What was the biggest adjustment/challenge when moving to The Netherlands?
The amount of forms I had to fill in and the sheer amount of insurance everyone has here! I am incredibly insured and covered for every eventuality… although my understanding of Dutch legal language isn’t much better, I’m afraid!
What’s the best thing about living in The Netherlands?
The European liberality, café culture and the lovely hot summers on the terraces and canal sides of Den Haag, Rotterdam, Delft and Amsterdam! There’s so much going on here to get involved with, especially if you’re brave and learn Dutch to integrate better.
What advice would you give a new teacher on their first day at BSN?
Look and listen and absorb everything that’s going on. Make sure you have your timings sorted out (e.g. breaktimes, duties and assemblies!) but don’t worry about being perfect straight away; it takes time to get everything in place and you got the job for a reason!
What’s the most valuable lesson about Teaching/Leadership you have learned since joining the BSN?
That everyone leads in different ways, and everyone has different moods, attitudes and ways they like to work. It’s best to be adaptable and to change your approach if something’s not working!
What was the most recent professional development course/workshop you have done?
I did the Early Leadership course last year with the ILA
which was great – university-led, clear and made me think a lot about the kind of person I am and which qualities I’d like to develop.
Can you recommend a teaching resource?
Sounds clichéd, but your colleagues. Ask around for every new thing you’re covering. Even if you’ve taught it a million times before there’s bound to be someone else on the staff who’s got something great you could borrow or has a fantastic idea for something you’re teaching!
Describe BSN in 3 words?
Busy, international, welcoming.
What do you do to unwind after a busy day at school?
Have a glass of wine in my garden with my boyfriend or go to a pub quiz.
What’s your favourite destination for a weekend getaway?
I like either cycling to the beach through the forest or heading to Amsterdam for a quick weekend away. You can get to most places in Europe from here for a weekend, so we’ve been to Paris for a weekend this term and last year we managed to fly to Florence and back for a speedy weekend too. Poor me…!
Who inspires you?
Barack and Michelle Obama – always acting with grace under fire!