Joey in ‘t Panhuis
Primary Teacher in Year 6, YSE Facilitator & Mentor in Secondary, Division Council Representative for Primary, UWC Maastricht
Joey was born and raised in the Netherlands and has lived in different cities around the country his entire life. His own teachers had inspired the teaching vocation in him; he was also bullied in Primary school, so he always had the idea that that was something he would like to tackle in his classrooms, to really make a difference. At the early age of 16 he started his Teacher Training and later worked in science education for kids doing Mad Science. He likes to remember how he got paid to launch rockets and blow things up. After 3 years engaged in such experiential education, in 2007 Joppenhof International Department Maastricht (one of the schools that would soon after become UWC Maastricht) offered him first a part time job doing Mad Science in English, then covering for teachers on sick or maternity leave and eventually Joey got his own Year 2 class for 3 years and has now done 6 academic years of Year 6. He was part of the staff which moved on into the new UWC Maastricht at the end of 2009, when two previously existing schools were merged to join the UWC movement.
“What I really love about the kids in this school is that no matter what group you talk to there is openness to new ideas, they are polite when they voice their opinions, but there is a power with which they are voicing them.
Students can question why they are doing things and opt not to do them if it doesn’t make sense to them. That shows that they are feeling empowered and that is a UWC strength.
I think it is a privilege for UWC to have such a whole school state-funded model and it is even more to the UWC values than only having a 2 year college, because it brings us perspective immediately instead of you having to go outside of your school to look for opportunities because the School is so broad. There’s lots of opportunities already within that really offer great chances for students both in all the years of Secondary and in the Primary to learn from each other. It is that connection that is so important and this is something that other UWCs could learn a lot from if we get it in track the way we want it, because we’re still learning as well!”