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BSN News & Jobs - The Teach, Live, Learn Q&A – with Eirian Xerri

Eirian Xerri, Linguist, Polyglot and Head of Spanish at Senior School Voorschoten, answers questions
October 3 · Issue #83 · View online
The British School in The Netherlands - News & Jobs
Eirian Xerri, Linguist, Polyglot and Head of Spanish at Senior School Voorschoten, answers questions related to working at the BSN and living in The Netherlands. #BSNTeachLiveLearn

 Is BSN your first teaching position abroad?
Yes, it was the perfect choice for me as a first international experience because the welcome was so warm and I settled very quickly.
What inspires you about teaching in an international context?
I am a linguist and a polyglot, so it’s really exciting for me to walk down a school corridor and speak to different students in different languages! I also love being able to teach Spanish and compare certain grammar rules to French, Italian, Dutch or German to help the students understand. I’ve never been able to do that before and I just love it.
What inspired you to apply for The BSN in particular?
I wanted a change. I wanted to work in a hugely successful international school, I wanted to be a Head of Department, I wanted to move to a country that has a language I didn’t yet speak so I could learn it. When I saw the job advertised, it ticked all the boxes and I knew I had to apply.

In front of SSV, with 2 wheels.
In front of SSV, with 2 wheels.
What was the biggest adjustment when moving to The Netherlands?
Riding a bike again after 15 years! I fell off a lot at the start!

What’s the best thing about living in The Netherlands?
The people are just so friendly and helpful. They are also very direct which I like a lot!

What advice would you give a new colleague on their first day at BSN?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, from anyone, for anything. People are always ready to lend a hand here.
What’s the most valuable lesson about Teaching you have learned since joining the BSN?
You get out what you put in. The students can feel your passion and enthusiasm and they thrive on it, too.
What was the most recent professional development course/workshop you have done?
I went to a leadership session with Sue Aspinall towards the end of last year. I found it hugely valuable as a new leader. I was also lucky enough to go on a 3-day IB training course in Barcelona last year which was invaluable not just for me, but for the department, too.
Favourite teaching resource/professional book?
At the moment, I’m reading Tom Sherrington’s “The Learning Rainforest: Great Teaching in Real Classrooms”. I’ve not finished it yet but I’m hooked!
Describe BSN in 3 words.
Supportive. Busy. Fun.
What do you do to unwind after a busy day at school?
It sounds crazy but I really do enjoy going to my Dutch lessons and studying the language. I am hoping to sit my iGCSE this academic year.
What’s your favourite destination for a weekend getaway?
I recently went to Geneva on a weekend in term time, it’s only an hour or so flight from Amsterdam and the food was so delicious!
Who inspires you?
My mum has been and always will be my biggest inspiration – she was always a career woman and without her I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today.
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