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In Conversation with Elise Geerdink

Director RKBS De Veerekijker

Can you tell me something about the school you are responsible for?

The Verrekijker in Bergen op Zoom is one of the schools of the Lowys Porquin Foundation. The Foundation is responsible for 31 schools in the Southwest corner of Brabant. De Verrekijker is a neighborhood school in an area undergoing urban renewal. The problems we have to cope with range from small educational problems to very large issues. The team of 18 teachers stays focused by asking questions like: How to go forward? What is my role as a teacher? After summer we formed a Comprehensive School with preschool, daycare, Centre for Youth and family and consultation agency. The school now has a new name: the palette. If you have the talent to get different people to cooperate on the palette, you can make a beautiful painting.

What developments do you expect in the school?

We want to focus more on the indigenous inhabitants. We are now working to understand what well-functioning interventions make for the pupils. We hope to see improvements as a result of this program.
Research has shown that children perform better if you have high expectations of them.
Recent cuts in our budget have been difficult. We must deliver the same work with fewer people and resources, but I think we will succeed. You have to be very creative. You must spend your money wisely to get the best results.

How did you come into contact with Management Drives?

Two years ago we chose Management Drives. We started with the management team and the irritations I felt with some colleagues vanished because of Management Drives. I now see their qualities and what they can do best - which formerly was not obvious. Nowadays we use these qualities for the development of our school and to improve the balance in teams.
When I see what we have achieved in the last year and how we have changed, we have really undertaken a big battle in a relatively short period of time. There is now a basis of trust and we now communicate easier. The team now understands how they work together and has clarity and focus.
The growth we have undergone has become clear in a recent inspection report we are very proud about this.

What distinguishes Management Drives from other instruments?

Even if a team is running well I would recommend Management Drives. You get clear insight into your own behaviours. How could you be even better? How can you use each other's talents better ? In addition, it helps you to solve problems. It promotes the underlying understanding of people’s actions and it gives management the resources to help each person achieve the best they can.
If we are experiencing growth, people are in their right place of work, they support each other in their respective strengths... What is better than joy in your work?

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