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BSN News & Jobs - Teach, Live, Learn Q&A - with Gezina Gillen

The British School in The Netherlands - HR
The British School in The Netherlands - HR
Gezina Gillen, EAL Teacher and Translanguaging expert at Junior School Diamanthorst (JSD), answers questions related to working at the BSN and living in The Netherlands. #BSNTeachLiveLearn
Is BSN your first teaching position abroad?
This is my first overseas teaching position but I have volunteered with teenage refugees living in a camp and part of my university degree involved living in the U.S.
What inspires you about teaching in an international context?
The chance to work in a global setting with other educators who are constantly striving for high standards.
What inspired you to apply for The BSN in particular?
The opportunity to work in an incredibly diverse school with pupils from more than eighty different nationalities where there is a positive focus on the rich cultural community.  
What was the biggest adjustment/challenge when moving to The Netherlands?
I spent most of my childhood summer holidays here as I am half Dutch so I did not suffer too much from culture shock. I still sometimes forget how very punctual the Dutch like to be; I have been phoned by Dutch friends when I am one minute late for a social event!

What’s the best thing about living in The Netherlands?
Being able to cycle (almost) everywhere is a simple pleasure, especially after years on the Tube and train.  
What advice would you give a new colleague on their first day at BSN?
Remember that it is part of the learning process to ask again (and again) if you have forgotten something that you have been told! 
What’s the most valuable lesson about Teaching you have learned since joining the BSN?
Not to make assumptions that everyone thinks the same way as you do, so many of our attitudes are affected by our cultural experiences. When issues arise, I try to see matters from a totally different viewpoint.
What was the most recent profession development course/workshop you have done?
I am following a programme outside of work to increase my understanding of the needs of multilingual learners. I hope that by increasing my own knowledge and understanding I can improve my own classroom practice and that of my colleagues.
Favourite teaching resource/professional book?
Widgit online software creates a visual text using symbols. It enables pupils to access texts from the earliest stages of their language development. 
Describe BSN in 3 words?
Diverse, aspiring and reflective
What do you do to unwind after a busy day at school?
I love to exercise and in recent years have discovered the joys of running. There are so many beautiful places to run in The Hague, from the dunes to the forests.
What’s your favourite destination for a weekend getaway?
A weekend in London is a regular treat for me. There are so many places to visit that even after all these years, I never feel bored. 
Who inspires you?
My family; my father who taught me about the importance of lifelong learning by studying for his Masters in his late eighties and my children, remind me to take pleasure in the simple things in life, like a walk on the beach, a story in bed.
with medal from the 'City Pier City' running event in The Hague
with medal from the 'City Pier City' running event in The Hague
Class Teachers KS1 - KS2
Senior Leader
Deputy Headteacher
Senior Leader - 'Our Staff'
Teacher - Music (Hurry, this vacancy closes soon!)
Payroll Coordinator
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The British School in The Netherlands - HR
The British School in The Netherlands - HR @/BSNHRDept/

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