Ferdinand de Guia

Middle School Math & Science

B.S., University of Michigan


Mr. de Guia obtained his microbiology degree from the University of Michigan, where he then worked in cancer research for Pfizer. He moved to the Chicago area to work in the stem cell lab at the UIC hospital. After earning his teaching certification from Western Governors University, Mr. de Guia taught seventh-grade math and also taught at an alternative high school in Chicago for the past decade. He also coaches basketball and is an avid sneakerhead.


What motivated you to become a teacher?

I worked as a director of an overnight camp in Michigan and there I found I had a knack of working with kids. Building relationships and being a great role model inspired me to work with kids.

What is the most important lesson you want students to learn in your class?

How to treat people. You don’t have to get along with everyone, but you do have to try to understand them. Empathy.

What do you want your students to take away from having known you?

Being different is good if you go about it the right way. To be likable. To get to know everybody, you don’t have to be friends, but at least build bridges.

What traits do you look for in your ‘ideal’ student?

Curiosity, a hard work ethic, willing to help others, doing what they are supposed to be doing, and going above and beyond was is asked

What are your favorite moments with a student?

When students would stay after school and just want to talk anything and everything. They just wanted to hang out and have a meaningful conversation with an adult who didn’t talk down to them.

What are some of your interests and hobbies?

I love coaching basketball, going to the movies, and I’m a huge sneakerhead.