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!
  • Yurie Terasawa

    Yurie 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!
  • 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.
  • Geraldine Constant

    Geraldine Constant

    English, Haitian Creole, some French
    Please call me Gerri. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York but I was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I completed university at S.U.N.Y New Paltz and have since worked in many different industries where acquired a variety of skill sets. Always passionate about education, it was my dream to come to Japan and teach English. I previously taught at two elementary schools in Shibuya and am excited to be at tinyHappy Garden again! I was an active volunteer member at an Animal Shelter and soup kitchen back in NY before I moved to Japan. I love traveling, running, hiking, cooking, arts and crafts, and I love my two cats, Simba & Winter. I am looking forward to working with you and your little ones!!
  • Lilli Klotz Foster

    Lilli Klotz Foster

    Violin Teacher
    Hello! I am from Philadelphia (USA) and moved to Japan to be near extended family. I have studied Hebrew, Spanish, Latin, and currently Japanese, but my favorite way to communicate is through music and play! I started playing violin as a child, and am thrilled to learn more about the Suzuki Violin Method and it’s context by being in Japan. I love cooking, reading, running, and exploring all the lovely parks and places in Aoba-ku with my children.
  • Joas Cardoso

    Joas Cardoso

    Portuguese and English
    Hello! I am a cellist and I have been living in Japan for about 7 years, working with children in different international schools around Tokyo. Before I came to Japan I lived in London for 7 years where I studied classical music and got my degree in performance. Whilst studying in the UK I discovered the joy and satisfaction of working with children and how much it helped me grow as a musician and as a person. I love using music as a valuable tool to connect with children, enabling them to learn and develop various important skills whilst having fun. I can not wait to get to know each one of you along with your children and develop a strong bond where we can all grow together and share great experiences.