Our Teachers

  • Sybrina Ignatieva-Wada

    Sybrina Ignatieva-Wada

    Founder, Program Director

    English, Japanese, ASL
    some French, Spanish
    Hello! I grew up in snowy Upstate New York. From a young age, I traveled the world with my family; I enjoy exploring new cities & experiencing different cultures. I studied Early Childhood Education and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at university in New Zealand before coming to Japan. I’ve volunteered at a Waldorf-Steiner school in Sweden, and Reggio-Emilia & Montessori schools in Italy and was inspired by those experiences. I love cooking, music, animals, singing, sewing, learning how to play new instruments, getting out in nature, tennis, s p e n d i n g t i m e w i t h m y f a m i l y . tinyHappy Garden is a place I had been dreaming about for a very long time. I hope we can enjoy every day together & make lots of long-lasting memories!
  • Yuire Terasawa

    Yuire Terasawa

    Japanese and English
    Hello everyone! I’m from Aichi, Japan and studied Early Childhood Education at university in Japan & Canada. After graduation in Japan, I worked at daycare in Canada. I’m passionate about working with young children & believe that a stimulating early childhood environment is pivotal in establishing a quality learning experience for children.
    I love cooking, cycling, traveling, shopping & sewing. I also love dogs! I hope I can spend a wonderful time with your children!
  • Stefanie Mueller

    Stefanie Mueller

    German, English, Japanese
    Hallo and Hi! I am half Filipina, half German. I was born and raised in Germany. I have completed various internships at preschools in Germany & Japan. After graduating with a Bachelor degree in International
    Education with a focus on Early Childhood, I’ve decided to continue my career as a preschool teacher & caregiver in Japan. Since 2011 I have worked at an international school & a Japanese nursery/kindergarten. I love children and I believe that raising them with love, respect & tolerance is the first step to make this world a better place. I hope I can make your child feel at home & let them enjoy their childhood to the fullest. I’m looking forward to start my journey with your children & I hope to spend lots of precious moments with everyone!
  • Mai Maekawa

    Mai Maekawa

    Japanese and English
    Hi! I’m from Yokohama, but spent 5 years of my childhood in the USA & Canada. As that time was one of the most memorable experiences of my life, I decided to study Early Childcare Education based on the Reggio-Emilia Approach in Canada. After finishing school, I took Early Childhood Educator & Infant and Toddler Educator licenses, & worked at daycare in Canada. I am also a certified kids yoga teacher. Besides teaching, I enjoy traveling, walking, exercising, yoga, getting out in nature, spending time with my family & friends, and having good coffee & sweets! Children always give me big energy & love! My philosophy is to learn with children; I believe that doing the thinking process together to understand the world is much more fun & exciting!
  • Abraham

    Abraham Gonzales

    Spanish, English
    Hola! I come from a big family of 9 siblings and grew up in Peru, where I attended an American school and attended university in the USA. Afterward, I worked in Michigan as a project developer, and later as an English teacher to new immigrants – mostly children with difficulties learning a new language. After moving to Japan I worked in Japanese and international preschools and am a certified Emergency First Responder. In my spare time I play badminton, volleyball and tennis. I love Japanese food and video editing is my hobby. Each day at school is a new experience and a new challenge for a child. Therefore, learning while having fun is the best way to stimulate their imagination and growth.
  • Isa

    Isa Ichikawa

    Spanish, English, Portuguese, French and Japanese
    Hi! I am half Venezuelan and half Japanese. I grew up in Venezuela and Portugal, where I attended international school, and did my university studies in the U.S. and France. In the past, I worked many years as an English instructor and in the field of economic development. I live in Yokohama with my husband and our two children. I love dancing, photography, reading, and yoga. I am looking forward to teaching and having fun with your little ones!
  • Grace

    Grace Pumpa

    I’m originally from Queensland, Australia and currently studying a Masters of Teaching in Primary Education. I worked in Australia in early childhood as a teacher’s assistant, and as a literacy tutor for small groups of students with learning difficulties. In early 2016 I volunteered for three months in a school in remote Kazakhstan teaching English as a second language. I love gardening and the natural environment and am a creative person who loves to draw, paint and create. One of my stranger hobbies is beekeeping, and I also regularly practice Yoga. I believe children can also benefit from doing stretching and mindfulness exercises. Since I love the outdoors I am especially looking forward to playing in the park with tHG students. I hope I can contribute to the school community with my passion for creativity, play and education!