Diana Bentoh is a coach, teacher, singer and creative entrepreneur based in Rotterdam. She has a degree in sports and education, interior styling and crossover creativity. This makes her an allround and multitalented ‘education nomad’, since she has broad and diverse experience within the field of education. At WdKA, where she works as a student coach and tutor within the Visual Arts and Education Programme (called DBKV in Dutch), all of her experiences as a teacher, coach and as an artist come together. We would like to introduce Diana to you through the following interview, in which she tells more about her professional journey, the DBKV programme and her passion for teaching.
Why did you start working at WdKA?
I moved to Rotterdam 7 years ago, and worked at Hogeschool Rotterdam as a teacher within the Human Talent Design minor. After a few years, I had to stop working there. A day later, my friend sent me the vacancy for this ‘allround teacher’ job at WdKA and I immediately felt ‘this is it’. I really feel like all my prior experiences make this job the perfect fit for me; everything comes together. The funny thing is that one year before, I already spoke about working at WdKA. I really manifested this job.
What do you like about teaching?
I have a big heart for education. And it is so inspiring to be able to teach future teachers. To be present at the roots of education. It is an honor to guide them in this learning process of becoming a teacher and reforming education. I’m so excited about this new generation of teachers; I feel like they really bring something new to the current education system.
In my professional work but also in my personal life, I try to invest my energy in my circle of influence. In my work, that circle exists out of my students. By really being present and giving them my full attention, I hope I can inspire them to do the same in the future.
What about DBKV makes it an interesting programme to you?
The programme has a close link to the educational field and reality of teaching. We do a lot of projects where the students can develop their practical skills. We really challenge our students to develop theirselves as a teacher, but also as a person in general. Not only the educational curriculum and content of the classes are important, but also the way you present and carry yourself.
What defines you as a tutor?
As a tutor, I try to be always present in the moment. I really like to first observe what is going on with my students and then respond to that and guide them in the best way possible. Therefore I use my intuition a lot.
I also try to teach my students that it’s important to observe, zoom-out and reflect. To see what students need (both individual and as a group), and to be flexible in your ways of teaching.
Students give me the energy I need to do my work. It doesn’t matter how tired I am, if I am surrounded by and work with students, it always works out.
Also, I don’t have one singular field of expertise. I’m really an allround teacher that uses a lot of insights, skills knowledge from different fields and disciplines.
What is your source of inspiration?
Spirit: the true source of everything. Among which creativity and inspiration. All people that I find inspiring, also get their creative energy from this source and translate it through their body and consciousness. To me, it is amazing to see spirit being manifested in so many different forms on earth. Spirit really is my biggest inspiration and I use this source of knowledge for everything I do. As a tutor, as an artist, but first and foremost as a human being.
What is something most students don’t know about you that you would like to share?
I would like to share a childhood story that says a lot about my personality. When I was three years old and just moved to the Netherlands, I went to a swimming pool with my mom and sister. My mom was sitting on the side and at one point she saw me climbing all the way up the three meter diving board. I was scared to go back but I also was scared to jump. My mom jumped in the water in case something went wrong, and a few second later I almost jumped right on top of her neck. I think it’s funny that my mentality of ‘jumping in the deep end’ was already present at this young age. I was scared, did it anyways and nothing went wrong. I think this was my first positive experience with taking risks, and ever since I have kept this faith and confidence. Sometimes you have to just go for it.