Meet the course team!
Hello there! I'm Chee-Way. I am the founder of the course and I will be one of the teacher trainers for the Solving the Monkey Puzzle course. I was born in America however I am a citizen of Canada, so I usually refer to people that I am a Canadian as my life experience has been here. I have lived in different parts of the world as my father was an associate professor and musician which meant that we travelled a lot for his jobs. I finished my bachelor and Master's degree in Latvia. I hold a bachelor degree in primary education and Master's degree in Pedagogy, my focus field was early childhood education. However I fell in love with teaching English back in 2011 when I was in an Erasmus internship in Hungary working in a language school. So, I did my CELTA in 2013 in Riga and worked for International House Riga as an hourly paid teacher then later after a couple of years my other job offered me the position to become their Methodist which is similar to AdoS position. My travelling journey did not end in Latvia as I was too used to travelling, so I ventured out of Latvia which was already a home for me. I left to Vietnam and then I moved to Moscow working in BKC - International House Moscow and later on became an AdoS there. Currently I am back in Vancouver, Canada being self-employed teaching and freelancing doing Young Learner sessions for teachers and recently done a couple of YL sessions in a TESOL course.
Hey, I'm Rory. I will be one of your tutors for the course. I'm from Dundee in Scotland originally but I've lived in different places around the world from Sweden to Fiji. In addition to my CELTA, I hold other qualifications including DELTA 1 and TKT 3 Modules (Band 4). I started teaching in 2015 after my CELTA course and since then I have taught English in Ghana, East Timor, and Russia (the place I currently call home). In addition to teaching this course, I work as an academic manager, podcaster, private teacher and writer. My latest book is called The English Teachers and is connected to one of the areas of ELT I like the most: teacher training and development.
Hi, I'm Irina and I'm thrilled to be one of the tutors on this course. I've wanted to be a teacher since I was 6 and now I'm living my dream. Since I embarked on this journey 15 years ago, I've been a teacher for a teacher training University in Omsk and 2 major international schools in Moscow, a guest researcher in Denmark, a trainer and an academic manager. I'm passionate about professional development and I hold a Pass A for both CELTA and DELTA modules 1 and 2, but my true love has always been teaching children. To me, there's nothing like seeing their eyes light up before another English class or feeling their buzz from a new game or getting infected by the pure crazy energy when my little monkeys sing along to my ukelele. It's a special reward to be there for them when they think they fail and to tell them it's ok to make mistakes and, of course, to celebrate their small victories. I have a ton of games and resources and my classroom is like a magical world of toys and books, things that squeak and things that stick, things that shimmer and things that glimmer!
Hi, I'm Katerina and I’m so excited to be part of the Solving the Monkey Puzzle trainers team! The main fun fact about me is that I’m a polyglot, with German, Italian, Ancient Greek, Latin, Russian and English. A bilingual child (merely an experiment of my father’s ambitions), I have always known that my work life will be connected with languages. And everyone expected me to become an interpreter when I grow up. I tried to break the pattern and so I hold a degree in Classics, History. I am also a certified playback theatre practitioner and trainer for performative practices.
Fun fact number 2 is I have worked as a film translator for Russian TV and an editor and translator for an international publishing house. I got a TEFL in 2010 at Moscow Pedagogical University and took a TKT course at British Council, Moscow, in 2012, and so my conscious journey in teaching English started. In 2018, I challenged myself with taking IELTS with self-preparation just in 4 days (8,5 and 9 for Speaking) and then the first in Russia Trinity CertTESOL.
The third fun fact about me is that I am from Moscow, Russia, where I’ve been teaching for 15 years now. Apart from having multiple freelance projects, I am in the state school system, which makes me well aware of the strict rules and regulations and limited resources at schools. My main focus is teenagers, and you have to be very creative when teaching them. My students were from advanced programmes classes, like Biology, Maths and IT, Science, Human Sciences. This is how I got truly interested in CLIL, TBL and creative practices for teaching. I developed and implemented programmes for my students and was invited as a speaker at a number of professional conferences in Moscow. And this why I am here now!