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

Our Teachers

First Steps Montessori Tsukuba

All of our teachers come from a strong teaching background, all having taught for years. The primary trait we look for in our teachers is a genuine care for children. We ensure that each teacher holds the needs of your children at heart and works hard for the betterment of each and every one. With our teachers, you can expect strong quality and commitment.

First Steps Montessori Tsukuba
-Leyla Maharramova

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


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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 and camping
Favorite food: Coco’s curry
Favorite movie: Good Will Hunting


Interests: Anything interesting I can draw, build, create, or play with.
Favorite food: Sushi
Favorite movie: Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit Trilogy


Hello, my name is David. I am from a small town in Alberta, Canada, and arrived in Japan 10 years ago with my wife. Since then, I have spent 7 of those years teaching English to preschool and elementary-school children, and have been blessed with two beautiful daughters of my own. Creativity is my strong suit and I have weathered many excruciating hot-glue burns and pesky paper-cuts to elevate classroom activities in hopes it might help foster a child’s interest in learning.

Nothing has been more rewarding to me as a teacher than to hear my students shouting “Cool!”, and proceed to give a full account of the days activities to their parents an hour later. Also, nothing is more crushing to me as a teacher than to hear parents ask my student, “What did you learn today?”, and the student reply, “I forget.”

Favorite food:
Favorite movie:


In progress….