9 June 2023

Jan Kloosterman: 'A good teacher can thus make an impact for life'

Dear colleagues, it is my pleasure to write something as an introduction. I am grateful for the trust that I have been given to this post as board member of Driestar. It is a beautiful and responsible job.

My name is Jan Kloosterman. I am 45 years old, married and the father of five children. I come from an educational background. My father was a primary school teacher and principal. 

I myself worked as a teacher of physics and chemistry in secondary education. After teaching for 10 years, I became a team leader and later director. Students with special needs had my heart. I also worked in secondary special education for about 10 years. 

There I learned a lot from my students and saw how extra care, time and attention can make a difference in the learning and lives of young people. People who are made in God's image and have additional struggles. Pupils who had talents and were able to develop these well thanks to adjustments in education. Young people with questions and who were often also hurt, who felt lost and searched for security. 

And that touches my passion for education. My mission is not an achievement without a relationship. I believe that recognition and genuine attention are conditional to be able to develop. A good teacher can thus make an impact for life. That is why I feel an inner connection to the slogan that we use in our institute: to teach is to touch a heart. 

What strikes me is that there are many committed people working in education. That is wonderful. The same is true in this institute. The commitment to Driestar's mission is a reason for many colleagues to work here and come to work. And I recognize that. 

A second observation is that Driestar is a crossroads and focal point. A crossroads because so many paths and perspectives come together. This is also reflected in our logo. The three-star: church, family and society with school in the middle. At the same time, it is also a focal point.

Educators are often the first to be confronted with (new) questions. In the search for Biblical and appropriate answers, you find that our knowing is in part. It leads to criticism and sometimes discomfort. In the melting pot of education, principles and current times, the prayer for wisdom is the first thing every day needs. 

We are citizens of two worlds. We are citizens of the country we live in and by faith in God a citizen of the kingdom of heaven. And as educators, we have the task of educating our students to take a place in this society as Christians. 

That society is broken by sin. Life is often a vale of tears and there are daily thorns and thistles. Not least in a Christian heart and in his or her own everyday life. How then can we be disciples and excite our students to follow us? 

This is possible because a living Christian serves Him without fear. He or she puts their foot on the path of peace that Zacharias already sang about. A Christian is called blessed because he or she is a peacemaker. They seek peace for their fellow man and for the city. 

That starts at home and at school. And at the same time, we cannot do this in our own strength. Peacekeepers rely on the Prince of Peace Himself. From Him who is coming and will fill that which is wanting, and make straight that which is crooked, and make all things new. 

Until then, we must speak up. In the provisional and temporal of all things and the brokenness of our own actions. Knowing and being able to do it in part. This is possible through grace and the working of God's Spirit. 

Then we are followers of Him both inside and outside the classroom. At this time of the year, just after Pentecost, we remember the powerful working of the Holy Spirit. We need that every day. Under the guidance of God's Spirit, Christian presence in education and beyond is a clear sound of reflection that precedes His coming! I wish you all well and God's blessings. 

Warm Regards, 

Jan Kloosterman