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Portrait Jorrit van Rheenen

Name: Jorrit van Rheenen
Age: 23
Programme: French Language and Culture (UvA)
Minor: Education (UvA)

I get to spend all day talking about something I love

'I was already passionate about education from a young age and actually come from a family of teachers, so it’s in my DNA. All the same, I consciously opted not to follow a teacher training programme but decided to study French language and culture instead. At the university, you dive deeper into the material while also gaining a broader education. Once you have graduated, you can work as a translator or as a journalist, for example. The business world is also super keen on people who speak good French. As a result, if you take the Education minor during your Bachelor's like I did, you can get your second-level qualification within six months and can teach in the junior classes of secondary school, for example. 

The school where I did my work placement already offered me a job during my minor, so I am now officially a French teacher. What do I find appealing about the profession? I get to spend all day talking about something I love. Besides the language, I also find the French culture and literature very interesting. I think it’s great that I get to convey my knowledge to others and make them enthusiastic about French. That is sometimes a challenge in the junior classes of secondary school, however. This is also due to the attitude of some parents towards the language. During my first lesson, two pupils already came up to me with the message: "My father says French is no use at all." Hahaha, as a teacher, you’re already 1-0 behind. 

In my opinion, a minor in Education is the perfect opportunity for students to get to know teaching as a career option. In a relatively short time, you will find out whether teaching is right for you. If it isn’t, you still have plenty of other options to choose from. Although I have to say that many of my fellow students are very enthusiastic about teaching. And given the current teacher shortage, jobs are just there for the taking, especially here in the West of the Netherlands. Ten years from now I will still be in the education sector, there’s a very good chance of that.'