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  • Because our method is unique!
  • Because kids love us!

Our teachers

We have 5 teachers who are trained professionals with experience in teaching the English language. In every classroom we have a main teacher and one assistant teacher.

Interests: hanging out with friends, tennis
Favorite food: sushi
Favorite movie: “Friends” (series)

Leyla

My name is Leyla and I am the principal of First Steps English School.

My biggest professional dream was to open my own English school as I am a trained teacher with more than 10 years of experience. A few years ago, I was looking for a method that encourages the kids develop in the most natural way. From all my research and experience I was able to choose the method that in my opinion works best. That is why my school is a Montessori school and I’m a certified Montessori teacher for children aged 0-6. The Montessori method lets the kids develop without pressure or stress, using only children’s natural desire to learn. It gives me a great pleasure to watch children develop in a happy, positive, but challenging environment.

Anna

Hello, my name is Anna, and I am a master of Social Pedagogy and Social Work. During my 5 years at university, I learned about kids development, their psychology, and different teaching methods. Since 2010 I have been working as a kindergarten teacher in Tsukuba. I believe that the best way to motivate a child to speak a foreign language is to become their best foreign friend, so I am looking forward to making friends with the students of First Steps English Montessori School.

Interests: fashion, snowboarding, psychology
Favorite food: pizza
Favorite movie: Temple Grandin

Interests: I like to travel and see exciting new places.
Favorite food: cake
Favorite movie: Harry Potter

Stephen

My name is Stephen and I am one of the main teachers here at First Steps Montessori English School. I am from a little town called Shropshire in the United Kingdom. I moved here to Japan in November 2017 and I started teaching English right away. I am an experienced teacher who has worked with a variety of age groups.

I am a hands on teacher which I feel that goes with the Montessori approach, as really enjoy teaching and seeing kids developing new skills through fun and interesting activities.

I look forward to meeting you all.

Korey

My name is Korey and I am from Alaska, USA. My hobbies include snowboarding, traveling, and teaching! While in Japan, I am studying for a degree in programming. I have been teaching in Japan since 2016 and love doing so. My specialty is young children and I have developed a strong skillset over the course of my experience. For me, every child deserves the utmost respect and personalized attention. As a father, you can be assured your children will be cared for as if they were my own. I look forward to meeting you all!

Interests: snowboarding, traveling and camping
Favorite food: Coco’s curry
Favorite movie: Good Will Hunting, Gladiator

Interests: yoga, movies, traveling, music
Favorite food: cheese, seafood
Favorite movie: “The Lord of the Rings”

Zhenya

Hello, I am Zhenya. I came to Japan 17 years ago, and I have lived in Tsukuba since then.

I am a licensed English teacher with the qualification in Philology, and in Japan I successfully obtained my Master’s degree in Education. That confirmed my conviction that I should devote my life to teaching.

After graduating from the University I taught English at public elementary and junior high schools for 8 years, and was honored to have been entrusted with the responsibilities of a group leader several times. That job helped me polish my teaching skills and learn a little bit about the art of administration.

I feel truly committed to contributing to English education in Tsukuba and will be happy to put my skills to a good use for the children of First Steps Montessori Kindergarten and English School.

Sakura

Hi. I am Sakura and I handle the class with the youngest students. I, myself, attended a Montessori preschool before transferring to an International School from grade school up until high school. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to several languages. I moved to Japan roughly 10 years ago for college where I majored in Biology. On the side, I taught English to kids from a very young age to businessmen. I worked for schools both here and Tokyo. I love kids, especially toddlers because it is when they absorb information like sponges. My expertise is Neuroscience and the brain of children are the most fascinating brains there are. Thank you.

Interests: traveling
Favorite food: cheese
Favorite movie: “The Greatest Showman”

Interests: mysteries of black holes
Favorite food: meat
Favorite movie: “Amadeus“, “Kramer vs. Kramer”

Hiroko

Hello, I am Hiroko. I am in charge of the After School English class. Before coming here I worked at an English conversation school for 10 years. After that I changed my job to preschool and public child care facility in the Takezono West ES area.
I look back and understand that all of my jobs have been connected with teaching English to children. This is because I find this work fantastic for it lets you see children make progress every day. And what is best is that children always grow far beyond teachers’ expectations. It is often the case that adults also learn a lot from watching the children they take care of.
I will do my best to fulfill my duties at this school in the best of my ability!

Wakako

My name is Wakako and I assist at the toddlers’class.  I raised my daughter in the US for 9 years, and later in China for 2 years. In both countries, I worked as a volunteer at local schools all contributing to my experience. I am more than happy to be working here at First Steps Montessori English School to help children enjoy learning as they are our future.

Interests: eating good food
Favorite food: coffee, dessert
Favorite movie: “You Got Mail “