Matthew Salmon

"Being a concierge is far more than just fixing stuff. You give students a face that they can come to and trust."


“I am now entering into my second year as a concierge, so even though I’m still fresh to the school I feel I have already become part of the school and enjoy the ever-changing working environment. Before this I was an outdoor pursuits instructor and had previously held the role as a concierge in a hotel. Although the job title was the same, working in the education sector is a completely different mindset. The hotel was all about money, money, money, while at Haarlemmermeer Lyceum it’s all about the students. Instead of thinking how much money you can get out of a customer, it’s about how we can help the students succeed.”  

Right direction
“We are the first point of contact for the students, any time the students need help, they come to us. This can be fun as you never know what request you’ll get, from locker issues to helping them with an art project that was due yesterday. That’s why it’s important that we are always available to help point them in the right direction.”  

“Nowadays, being a concierge is far more than just fixing stuff. Concierges have a big role to the school’s atmosphere and providing a positive environment for the students to study in. As well as giving them a friendly face that they can come to and trust, we must also ensure school rules are followed and that the students treat the school and each other with respect. When I came here, I managed to change the ‘yellow card system’ from a disciplinary sanction – which is a bit outdated – into a more social intervention; this now involves sitting down with the student and providing them a safe place for self-reflection. For example, If I see two students pushing each other around, I go over. ‘We need to have a talk.’ I then remove them from the situation, give them a bit of time for self-reflection and educate them in why their behaviour is a not acceptable in a school, how they can change it and hopefully provide them with the resources and stop it from becoming an actual issue. ”  

Very rewarding
“That’s what I like about being a concierge: the job is very varied; we can try, but no day is planned. You just turn up with some aims for the day, see what the students bring to you and try and do the best you can to achieve as much as possible. It’s also all about making a connection with them and seeing how the students develop over time. In my outdoor job I could only make a connection for three or four days, and then they disappeared and were replaced with another group. You never knew what happened to them or how their lives changed from it. Were as now in this role, it’s very rewarding seeing the students develop. It’s amazing how much they change over one year! You can even really see big changes between the first and second years – they make quite a progression.” 

Matthew about Haarlemmermeer Lyceum:

“It’s always difficult to move to a new country and start afresh. However, the environment at Haarlemmermeer Lyceum has really helped make living in the Netherlands more comfortable.  The atmosphere has a positive vibe, and everybody is happy to chat and make you feel part of the team.”  

“Being from England, working at a bilingual secondary school really helps me and the students in learning a second language. I know first-hand how daunting using your second language in practice is, but by showing students that it’s ok to make mistakes, it really helps them in overcoming this fear and help them to practice more.” 



Matthew about Dunamare onderwijs:

“Administration is very fast and friendly; they provide the right documents on time and help you whenever you need anything. To me, that’s a very good sign for a company. You don't have to wait around, being unsure about what’s happening.”