Influencer Natalie Daal: a committed educator with new challenges

Update interview 2019

Natalie as an Influencer, we have interviewed you in July 2018 and we were interested on how you were doing in the different ventures you are involved in, for example in the educational field?
My main focus is on the future and my biggest challenge is to start a new after school educational offering to adolescents, as of the 1st of September, on top of what is required from students from the Educational Authorities as day time students. I already have the keys of the building (at the Schout bij Nacht Doormanweg) that we are going to use, I have bought some furniture and equipment for some of the classes.

I firmly believe, that we need to offer to adolescent’s, curriculum in our institute that will focus on making them more responsible for their own choices, empower them, teach them “soft skills” like emotional and spiritual intelligence (Purpose in life). Right now, there is little time left for offering this curriculum at the daytime school. It is a bold decision, as we have, to my knowledge, no other institution, that is offering something similar, so we will have to build this from scratch, but we will look for best practices elsewhere in the world to learn from. It will be a combined youth – parent project, as we believe that parents play a crucial role in the growing up of their children. Right now, we are evaluating what kind of adolescent’s we are aiming at to enroll.

What made you decide to take this bold step? 
Well, I have raised my three, now grown up, daughters to be independent and be responsible for their choices as they were growing up to become adults. So, I have some experience of myself on how to do this. About a month ago I attended a session, that Meyrtha Leetz from SEDA had organized, where they presented “The Rite Journey”, presented by Andrew and Becky Lines from Australia. That convinced me to move forward with this new after school offering to adolescents. As explained by Andrew the founder of the Rite Journey: “It provides unique educational programs in schools and organizations designed to support the development of self-aware, responsible, respectful, resilient and resourceful adults.

By raising young people’s consciousness about transitioning from child to adult & having conversations with them about what really matters, assisting them in guiding their journey into adulthood.” More on: The Rite Journey | Transforming Today’s Teens.

What other initiatives are you involved in at this moment in time?
As we understand the importance of the influence of the environment of the class-room on the students, we are also very much into, different set-ups of the physical environment of class-room, like working in different corners. Ten years from now some of the jobs that we have now, will no longer exist. That is why we need to prepare the students for this rapid changing world.

How did the students of Leerinstituut Klimop perform this past school year?
Well, we are extremely happy and grateful for the results are students have achieved in this school year.

In group 8 we had 4 students going to HAVO and 2 to VSBO;
All of the 60 students attending primary education “/ Funderend Onderwijs” passed and will go to their next year;
9 out of 10 of the students attending secundairy school passed
5 students finalized their HAVO/VWO;
2 students will go from HAVO to VWO. In conclusion, we have had a great year.

You are still involved in “Leerorkest”and what were the results of “Leerorkest over these 2 years?
Yes, I am. I am the Secretary, Rodney Concencion is the Treasurer and Roy Kross is our Chairman. After being positively evaluated after our first year with students from the fifth and sixth grade of the primary school Maria Oxiliadora (Santa Maria), it was obvious that the children participating in the classes of “Leerorkest” from the neighborhoods at this first pilot school, where showing positive behavioral changes. They learned:
• how to focus,
• to take care of an instrument,
• to read music notes,
• to pay attention and learn the timing when they can get musically involved during a concert and this was obvious during a concert at Koningsdag, where they performed in a disciplined matter.

This successful year resulted in some positive spins-offs like:
• We will start Leerorkest on a second school and we will start to offer this also at Klimop After school on the Friday afternoons;
• We are now working on recruiting some youth to become instrument maker, so that locally we can repair and do some maintenance of some of the instruments being used;
• Tania Kross, who started this initiative in Curaçao, had 2 fundraising in May of this year and
• “last but not least”, because of the obvious behavior changes of participants in “Leerorkest”, I had the opportunity to explain to the evaluators of Leerorkest project, that I am involved in afterschool education professionally at “Klimop.” So, via Leerorkest, I was approached to become the quality manager of some other after school educational centers at neighborhoods that need this the most. The Ministry of Justice in Holland wants to support these centers, as part of their support to prevention programs, to lower the number of drop outs and it is aimed at improving behaviors of youth from these neighborhoods. This is now under serious consideration and we hope this will start very soon.

What were your challenges?
All of this has resulted in some great positive spin-offs, I would say. But, we have also had our share of challenges this past year, but through “Faith and Focus”, the momentum has changed and slowly and surely we are making consistent progress.

You told us that you will be the chairperson of Kiwanis very soon, what is your WHY to apply for this position?
Well I will become responsible to Chair Kiwanis by October 1st 2019. You know it is becoming harder to recruit people to do volunteers work these days. When you are a member of Kiwanis, you don’t only have to pay your contribution to be a member, but it is also required that you serve the community. We will install soon 7 new members and they are young people, which makes me very happy. We are in the middle of a general economic situation where people migrate to Holland and Canada btw. And at the other hand Gaming Control Board has developed such rules and regulations, where it has become hard to collect money based on what we used to do traditionally. What I want to achieve in the coming year to focus on the incorporation of more young people in Kiwanis, like we are in the process to select a school where we will build a so-called Builders Club, aimed at offering services to the society as a whole. That is why I decided to become chairperson again of Kiwanis.

One of 250 Community Influencers
Natalie Daal is an inspiring and energetic Influencer and representative for the Educational sector of our island, she is a dedicated, innovative, bold and a committed educator. In that sense, she is a role model and therefore an Influencer for all working in the educational sector. We definitely consider her one of the 250 ethical leaders of our Island with a warm heart for Curaçao.
For more information on Natalie go to our earlier blog on this website.

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