Among the last eight nominees!
03/09/2023 - 08:55
Teachers are expected to be able to explain things of course, but you need to have some more abilities to become ‘Teacher of the Year’. This year, BUas has nominated Bas Groot of the Academy for Built Environment & Logistics for this national election organised by ISO.
All universities and universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands can nominate one teacher. Bas has passed the first selection with flying colours and is one of the eight finalists. He will be given an opportunity to present himself to the jury soon. If he wins, he will bring €25,000 to the campus for innovating our education. Don’t feel the pressure, Bas! You excel in delivering courses such as Personal and Professional Development, Connection to Industry & Research, and Communication Skills, so you will certainly deliver an excellent pitch!
What are you going to say to convince the jury?
‘I still consider myself a student, too,’ chuckles Bas. ‘Would it help if I say that? I’m still learning, from students, from colleagues and from the projects I do with industry partners. I understand that students sometimes ‘have lost their way’, I think I understand them, and I want to actively coach them to take steps in their personal and professional development.’
What makes you stand out?
‘I consider education a team sport; we’re working on the curriculum together. We as a team can make it better, and I love to carry the load. I think I mostly stand out because I’m always engaging as many colleagues and people working in the industry as possible. I step up to people, can set up something new swiftly, and then love to hand it over to colleagues again,’ laughs Bas. ‘I can enthuse people for new ideas; maybe that’s it?’
Could you give an example of such a new idea?
‘We’ve now scheduled a work placement in the first year. Students work one day a week for ten consecutive weeks in a logistics environment. I thought up that idea, which isn’t very original but it’s a new element in our curriculum. There were some doubts about whether or not it would work. Students didn’t do a work placement until in year 3. But why? Because they can do more at that stage? Let them experience as early as in year 1 that they can add value to the industry. I know students who did in their first year what they would have done in year 3. How much confidence does that give!? To those students, I mean, and they’re discovering at the same time what they like to do. The development of students is nourished sooner by such an early work placement, which also implies an earlier impact.’
Where is your added value?
‘I very much focus on what’s happening outside BUas and collaborate with industry partners intensively, for instance, in the DALI project. That’s a bit of added value. I use my knowledge, experience and contacts to explain to students how theory and assignments in class are valuable to developments in the industry. We sometimes have students join training courses that we organise for professionals. Everybody learns from them. And then we translate these training courses into workshops and projects in the regular curriculum.’
How effective are you at your teaching skills?
‘I think you achieve more by using a green pen than a red one. Don’t wait until year 4 to be proud of your students, but start being proud straight from year 1. And make them feel that you’re proud by giving positive feedback. Most of all, state what they do well. And also give them an opportunity to excel. To give an example, students are given all the questions they can expect for an assessment in the Personal and Professional Development course. Eventually, they only need to answer five of them, but in this way we encourage students to explore the full breadth of their knowledge. Active students can get high scores in this way. That’s not an aim in itself, but it does take the student and the group a step further. That’s what you want to achieve!’
The best of luck, Bas!
To boost your nomination for this election, input has been retrieved from various corners of the BUas community. Meanwhile, here is a ‘present’ given to you by Thato Motloung.
‘It is rare to find a person who truly has a heart for what they do, Bas is one such person who cares about his students and mentees holistically, ensuring that they are fully equipped to focus on their studies by offering practical guidance on school life and beyond. It was no surprise that a large part of the students who were mentored by him went for double degrees and did exceptionally well.’
Thato Motloung from South Africa
Graduated in Logistics Management and Junior Researcher at BUas (Smart City Logistics)
Interview: Maaike Dukker-’t Hart