Founder, Program DirectorEnglish, Japanese, ASL
some French, SpanishHello! Growing up in snowy Upstate New York as an Army brat, I’ve traveled the world from a young age. Experiencing different cultures is always an exciting adventure! I studied Early Childhood Education & TESOL at university in New Zealand. I was inspired by experiences at Waldorf-Steiner, Reggio-Emilia, and Montessori schools when I was in Italy and Sweden. I moved to Japan in 2008 and have taught at various international schools in the Kanto area before opening tHG in 2014 when my baby was 7 months old. I enjoy cooking, singing (I sang the national anthem at sporting events & was a back-up singer for a funk band in Ebisu), playing piano & ukulele, getting out in nature, ice skating, tennis, being silly & dancing with my children. tinyHappy Garden is a place I had been dreaming of for a very long time. I hope we can enjoy every day together & make lots of long-lasting memories!
Ms. MaryEnglish, Japanese, ASL
some French, Spanish & JapaneseHello! Please call me Mary. I am from London, England. My background is heavily creative; studying piano and French from a young age. Before coming to Japan I worked in film and TV whilst studying Spanish, then I decided to move to Japan. I’ve spent 3 years working with young babies and toddlers. I enjoy teaching through play, art, and music and I feel it is the best way to learn a new language or skill. I love drawing, baking, and learning new things. I’m looking forward to getting to know you all and learning together.
Ms. MarikoJapanese and English
Hi, I’m Mariko. I have two daughters. When working as a preschool teacher at a public preschool, I became interested in education that adopted English. Then I began learning English seriously. I have been working as a bilingual preschool & kindergarten teacher at an international school for several years. I think Tiny is one of the most wonderful environments, educational philosophies, and teachers for children I have ever seen. With a lot of love, I wish to take care of our precious children and spend a memorable time together. Thank you!
Hobbies: Wearing kimono, cooking, piano, making handmade toys, traveling
I also have a kimono license; when I lived in Asakusa, I had many opportunities to lecture on kimono and talk about Japanese culture to foreigners.
Mr. JoasPortuguese and EnglishHello! I am a cellist an have been living in Japan since 2012, 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.
Ms. ReiJapanese, EnglishHello! I’m from Kanagawa and I lived here throughout high school. After I graduated, I went California to study Theater Arts for 5 years. I love spending time with children and was an assistant teacher for a children’s ballet class at the ballet school I used to dance in. While I was studying abroad, I also worked as a babysitter, and volunteered at a daycare. Now I’m studying for the daycare teacher license. I love food, I’m always looking to try new and different kinds. My hobbies are embroidery, craft, and dress making. tinyHappy garden is my dream place because this kindergarten is full of joy, beautiful smiles and arts! I’m excited to share good times with everyone!
Ms. YinkaEnglishHey all! I’m a dance teacher who specialises in child education. With twenty years of dance experience, my focus is on enabling students to develop & trust their own rhythmical instincts. Genres include hip hop, Afro beats, popping, boogaloo, locking and krumping. I’ve been in Japan for 15 years and have worked as a back-up dancer for Arashi and J Soul Brothers, and several TV commercials in the past.
Ms. KaoriJapanese, EnglishHello! I was born in Osaka, and grew up in countries. I was interested in English Education because I spent some time during my childhood in Taiwan, Hong Kong & Germany due to my father’s job. I studied abroad in Vancouver, Toronto, and Sydney, obtaining my TESOL qualification in Canada. Having volunteered at Montessori Nursery School in Toronto was an inspiring experience for early childhood education. After returning to Japan, I worked for 6 years at a preschool in Tokyo, and also achieved the Japanese childcare license. I believe that being with children with lots of love is important. I believe the children will return with a lot of smiles, too, which makes me so happy! I look forward to sharing a good time with many children at tinyHappy Garden!