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.