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.