20 of 2020: Pieter learned the art of giving online lessons

Pieter Verbeke
17 December 2020 |

We are nearing the end of this strange and special year, 2020. Time to reflect on the status quo. 20 people with links to Ghent University were selected at random. They tell us what 2020 meant to them, what they will carry over to next year and above all: what they hope for in 2021.

For Pieter Verbeke, a student at Ghent University, the year was mainly focused on work placements. He is currently doing the educational masters in physics and astronomy, and is already teaching part-time in secondary education. It was no easy matter to switch between online and offline lessons. However, looking back, Peter is happy: “I have the impression I can now cope with almost anything.”

What did 2020 mean to you?

“For me, 2020 was about my educational master degree, and the work placements this involved. The final work placements took place during the first lockdown, which meant I had to give the majority of my lessons online. It was weird way to take my first steps in the world of work. It was not at all what I expected, to say the least, but actually it was fine. I felt like I had strong support from my own lecturers and colleagues, and that the pupils could follow what was going on online. Now I’ve experienced the combination of physical teaching and online lessons, I feel like I’m prepared for all kinds of situations.”


Last year was like no other, but it was also filled with warmth. We supported each other and shared in each other’s ups and downs. Now this is your chance to thank everyone who was there for you. Not in the usual way, but with a virtual projection of your best wishes onto the Book Tower.

Of which accomplishment are you most proud in the past year?

“I achieved my highest points ever this year. Of course, I’m over the moon about that!
Actually, it was a great year for me. I always knew I wanted to become a teacher. This was also the reason behind my decision to study physics and astrology. It feels really good to finally start giving proper lessons. In fact, I believe it’s really special to have the chance to teach. The pupils learn from me, which means I’m actually guiding them towards their studies later on. That feels good.”

Pieter Verbeke

Who do you most admire at Ghent University?

“As you might expect, the lecturers in the teacher-training programme know exactly how to get their message across. Their lessons certainly inspired me. And particularly the teaching methods course and work placement supervision from Jouri Van Landeghem, Philippe Smet and Anthony Parmentier.”

What do you hope for in 2021?

“I hope I’ll be able to graduate with good points in 2021.”

What will you carry over to 2021?

“I’ve learned that you can do a good job if you put your mind to it. You simply have to spend time on it. Your efforts are always rewarded.”


What do you wish other people at Ghent University in 2021?

“I’d like to be able to wish my pupils in their last year all the very best. They may even come to Ghent University, and it’s been such a strange time for them too. I’d really like to stress how important it is to spend the time available on studying. That way, they’ll be free to enjoy the summer to the full.”


20 people with links to Ghent University were selected at random. They tell us what 2020 meant to them, what they will carry over to next year and above all: what they hope for in 2021.

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