‘Small gesture, big effect’

Students of Forest and Nature Conservation thank teachers in a video.

The video is an initiative of Erine de Man (23), bachelor student Forest and Nature Conservation. ‘I am a board member of Sylvatica (the study association of Forest and Nature Conservation, Ed.) as commissioner of education. We wanted to thank the teachers and the rest of the team at Forest and Nature Conservation.’

‘Of course, the teachers enjoy their work’, De Man clarifies. ‘But, contact with students often is an important component in their job satisfaction. This contact is now lacking, both for students and teachers. We read a Resource article in which teachers, including some in our courses, indicated these times are rather difficult for them. This is quite sad, particularly as they make every conceivable effort to make the courses fun for us.’

Difficult time for teachers

In her role as commissioner of education, De Man is automatically also a member of the education committee of Forest and Nature Management. ‘There, too, I heard how these times are difficult for teachers. There is ample attention for the difficulties students face, but the same applies to teachers. The teaching staff at Forest and Nature Conservation is excellent. So, we decided to show them some love. To remind them of the reasons why they chose this job in the first place.’

De Man and her fellow board members shared the idea with other students. ‘We pushed them a little, and suddenly we had 34 video clips. All I had to do was edit them into a single video. Not that much work, really.’

‘Lief en ontroerend’

When the video was complete, the students sent it to course director GIJS, requesting he distribute it among the teachers. ‘We received many wonderful reactions’, De Man says. ‘One teacher, for example, said: “whenever I feel down in times of corona, I check the video and instantly feel better.”’

Some reactions:

‘What a wonderful surprise! So sweet and touching! It is very motivating to see/hear that our efforts are so appreciated!’

‘THANKS a LOT for this heartfelt message! And, I’m all for it: feel free to give credits, ha ha… I had a good laugh. Corona has not yet changed our students 😊’

‘Thanks for this great video. Someone must have been chopping onions. Thank you for your appreciation- it helps us to keep going. These are challenging times, for you and for us.’

Mission accomplished? ‘Definitely’, De Man says. ‘It didn’t take long to make the video, and I edited them with not too much effort. The effect is much greater than the time it costs. Small gesture, big effect.’

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