There is a large shortage of teachers in the Netherlands: around 4,000 jobs. At the same time, there are about 500 teachers from Turkey in the Netherlands looking for work. Seems like a simple solution? That turns out to be more difficult than expected.
The speciality of our matcher Hülya is matching Turkish teachers. That’s a fairly large group. Given the shortage of teachers in the Netherlands, you would think that matching volunteer work or even a paid job is not a problem. Yet, it turns out to be more difficult than expected. The biggest barrier? Language. Impossible? Certainly not, but it does require assertiveness, perseverance and patience.
That it is possible, is evident from several matches that Hülya recently made. For example, a teacher has managed to get a paid job at a high school. “She learned Dutch very quickly and spoke Dutch whenever and wherever she could. She was not bothered by an occasional spelling or grammar error. In addition, she soon obtained her B2 diploma and sent an open application to every school in the area. Success was the only option, and she wanted to show that it was possible. And she did.”
Recently, for example, there was a biology teacher who had only been in the Netherlands for 2 years. After numerous unsuccessful application letters, he came across NewBees. Despite the language barrier, we were able to find a school that was willing and managed to find a volunteering opportunity. “Just put me in the back of the classroom to observe and learn how the Dutch teachers do it. I know all the theory, but talking Dutch is still difficult. Every day I stand in front of the class for 5 minutes to practice.”
In addition to language, there are also differences in culture and classroom manners. The first match Hülya made was an elementary school teacher. He mentioned that things are different here in the classroom. “Respect is expressed in a different way here. In Turkey, all children stand up when the teacher comes in, they greet him or her and only sit down when allowed. If a child here disagrees with the teacher, then it is okay to speak up. That is not done in Turkey. Here there is respect through equality. Children are freer and happier. They can express themselves and are encouraged to develop.”
Her advice to newcomers?
“Do not give up. If you want, it will work. But give it time and be patient.”
Her advice to schools?
“Be open and give newcomers a chance. You will sure be amazed.”