my career towards the classroom.

Before preparing for the teacher journey, I decided to fulfil my lifelong travelling aspirations. I finally managed to visit almost all continents, and live the human experience through many cultural lenses. I now treasure memories of hiking in Siberia, cycling in Mexico, hitchhiking in Turkey, or volunteering in Nicaragua. I met wonderful people throughout these travels, and many years after, I am still taking in many of these experiences.

Finally, I started to teach full time. First in an academy preparing students for all sorts of standardised testing, and later in an international school in Madrid. Just as I had predicted, I fell completely in love with teaching. During the last four years I completely immersed myself into Diploma teaching and heading the mathematics department at SEK El Castillo International School.

Now at Halcyon, I am excited to join a community that shares my beliefs regarding education. I am delighted to join this wonderful school, and I look forward to sharing the joy of learning with you.

Education

MA Mathematics, the University of St. Andrews
Masters for Secondary School Teachers from Universidad a Distancia de Madrid (UDIMA).
HalcyonGuillermo Afonso, Mathematics Teacher