Faculty Friday: Wilbert Kwakkel

Wilbert was born and raised in a tiny village in the Netherlands. He has always been international minded, which led him to take a year off after high school to travel the world with a backpack.  Wilbert majored in Physical Education at a university in the Netherlands and during his senior year of university he took an internship at the International School of Nadi, in Fiji. This wonderful experience led Wilbert to join a school in Chongqing, China.   This is Wilbert’s second year at Dwight.

What is your role at Dwight School Seoul?
I am the Head of  Physical and Health Education Department and the Liaison for the International Award. I also coach Varsity Boys Volleyball and will coach the Varsity Swimming Team as well.

What made you decide to work in an education setting?  And what is your philosophy?
I love to make students see the best in themselves and feel comfortable stepping out of their comfort zone to learn new things. I am passionate about health and well-being, and I find it very important as a teacher to help the students to balance their academics, with the things they are passionate about, their social life, as well as maintaining their health and well-being.

What do you like the most about working at DSS?
Definitely the community.  This is my second year at Dwight and I love working with the students and staff. The close knit community has made me feel welcomed from the beginning and I have had many great memories with my friends, colleagues and students here already.

What are your interests and or hobbies?
I love being active, in any capacity. From playing badminton or floor hockey, to hiking the trails in and around Seoul, to preparing myself physically for the Spartan Race in November. I also really enjoy playing board and card games with friends. Exploring Seoul for good food and fun places. And I love (and miss) travelling!

Who inspires you and how?
My family and friends.

What is the best book or production that you have read, watched, or listened to lately? 
I am currently reading the Body, by Bill Bryson, and Mythos, by Stephen Fry. Best show in the world is Survivor. I watch the American, Australian, South African and the Dutch version. The mix between playing a physical, a mental and social game, really intrigues me, and the challenges they have to play are often spectacular and often inspire me for games in PHE.

What one particular social issue calls out to you and why?  How do you see yourself contributing to making an impact/being the solution?
Equality is one global social issue I would like to see tackled. Coming from a very warm family, where everyone is always welcomed and accepted, encouraged to be good, and to believe in their strong selves, is something that I want to share with the world around me. I believe that everyone, no matter gender, race, sexuality, or upbringing, should be encouraged and enabled to have equal opportunities to always be the best version of themselves.

What is one fun fact about you that others may not know or may surprise them?
As a teenager, I was pretty good at breaking horses (when a horse doesn’t know a saddle yet). My biggest dream is to star on Survivor, I believe I would do pretty well.

Why would you tell a prospective family to choose DSS? 
The faculty and students at Dwight will welcome you with open arms and help you strive for excellence.

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