Martin Bruggink: "Teaching better by connecting to the student's perspective"

News - 26 September 2019 - Communication TNW

Teacher of the Year Martin Bruggink (SEC) is all about education. "How do you ensure that people really learn something, that's the question teacher training revolves around. I teach the TU students I am in charge of to pass on knowledge to secondary school students as well as possible. I am pleased with the appreciation for education expressed in this election, which clearly shows that you can excel in this area as well."

Education has always attracted Martin, who was also a student assistant. When he came to an MBO (school for vocational education) as part of his job with the government, the old love came back to life. "Education is a fundamental part of society, and I enjoy the liveliness and diversity of people there. The group I teach now, many of whom are young adults, attracts me the most. When students are just starting out, they are often mainly concerned with building a bond with their class, but the teaching methodology is also important. How do you transfer knowledge? You can't just shoot it in the pupils' heads, I always say, and the same goes for me as a teacher, of course. It's the best thing to keep innovating in this area."

Connecting to needs
"My students are all motivated and all want to be good teachers. In my teaching I try to connect to their needs. For example, I want them to prepare a lesson according to a certain model. We have a form for this, but then that quickly feels obligatory. My main concern is that they control the process, in their own way. The form is just a tool. Students want to feel that assignments are useful. The trick is to give them the right material at the right time, to challenge them."

Exchanging experiences
One of the innovations in the curriculum that Martin is committed to is the beta didactics learning community. "We share experiences in practice and discuss how to deal with situations and with people. There is a lot of knowledge, let's take advantage of it! And time to reflect is important in the teaching profession. Certainly in education you can't do everything perfectly, you have to accept that. At least, that's what I tell my students, but in my head I secretly have a voice that thinks things can be done even better. I'm far from done with this profession!"

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Also read the interviews with Gary Steele, Pascale Daran and Ferdinand Grozema.

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