Alumni Spotlight: Kevin GuerreroKevin Guerrero was a student at the Gibraltar College from September 1991 until July 1993, entering a year after doing his GCSEs when he decided to discontinue his A-levels and go to the College.

During his time at the College Kevin successfully achieved a BTEC National Diploma in Business studies (equivalent to two A-levels) as well as A-level Spanish.

Kevin went on to complete a BA with Qualified Teacher Status in Business Studies (with IT modules) at the University of Wolverhampton.

He has been a Business, and now IT, teacher at the Gibraltar College since he graduated in 1997; and currently holds the position of IT Resources Coordinator.

My Time at the College
I remember going to Bayside for a staff training course once, and speaking with an old teacher of mine. It was a pleasant chat, and soon enough he inquired why I was actually there at Bayside that day. I responded I was there for the training course, to which he responded with obvious surprise "YOU are a teacher?" he couldn't believe that the same poor student he had once taught was now a teacher, like himself.

It's not that I was a bad student whilst I was in Bayside... I just wasn't a good one either. I'd suffered with motivation issues most of my time there... I think perhaps because I simply didn't enjoy most of my subjects, a dislike that grew as I entered GCSEs, having to often choose subjects I didn't want because of limitations and rules imposed on what could be taken, and not being able to take subjects I enjoyed because, again, of limitations of how many of that type could be taken. Adding to my apathy towards my semi-forced choice of subjects was increasing disgruntlement towards some of my teachers. Whilst of course there were a handful of teachers I remember quite fondly, a couple of whom inspired and motivated me to study, most of the time the reverse was true. All-too-often many of my teachers would simply reprimand me when I under-performed, but do little to help or inspire me; and ultimately just give me more work - which added to my growing apathy and resentment for school life. I scraped through 5 GCSEs and I was doing the first year of my A-levels (English and Spanish, having had little choice because of my GCSE results), and I just came to the realisation that I really disliked what I was doing. And I wondered... where would I go from there? Off to University to study that same or related [disliked] subject at a more difficult level even further for 3+ years? And what then? Maybe get a PGCE? Or a job where I'd have to rely on a taught subject that I disliked? Realistically, I began giving serious thought about leaving school and seeking employment - but what realistic options would I have without A-levels and only a few low-grade GCSEs? But if I was already contemplating leaving school because I disliked what I was doing... then realistically, what were the odds of my seeing it through to the end at university, then as a career?

It was actually my mother that convinced me to go to the College and speak to them about my options there. I admit I was very reluctant, as a short period earlier a group of College students had come to talk to my class about the College, but my teachers had told us that the College was 'for thick people'. Being in my teen years, I admit I preferred the thought of dropping out of school and seeking employment, to being given the stigma as a College student. But I went anyhow, and spoke to a College representative. What I was told about the courses sounded interesting, and that I could still go on to University (I had also been told that the College's courses did not count for university), and with a subject that I would have chosen, and hopefully found more interesting. Since I was determined to leave Bayside by that point, I decided to give it a try. I simply thought... what have I got to lose?

Even though the new term had started, the College still gave me a slot in their BTEC National Award Business Studies class. I have vague memories of my time in Bayside, but I have many fond memories of my two years at the College. I was treated as an adult. I was encouraged to do better, and given guidance when I needed it, with my mistakes explained to me so I could improve. Classes were more relaxed, in a good way as it encouraged more communication and team-working between students, and improving relationships with your teachers. I recall in one class most of my students had learnt in their GCSE-equivalent courses how to type full-handed, whilst I was limited to two fingers, and thus found myself behind the others in productivity. My subject teacher took it upon herself to help me, and taught me the basics of how to type of her own volition, lending me a book so I could self-improve. That was a valuable skill that I take advantage of every day - which I was taught by a caring teacher who wanted to help beyond her subject obligations. The end result is that whilst I had been scraping Es and Ds during my A-level in Bayside, I was averaging Merits (and a couple of Distinctions) at College. I didn't just get my A-levels, I learnt valuable life skills from my teachers which I have never forgotten.

College had such a profound effect on me, that I went on to University to do a BA in Business Studies with Qualified Teacher Status because I passionately wanted to come back and teach at the College. I was so grateful for my time and experience there, that I wanted to return and help future generations of students like myself. Students that, without the alternative course choices, difference in environment and teaching methods, would not have done well or finished their education.

I graduated in 1997, and was fortunate to be immediately employed as a teacher - at the College! I have been teaching here for twenty years, and I hope to remain until the day I retire. I now work alongside colleagues who were once my teachers, just as several of the teachers at the College are former students of mine. Some are even the former students of teachers who were ex-students of mine! The College took me from being a mediocre student who wanted to drop out, to having taught several generations of fellow teachers, managers, business owners and the likes; and I take great pride every time I hear of an alumni excelling in their career and knowing that I had even some small part to play in their educational journey.

Thank you College for giving me what I needed. Thank you to my College teachers for everything I learnt, and showing me how good teachers can change lives.

And, of course, thank you mum!Kevin Guerrero

Alumni Spotlight: Kevin Guerrero
The "ICT Office" teachers, Christmas 2014
From left - Mr Guerrero, Mr Barea, Mr Cumbo and Mr Seromenho - the latter two being former alumni of Mr Guerrero



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