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Staff Profiles: Cynthia Cueva

Cynthia Cueva

Head of Spanish

I have been working as a teacher since 2008. I started in London where I worked in several schools as a High School Spanish and French teacher. In 2015, I moved to St Andrews to teach both, Primary and High School students, and in 2017 I became Head of Spanish. 

As a teacher who is passionate about her subject I like to make my lessons meaningful and practical to all students. As we live in a globalised world in continuous change, speaking languages has become crucial to find a job. Nevertheless, learning languages is not only an academic matter, it's much more than just being able to reproduce and understanding words. Learning a language increases mental focus as well as reading and writing abilities, but far more important, sharpen the critical thinking of students and broaden their perspective about society and the word around them. Opening the mind to new cultures gives the opportunity to develop new ways of thinking, philosophies, histories and traditions. It is also helpful to develop great interpersonal skill. 

That's why over the years, my teaching of languages has been cultural centered. And that's why I made my move to an international school and why I chose St Andrews, which has a strong focus on languages. I love teaching and I always try to better myself and to find innovative ways to teach. I have always brought practical activities to empower communication in the classroom and seeking the use of real resources is paramount in my lessons. In my school in London I played an important role in introducing trips abroad. In St Andrews I have developed an exchange programme pairing us with a Spanish school, which has given the students an opportunity to further expand their learning by participating different activities involving letters, presentations and video exchanges. 

St Andrews is an outstanding, successful and increasingly popular international school. However, it is the school's ethos that makes it a unique place to work. I believe that one of the most valuable qualities that a school should have is the desire to be as inclusive as possible. In St Andrews, inclusion not only promotes quality but also and more importantly, equity education for every child. There is a stimulating atmosphere which promotes a curiosity to learn, critical thinking and, in general, to be the best that everyone can be. St Andrews not only offers a supportive environment for students but also for staff. Teachers have many opportunities for development and are well cared for ... and therefore the turnover is very low. Certainly, when you walk in St Andrews for the first time, you soon get involved in this aura of community, sense of achievement and happiness; it is a great place to work and learn that's why everybody is very proud of our school.

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