Today was my very last day at De Gelderlandschool in The Hague, Netherlands. I was pretty sad that I would not be able to see these kids anymore, but I’m also so excited to go on the rest of our adventure and get home.
As I entered the classroom today, a student brought me an entire thing of macaroons… WOOHOO! Another student brought me a goodbye card. These kids are so sweet I can’t take it!!
We started the learning for the day and got right to spelling. The kids worked on their new spelling words for the week by working on a practice worksheet where they fill in the correct word and correct spelling. Next, on the Promethean board (which is actually called a starboard) Abida went over some questions on the board as the students answered the questions.
Their next lesson was an individual assignment where each student gotout their books and worked silently. It was amazing how quiet it got! They use these cool things that show the time all around the world. I needed one for this whole trip because I kept forgetting haha.
The kids took a test in their work book next and had to sit quietly in their desks jntil everyone finished. They could read their newspaper after they finished. The test is pronounced “vis vies” which is interesting to me.
Next week, all of groep 8 in the Netherlands take a standardized test similar to STAAR and they call it the “advice test” because it tells the students which high school they are ready for. Their school system is different and they go to high school based on academics rather than where they live. I find it interesting that they take the test to determine their schooling. Only groep 8 has to take it though. No other younger kids take atandardized tests. Every school here follows their own curriculum and they do not have to match with other schools, unlike Texas.
Every day around 9:30, one student gets pulled out of the classroom for extra help in reading. The school does not have areading specialist, but just has other teachers at the school leave their classroom and help out individually. Most teachers do not work a full 5 days in the classroom, so it makes things easier for 1-on-1 help since those teachers are free during that time.
A student from groep 7 came into the class to ask if anyone in our class wanted to order healthy food. Their theme is healthy food. They are raising money for the food bank through asking people if they want to buy healthy foods. If money goes missing, the kids have to bring money from home because the teacher says, “we do not steal from the food bank.”
At 10:00 we had snack and then went outside for recess. It was all the same as usual.
Spelling was at 10:30 and the kids used flash cards and wrote down the words for the week.
At 11:00, a lady came in to video a lesson and I swear she kept videoing me. I was as squished as I could he to the wall to hide behind the computer. I did not want her to put me in some school video or something!!!
After lunch, the kiddos and I played simon says and sang the YMCA for the last time. I was so sad because I had to leave them today!!!
At the end of the day, the Abida and the kids gave me a mini goodbye party. It was so emotional for me and I did not even think I was going to be as sad as I was. The kids made me this cute card and every page was written by a different student. The funny thing was, one of the students asked what my favorite food was, so of course I told her tacos. The front of the letter ended up having a taco on it. HAHAHAH! Some of the students gave me gifts, as well as Abida, Linda, and Judith. I was overjoyed. These sweet people made such an impact on my life the past 3 weeks. I miss them so much already.
The students and I took a group picture and then the girls wanted to take a girls only picture. They already had a pose in mind.
After leaving, I walked home along the beach and captured its beauty for the last time in the 3 weeks I was staying there.
Overall differences I have seen in the Netherlands:
- The cars and houses are small.
- The public transportation system is pretty good and used by most.
- People do not dress themselves up much.
- Everyone eats lots of cucumbers.
- They say they speak “Nederland” not “Dutch.”
- The people are extremely diverse.
- Christianity is not a widely practiced religion. Even some churches closed.
- It is very cold.
- Most people also speak English.
- Coffee and tea are always ordered after eating a meal.
- They do not do to go orders or leftovers in a to go box.
- Most places cannot split checks.
- They always order bread. and wine is not as good here.
Overall differences I have seen in the public school system:
- No standardized tests until groep 8.
- They call their grades “groep.”
- They start school at age 4, no matter what time of year.
- Children’s learning is mostly on their own through experimentation and investigation.
- Students leave and go home for an hour and half for lunch.
- Most kids walk to school.
- No uniforms.
- Some kids wear the same outfit 4 times in a row.
- Every day the teachers get coffee and tea for free in the teacher’s lounge. (drink out of clear mugs)
- Schools can have only 1 class for each grade.
- They teach Dutch and English.
- They go to primary school and then straight to high school.