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BSN News & Jobs - Teach Live Learn Q&A - with Natalie Cole

The British School in The Netherlands - HR
The British School in The Netherlands - HR
Natalie Cole teaches English and Drama at our newest senior school, in Leidschenveen. Here, she answers our Q&A about working at the BSN and living in The Netherlands. #BSNTeachLiveLearn
What was your first international teaching postion?
Head of Y11 and English Teacher at The British School of Bahrain.
What inspires you about teaching in an international context?
Teaching a diverse set of students from all cultural backgrounds. The chance to experience different cultures and travel.
What inspired you to apply for The BSN in particular?
For the positive reputation it has around the world. I had colleagues who had previously worked for the BSN and had nothing but good things to say about their time there. I was also excited at the possibility of developing the English and Drama curriculum/department at a brand new senior campus. It’s a rare opportunity to be part of a growing school and having an input into its vision for the future.  

What was the biggest adjustment/challenge when moving to The Netherlands?
The biggest adjustment was the language. Even when I worked in the Middle East, most things were in Arabic and English. Understandably, most things here are in Dutch so going to the supermarket or receiving letters in the post can be difficult at times. Google Translate has been my best friend and the school also provides Dutch lessons which have been super helpful. It’s also hard to adjust to the cold and rain again because I do love the sun!
What’s the best thing about living in The Netherlands?
I am able to go home frequently to see my family and friends. I’m a family girl at heart, therefore only going home every 4-5 months when living in the Middle East was difficult at times. The Netherlands is also more relaxed. It doesn’t feel as stressful and fast-paced as it does in London. Having a work-life balance is definitely important here and the Dutch work to live, not live to work. 
What advice would you give a new colleague on their first day at BSN?
It may feel overwhelming at first (new school and new country), but there are many amazing people around you willing to help you find your way. 
What’s the most valuable lesson about teaching you have learned since joining the BSN?
Teaching should be about having the freedom to try new things in the classroom. BSN has given me the freedom and trust to do just that. 
What was the most recent profession development course/workshop you have done?
I took part in the ½ day Youth Mental Health First Aid at the ILA.
Favourite teaching resource/professional book?
Closing the Vocabulary Gap. With more emphasis placed on vocabulary at every key stage, the book explores these new demands and offers solutions to help bridge that gap.
Describe BSN in 3 words?
Positive. Collaborative. Open. 
What do you do to unwind after a busy day at school?
Binge watching Netflix most of the time. I also might go to the cinema or dinner with friends/colleagues. 
What’s your favourite destination for a weekend getaway?
London to see family. But I will be taking advantages of the opportunities to get a train or coach to Germany, France or Brussels in the future.
Who inspires you?
My grandmother. She moved from Jamaica to London with my grandfather in the 1950s and faced many challenges. London during this time was very different to how it is now and she faced a lot of racism and discrimination. It was hard to establish a life in the UK when there were so many barriers to contend with. Whenever I’ve felt anxious about moving to a new country or feeling like I want to give up and move home, I think about her. She was brave enough to do it in order to give her family a better life and future. She would always tell me how proud she was of me for taking that leap, so I want to continue to make her proud. 
A note on Recruitment:
It may occur that there will be some delay to our recruitment processes. All our recruitment procedures will continue as usual, except for live panel-interviews. All live meetings will be cancelled or postponed, as we do not wish to put any unnecessary pressure on applicants to travel or expose themselves or others. In order to conclude recruitment processes, some vacancy holders may decide to proceed to final interview via video interviews, relevant candidates will be notified.
And, to finish, something fun:
British School (BSN)
Students and staff from @BSN_SSL like you've never seen them before! 🤣 Having fun with #tussenkunstenquarantaine (Between Art & Quarantine), a Dutch-initiated Instagram trend. Recreate a famous work of art using (at least 3) items you have in the house. 🎨#BSNtogether @BSNArt
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The British School in The Netherlands - HR
The British School in The Netherlands - HR @/BSNHRDept/

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