Saturday, July 21, 2012

End of the year

This last week has been crazy. The end of the academic year always seems to be chaotic with everyone panicking that nothing is really ready for September when it all starts again. It never is and it never will be, so I don't know why they panic...just part of the routine, I suppose.

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but since last September, I have been teaching two mornings a week at the Rotterdam Business School, which is itself part of the Hogeschool Rotterdam, a sort of university college. RBS, as it's otherwise known, is where International students  are generally enrolled, and 90 percent of these tend to be Chinese. RBS has a reciprocal arrangement with Shanghai University to take students who have done some studying there and give them a European academic education and degree. This kind of programme is driven a little too much by commercial interests for my liking, but I enjoy being there very much because of the students - they are just great and I really like them immensely.

Working with students from such a different culture, language and educational background is also a huge challenge, and I find it endlessly stimulating. It rather puts the teaching of English to European students in the shade as far as the variety, creativity and new approaches that are needed are concerned. Anyhow, once the exams for the year were over and the students had graduated to the next stage, the scramble to look at the new curricula, timetables and division of classes took over and that was much less fun.

There was, however, one very delightful interlude in the midst of all this. I decided to take a group of my students out for a kind of farewell treat, so I arranged with them that we would meet in the harbour and then go across the river to the Hotel New York. This is a famous and rather ornate building where the great America Line ships used to moor up and where throngs of hopefuls would embark on their way to a new life in the US. There we had coffee and pastries and I gave them all a small gift. Then we took the water taxi back over the river and had a nice walk around our harbour where I showed them the Vereeniging and all the other ships lying there.

Are we having a good time, or what?

He's so cool, but then so is she!

Happy faces

More happy faces

Looking ahead in the Water Taxi

What pretty girls, and so very sweet too!

View of Rotterda's skyline from the Water Taxi

It was a happy day. The sun shone warmly for us and my lovely students were all charm and smiles. What a sweet group they have been and what a pleasure to teach. It makes all the administration hassle worth it to know I have somehow been a small part of the academic machine that is helping them on their way.


  1. How lovely! It is great when you get a good class that you enjoy, makes teaching worthwhile. The girls are so pretty and smiley. You are coming through as Watery Ways on my reading list and I will change you on my blog roll xxx

  2. what happy photos, Val. They look like they are having a blast.
    I am sure they will never forget such a wonderful Teacher they had!

  3. Thank you, Fran. It was beginning to get lonely over here :) Yes, you are so right about having a good class. Just one of these keeps me going all year. Luckily, I've had two of them this last year. Wonderful!

    Grace, thanks! Yes, we had a lovely time and they are a great bunch of students. I will remember them always!

  4. You are one of those stellar teachers who goes beyond what's necessary and ordinary and who will be remembered by this small group for the rest of their lives.


  5. Awww thank you Anna Marie! It's easy to be a dedicated teacher when you such rewarding students.

  6. One of my friends is hosting girls from Asia who are Uni students every quarter. They live with her as they attend school in America. They are lovely, so I know what you mean!

  7. How very fortunate for that class of students and their Teacher to have shared such a special relationship. The memories of which will enrich them throughout their lives.

  8. must have been an amazing day because; great teacher ;P , Hotel New York 'jammie' food & amazing building. And the watertaxi's are a coolride!!!

  9. Thank you all, but I mean it when I say it's the students who make it worthwhile. They are just lovely!


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