Julio Guillen faces 2020 in Westford Academy

Julio Guillen stands outside ready for the school year.  He joins the foreign language team for 2020.

Photo provided by Julio Guillen

Julio Guillen stands outside ready for the school year. He joins the foreign language team for 2020.

Mackenzie Adam, Staff Writer

Julio Guillen joins Westford Academy’s foreign language team, teaching Spanish. He is excited to continue his teaching journey here at Westford Academy and learn about the Westford school system.

Q: Where did you go to college? 

A: I went to San Marcos University, in Lima, and Northeastern University, in Boston.

Q: Where did you teach before Westford Academy?

A: I worked at the Technology Regional HS, Montytech.

Q: What do you teach here at Westford Academy?

A: I’m teaching Spanish. Honors and AP.

Q: How long have you been teaching?

A: I’ve been teaching Spanish for around eight years. 

Q: How do you feel about the community at Westford Academy so far? 

A: I feel good about the learning environment. The faculty team, they are all friendly and very professional. The students are all well behaved. So far I can only express good impressions about my experiences at Westford Academy. 

Q: How do you feel about the COVID-19 hybrid setup? 

A: It is a new experience because I have done some online, but not this much. This is a new routine for everybody. 

Q: Do you think it could be improved at all?

A: Yeah, I think it can be improved. I mean, it depends on how efficient the technology you’re using. As microphones headphones, and other supplies.

Q: How do you plan on improving your students’ experiences in Spanish honors and AP?

A: I try to emphasize speaking skills. So I will try to have them use the language in an immediate situation. I want them to have experiences in school, home, or any other socio-environment. So they can use the language with confidence

Q: Why did you decide to teach Spanish at WA? 

A: I had the opportunity. I have been teaching beginners, Spanish 1, 2, 3, and intermediate but this was an opportunity to teach AP classes and honors. I am a native Spanish speaker so I feel more comfortable speaking Spanish. I’m speaking Spanish within AP 100% of the time and 95% of the time in honors. 

Q: Are you enjoying WA and the classes you teach?

A: Yes, so far. I have two honor classes and two AP classes. Each class is divided by pod A and B. So, we have eight groups. There are four classes but each divided into two groups. As I have mentioned before, we as faculty and students are adapting to this new routine, in the classroom we use two computers. One to have the remote students and the other to use the materials I present to the class. So that’s something new, using two computers. So I’m talking to students in the classroom and I have to talk to the computer. 

Q: Other than the technology has the masks or anything other things related to COVID-19 affected your experiences at Westford Academy? 

A: We have to wear masks all the time so that’s, I think a problem for everybody. When we talk that affects how clear and loud you speak. When learning a language the masks create a problem. 

Q: How do you plan on improving with the masks or how can you help others improve? 

A: Everyone needs to speak louder and slow, a little bit slower and louder so we can hear what they are saying clearly. I think the ideal would be for each student in the class to have an individual microphone and have a speaker for the class. So that we can hear what everybody says clearly. The teacher would also have a microphone. That’s something for the future.

Q: Would you like to add any final thoughts? 

A: I am enjoying my first few weeks in Westford. I think with our faculty we can do a great job and the students who are very dedicated. I think we can get very far and achieve our goals.