Teacher Profile: Maria Gabriela Duarte
During her interview process at Xceed Preparatory Academy, veteran teacher Maria Duarte was surprised to learn that Xceed’s flexible scheduling benefited not just students but teachers, as well.
“Since our students do not have homework, I don’t have to go home and spend hours grading papers each night,” Maria explained. “I get to enjoy even more time with my family, which gives me time to recharge. I get up and look forward to each day at work.”
Maria, who is originally from Venezuela, is Xceed Preparatory Academy-Kendall/Pinecrest’s Spanish teacher. After earning her degree in Modern Languages from the University of Zulia, Maria taught in an English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program at Miami College before moving to Miami-Dade Schools where she was also an ESOL teacher. She then taught in a bilingual program at a charter elementary school.
When she found Xceed in 2019, she was excited to have the opportunity to work with students one-on-one and in small group settings.
“I find that our students are more interested in learning Spanish because we are speaking it together conversationally, and also because we are able to integrate it into so many campus activities like art projects, music and the culinary arts,” said Maria. “Just last year, our campus completed three different art projects that I was able to play a large part in, which I absolutely love because I get to know each student as a person—not a number.”
This lends to one of Maria’s favorite parts about Xceed: the environment.
“The students, parents and staff are all incredible,” Maria pointed out. “Our environment and culture are truly special because we’re all here to work together for the best possible outcomes for our students. The parents are involved and respond quickly, which really helps the holistic learning environment.”
Entering her third school year at Xceed, Maria is looking forward to seeing her students after the summer break. “I love talking to the students and helping them academically and emotionally. To know I am making an impact in their lives—even if it’s small—really energizes me.”
To learn more about career opportunities at Xceed Preparatory Academy, please visit www.xceedprep.org.