Teachers Testimonials

Hear what some of our teachers have to say about our school and their day-to-day activities.

Mrs. Masuda
Montessori DirectressMrs. Masuda

I initially came to Japan from Australia on a working holiday visa and found my teaching experience here so fulfilling at a small Montessori school in Tokyo. Fast forward eight years later and I again returned to Japan expecting to stay another 2 years. However, this has since turned into 14 years. Living in the city of Yokohama feels so comfortable, especially with a young family. The culture, safe environment and lifestyle make it a place you never want to leave.

Now my reason for choosing to work at Saint Maur comes down to history. When I was a young twenty- year old, my then boyfriend, now husband, took me on my first overseas holiday to Japan. It was on a bridge in China Town, Motomachi that he told me to look up into the green trees high up on the hill. Up there he said, is a very well-known school that his sister’s best friend had attended. He made it sound like such a wonderful place to work. As life went on, I did some research and found that this very same school that my husband had spoken about so fondly several years ago had a Montessori school. It was fate that I should come to work at Saint Maur. Now I see this school as my second family, especially with my work colleagues, who are dedicated to the education of young children in the Montessori Method. It is truly a joy to come to work and be with like-minded people. However, the greatest part for me personally is that I am part of Saint Maur’s long standing history of teachers, in what is known to be the oldest international school in Asia and the third oldest in the world. Now for me that’s a special kind of history!

Mr. Gregoriades
High School Drama and English TeacherMr. Gregoriades

The only passport that I hold is the German one. However, my father is Greek-Cypriot and I was born in Singapore, so I very much identify as a third culture kid. Besides Singapore and Japan, I've also lived in the U.K. and Australia. But Japan is definitely my home now. As a student, I attended St. Mary's International School in Tokyo and was fortunate enough to work with teachers from there and the neighbouring school, Seisen International School, on various plays. They fostered my love of drama and literature, both of which I went on to study at university level. As an adult, I've tried to keep developing my acting skills by participating in productions with Tokyo International Players and Black Stripe Theatre.

I moved to Japan when I was seven and lived in Tokyo for 11 years. While I was growing up, my parents would occasionally take me to Yokohama as a special treat. So, I've always thought of Yokohama as a fun and relaxing alternative to the capital city. I feel very lucky to be able to live in a city that is near the water and has slightly more greenery than Tokyo and yet be able to jump on a train and be in downtown Tokyo in about 30 minutes.

Between my Master's degree and my teacher training course, I took six months off and moved back to Japan. While I was here, I helped Seisen and St. Mary's with a school production that was to be shown at the KPASS Drama Festival (which I now co-host alongside my fellow drama colleague at Yokohama International School) here at Saint Maur. The first time I stepped into the Auditorium, I thought that I absolutely had to work in this space one day. And now it is my classroom! I was incredibly lucky to be hired straight out of my teacher training program at age 24. I've been working here for the past 17 years, except for one year back in Australia. What I have discovered is that, even more than the theatre space, the students here are an absolute joy to work with. It gives me such pleasure to watch them use theatre as a means to develop their confidence, artistic expression and their collaborative and leadership skills. My view is that only the arts can provide this combination of skills which can help anyone no matter what field they end up in.

I enjoy working with young people of different nationalities and backgrounds to discover a sense of who they are through an engagement with the arts, literature (or a combination of the two in the interdisciplinary IB Literature and Performance course that I teach) and the kind of critical thinking that is at the heart of the Theory of Knowledge course. When you are in the middle of a really good rehearsal or a really good class discussion, time disappears and there is no other feeling like it in the world. When a student asks a genuinely perceptive question or comes up with an innovative solution to a challenge, you feel everyone's engagement and excitement in a way that you usually don't when you are working with adults.

Ms. Gesteira
Middle School Homeroom and Spanish TeacherMs. Gesteira

My first experience abroad was the UK where I received my teaching qualification. After 7 years enjoying the lovely English weather (I hope you can get my sarcasm here), I decided it was time to explore other parts of the world. I moved to Japan in the summer of 2017. I had never been to Japan before, but it always appealed to me: its culture and traditions, its language, its people... Everything seemed so different from what I knew.

Despite of having never been here before, I knew immediately that this was the place for me when on my first day in Yokohama, after a very long flight, on the hottest day of the year in I don't know how many years and not having a clue of where anything was or what anything meant, one of the teachers took me out for dinner and we walked through Yamashita Park. When I saw the lights of Minatomirai in front of me (you can look it up but pictures can't capture the magic), I instantly fell in love and I knew this was where I was meant to be. A few days later, I met my new colleagues, the school and the students and that feeling grew stronger. The students are lovely and teaching them in small class sizes helps to build a very good relationship with them and make the teaching more personalized. The staff members are all very kind and welcoming, there's always someone to have a chat with at lunchtime, wind down and have a laugh. I'm just happy to come to work every day, at school, there was always someone willing to help out whenever I need a hand.

Yokohama is a great city with a lot to offer, and it's in a great location so you can always visit the surroundings and go for hikes or the beach, immerse yourself in Japanese ancient traditions and its temples or experience the liveliness and the lights of Tokyo. As in any new place, you have to be proactive in finding places and groups who offer and share your interests. I love dancing and took some salsa lessons back in the UK, so I found places here to keep it up and met new people to enjoy it with.

I'm very happy with my life here, I've met people alike and made new friendships that I will cherish for life and I have grown as a teacher and found inspiration in my career.

Mrs. Martin
High School History and English TeacherMrs. Martin

I was born in El Salvador, living and attending international schools in over seven different countries; the true embodiment of a Third Culture Kid! Therefore, my interest in international school teaching came as a result of being raised in and around the international teaching community.

I moved to Tokyo, Japan in March 2011 and enjoyed living in the capital. However, when the time came to start looking for a new teaching position, my husband and I knew we wanted to stay in Japan, and that we wanted to work for a school which had a very inclusive environment in a city with more open spaces. Naturally, this led us to Saint Maur International School and the city of Yokohama. Since moving here, it has been an absolute joy to explore the city and it’s close knit neighborhoods, each with its own personality. The Saint Maur community has been very welcoming, and because of this support, I have found the freedom to develop and adapt the curriculum with the guidance of very experienced and supportive colleagues. The community feel of Saint Maur has meant that I have gotten to know my students very well, as interacting with Elementary and Middle School students and colleagues. These daily interactions have made working at Saint Maur very personal and professionally rewarding.

Search