He may be a newcomer to Primary teaching, but native Spaniard Alvaro Fuente Infante has a diverse background working with young students. From coaching tennis to tutoring Spanish, Alvaro brings a wealth of skills and experience to his new role as ACG Sunderland’s Primary sports specialist.
Tell us a bit about your background.
Even though I’m a new teacher, I’ve been coaching children for the past eight years. I was the club director at Becroft Park Tennis Club in Forrest Hill and ran the junior programmes there. And I also ran the under 12 tennis academy at Tennis Northern, Albany. In addition, I’ve worked at several schools introducing motor skills programmes based on teamwork and cooperation, plus I’ve tutored Spanish and assisted Year 12 and 13 Saint Kentigern students as they prepare for their International Baccalaureate Spanish exams.
What appeals most to you about teaching PE and sports?
To me, PE and sports – especially in the early stages – is about getting children to learn movement skills that can be transferred to any sport or physical activity they wish to practice in the future. It also teaches resilience, collaboration and team culture. Seeing children improve and learn new skills is extremely rewarding.
How do you engage students who are a little unsure or self-conscious?
By creating an environment where everyone feels safe and comfortable to make mistakes and try their best.
What values are important to you in a school?
I believe that any teaching starts with respect, and I am a strong advocate of having the right team culture where everyone feels valued and can shine. My values and the values of ACG Sunderland are closely aligned, and I was excited for the opportunity to immerse myself in the Cambridge curriculum.
What can we expect to see from you in the coming school year?
My goals are to integrate myself into the school culture as quickly as possible, teach with intense passion, and improve every day as a new teacher.
Where can we find you outside of school?
Tennis is a big part of my life. In my younger years back in Spain, I managed to be the under 12, 14 and 16 regional champion, and here in New Zealand, I play first grade interclub for Northcote Tennis Club. I train on a weekly basis and still coach tennis part-time. Aside from tennis, I love listening to The Cranberries and Muse, biking, gardening and cooking Asian food.
What might we be surprised to learn about you?
I speak some Te Reo Māori, and in addition to my Graduate Diploma in Teaching, I also have a finance degree. Oh, and I’m passionate about finding ways to grow tropical fruit!
Any tips to share with students for 2022?
Try your best in physical education and learn how to use your body in new ways. Hopefully, by the time your Primary PE classes come to an end, you’ll be well-placed to choose a sport that fuels your passion. And just remember, every little step forward counts. Moving mountains always begins with moving small rocks.