Irma Smegen (1970) is the founder of Speel je wijs – a company in the Netherlands that strives to improve education and a playful environment for children. Irma has been working with children her entire life. Along the way, she has balanced various roles: as a primary school and kindergarten teacher, writer, designer, day care leader, director and speaker. For eighteen years, she was a lecturer of drama, arts & culture at the Education department of Stenden University.
Irma writes educational books, develops educational products and organises trainings for professionals working with children. She speaks at congresses about her teaching methods and the positive effects of it on learning. Playing and playful learning are the main ingredients in Irma’s work. Topics are mindfulness, STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematic), language education and Early Childhood.
Together with her husband, Irma runs De Flintenhof, a business in minerals and crystals from all around the world. With their family (son, daughter) and pets they live and work in the beautiful village Orvelte.
Irma is known internationally for her work in promoting arts, playful learning and mindfulness in education and participates in two Erasmus+ programs.
“Irma was really engaging and immediately got our group into a calm state of concentration (and enjoyment) that lasted through the session. There were lots of practical activities that could be easily adapted for a wide differentiation of abilities (which is essential in our school) and the focus on mindfully being in the present and focusing on ourselves (and being mindful of others) are vital skills that should be part of the whole ethos of our schools.” Richard Brocklehurst – Headteacher Glenlyon Primary School – Scotland
“Joy, inspiration, learning are the words that come to mind when I think about Irma. I am impressed by her work and –as a teacher – I found many many useful resources! Above all, I was impressed with Irma’s ability to implement fun in science learning. Irma would be a true asset for any task on promoting, learning – or just have fun and big smiles! – teaching science.” Nikolaos Nerantzis – Physicist in Special Education Thessaloniki – Greece
“After not having taught yoga (in school) for over a year, I couldn’t wait to get back into it. For inspiration, I joined Irma’s training. It turned out to be a fabulous day. Highly recommended.” Bianca Fieret – Kindergarten and yoga teacher RVKO Rotterdam – the Netherlands
“Irma offers a relaxed, informative session that will support you not only with bringing mindfulness into your classroom but bringing it into your own lifestyle too. The activities are short and achievable and I am really looking forward to building them into our everyday classtime.” Ciara Gibson – Teacher Grandtully Primary School – Scotland
Speel je wijs (Dutch) Irma’s company
Mindful at School (English) Additional information about the book
STEAM education (English) Erasmus+
Creativity Arts and Science in Primary Education (English) Erasmus+
Spelen in Stilte: Mindfulness in de klas (Dutch) Mindful at School
Speel je mee in Li La Land? (Dutch) Puppetry and STEAM education
De Flintenhof (Dutch) The shop Irma runs together with her husband
Orvelte (Dutch) Irma’s village
For further information please visit Irma’s LinkedIn page.