How are teachers at colleges?

Are you going to study at college in the future? What can you expect from teachers who teach there? And what is the difference with teachers at your secondary school? Now, like all people, teachers are different, but to give you an idea, I interviewed one of HZ’s favorite teachers especially for this blog. Read more and get to know him!

Interview with a teacher from college
He is thirty years old, lives alone, is not a fan of animals and passionate about his profession. My fellow classmates must now know which teacher I am talking about: Ralph van der Wekke. He is a lecturer at the HZ Communication and Commercial Economics courses:

The conversation started very pleasantly and a bit giggly, because the teacher-student relationship disappeared for a while. The atmosphere was relaxed and after ‘general’ questions, the real interview could start.

Career career
In addition to stupid facts, such as Ralph’s favorite color, which is blue, teaching and the teacher are central. Everyone has a start at primary school and a sequel to secondary school, but from when and in what way did Ralph start living his dreams? “I started at HZ with a degree in Commercial Economics. During this study I followed a minor that focused on teaching in secondary education (VO) and high school.” After that, Ralph completed a second-degree teacher training course for economics and he temporarily started teaching at secondary education and MBO. He dreamed of teaching higher education, so Ralph went on to do a master’s degree in Edinburgh. “In Scotland, the training was six months shorter. But that’s not the only reason, of course.

Ralph has now been working at the HZ for four years with ‘a super nice team of colleagues’, as he put it himself. “The collaboration is going very well, so we organize a lot of things with our team. For example, we go skiing together a lot and we are always present at the Friday afternoon drinks.” Skiing had already come up in the interview earlier, when I asked about Ralph’s favorite vacation spot. “Austria is number one, but that’s also because my parents live there most of the year. I often go skiing there, but I can also often be found there in the summer.” It was already mentioned in the introduction, Ralph is not a fan of animals. “But if I had to choose, a cat. Little care and no walking. Efficient critters, well, only if they also pee and defecate outside.”

“I am not a pedagogue, I am not here to feed the students, but to teach them.”

Love for his profession
The biggest question has not yet been fully answered, the study career is clear, but when did that love for the profession start? “I have always liked marketing and entrepreneurship, I also have my own company. I also used to love presenting in front of the class because I could explain things and talk to people. It actually only really got going when I started my minor. It is nice to let students progress a bit in their development.” Freedom is a term that is central when I ask why it has become this profession. “It is a lot of work, people think that as a teacher you don’t have to do that much, but in practical terms you are available for the students 14 hours a day. But intellectually there is so much freedom.”

I close the interview with the question why teaching is so much fun for Ralph. “I enjoy teaching something and the atmosphere among students, better than at secondary education. There, studying is an obligation for the students, here at the HZ they have been able to make a choice and they learn something that they find interesting. Studying here is done in a mature way. I am not a pedagogue, I am not here to feed the students, but to teach them something. Sometimes that clashes, but I’m not focused on that.”