Each week through our Faculty Spotlight series, we invite our community members to get to know Gulliver Prep teachers across every division. Last week, we introduced Lower School’s Mrs. Grass and this week, our Faculty Spotlight features Mr. Antonio Giraldez P ’23 ’25, Middle School Social Studies Faculty. Read on to learn more!
Q: How long have you been at Gulliver, and what is your favorite thing about Gulliver?
A: I am currently in my 15th year. I was a teacher my first two years, then was an administrator (Dean of Students) for 10 years, and have been back in the classroom the past three years. My favorite thing about Gulliver, by far, is the students. Their diversity, sense of humor, and inquisitiveness still keep me going after all these years.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I taught myself to play the acoustic guitar. I picked it up late in life and didn’t want to go through the rigor of structured lessons. Instead, I learned the basic chords and then added more as I improved. I’m not that great, but good enough that I can strum a few favorite songs and unwind after a long day at school.
Q: How would your students describe you as a teacher?
A: I think my students would say that I’m tough, but fair. Sometimes he can be unpredictable with an activity or lesson that seems to have no connection to social studies, but by the end of it he somehow manages to link it back to history.
Q: How did you become interested in teaching social studies?
A: I had really great history teachers at Columbus High School here in Miami. One in particular, Mr. Cunningham, was so eccentric that I tell stories about him to my students all the time. And, yet, he was also brilliant and one of the most well-read, intelligent social studies minds I’ve ever met. Once I began working with kids in after school programs and decided I wanted to teach, there was no doubt which subject area I would choose – social studies, just like Mr. Cunningham.
Q: What are your goals for this school year?
A: I always want to improve as a teacher. I’m far from perfect and am always looking for new ways to keep students engaged and interested in history. At the same time, I also want to challenge my eighth grade students as they prepare for the shift to high school.
Favorite music genre: Rock
Last book you read: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
Favorite at-home activity during quarantine: Netflix
Last movie you watched: “The Outpost” on Netflix. It’s about the attack on Camp Keating in Afghanistan and the bravery of the men who defended it against ridiculous odds; a tremendous movie!
Favorite recipe you discovered during quarantine: Sadly I do not cook or bake. However, my wife and daughter are notorious for their wickedly good homemade Rice Krispies treats. I cannot share anything about the recipe as it is a closely guarded secret, but anyone who has tried one agrees, “They are outrageous!”