Roel grew up in Schiedam, a suburb of Rotterdam, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands and also his favorite. There he had the typical childhood of a Dutch boy: he ate a lot of cheese and had chocolate sprinkles for breakfast, went everywhere on a bike, and spent a lot of time outside in the rain. He spent his summers camping in Southern France, played soccer with friends and enjoyed Sinterklaas every 5th of December. From age 12 to 15 he attended a professional dancing school, but after growing too much switched to boxing which he still does from time to time.
After the dancing school, Roel had a great time at the Rotterdam Waldorf School (Rudolf Steiner College) where he could combine his love for theater with more intellectual endeavors. His favorite subjects were drama and history.
At Leiden University he started studying psychology but switched over to history during his bachelors after realizing he preferred fun over job prospects. It was apparently the right choice; he enjoyed history so much that he got his masters degree (Cum Laude) in it. He is still working on a PhD about the International solidarity of the Dutch communist movement in the Interbellum.
Roel has spent the last seven years teaching history, social studies and several other subjects at the Rudolf Steiner College. It was during this period that he started realizing that teaching is his biggest passion and thereby started his masters in education in 2015. He is happiest in front of a classroom and sees it as a gift that he can do this at a Waldorf school, where he himself was most comfortable and happy as a child. For Roel, seeing the child in its totality and helping it to become a healthy human being is what it is all about.