Ryan and Markéta Goodwin – With over 25 years combined experience in the field of education and childcare, we are fulfilling our dream to build a school that successfully prepares young children for the challenges of higher learning and a rapidly changing world.
Ryan – Originally from Littleton, Colorado, USA, I moved to Prague in 1999 as an exchange student. Before returning to the Czech Republic in 2001, I graduated Cum Laude with a degree in business and marketing at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.
I began teaching at the University of Economics in Prague before finding my first preschool position in 2005. Teaching children at this age is so rewarding because of their desire to learn, their unique way of seeing the world and the laughter we share in observing it. In addition to designing fun and challenging worksheets for our students, I have enjoyed writing and directing over 24 school plays.
Sustaining meaningful relationships with our students and their families is so important that I continue to teach some former students privately; the oldest will be turning 18 this year! I also enjoy sharing my passion for history, reading, cooking and puzzles with our students. The births of our son, Ryley, and daughter, Zara, have only strengthened my commitment to giving children a lasting education and a memorable childhood.
Markéta – Raised in Příbram, I studied civil engineering before leaving to live and work in England as an au pair. For two years, I cared for children ranging in age from 4 to 11 years old before taking a position caring for patients with muscular dystrophy. Throughout my time in England, I studied English language and Linguistics at Canterbury College.
In 2005, I was given the opportunity to become the manager of a newly-opened English language preschool in Prague. Having the opportunity to share my passion for art and design with children has been an immensely rewarding experience. After our son, Ryley, was born, I continued to work in a limited capacity designing background sets and costumes for the school theater as well as decorative art for seasonal displays and celebrations. The opportunity to continue guiding children through their educational development is a constant source of inspiration and fulfillment.
Marina – My love for the English language and teaching English as a second language, especially to children, constitutes a dream which was gradually shaped at a very young age. It was due to my fervent desire to transfer my knowledge of the English language to other speakers that led me to pursue a teaching profession.
Born and raised in Athens, Greece, where English is integrated into our daily life, to a great extent, brought me to the reflection about the significance of teaching this foreign language. All the above mentioned factors demonstrate the reason why I chose to graduate in English Language and Literature at the University of Athens and continue my teaching development by completing a Masters degree in TESOL, Teacher Education at the University of Leeds. I have been working as a teacher of English to young learners for six years. Throughout these years my love for this profession flourished to such an extent that I cannot think of my life without being in a classroom and without being able to see my students’ smiling faces. I take an active interest in seeking new teaching methods, activities and creating games and exercises to further stimulate my students minds.
I strive to create a welcome teaching environment, enabling children to enhance their self-esteem, inspire creativity as well as promote cooperation and teamwork. I focus mainly on interactive learning via the use of games within the classroom because, I believe, young learners can learn the language better when they are involved in activities in which they have an active role. I am pleased and grateful for being a part of the lovely teaching team at The Academy at Marina, and for giving me the chance to instill in my students my love and enthusiasm for the English language.
Chris – I am from Birmingham, Alabama, USA. I have a political science degree with a minor in business from Auburn University. I first came to Prague as a study abroad student for the 2015 fall semester at Anglo American University. I fell in love with Prague immediately. so after returning home and finishing university I made my way back and completed a TEFL course at TEFL Worldwide Prague.
I have always enjoyed teaching and being around children. This started when I was a camp counselor for underprivileged kids in rural Alabama during my summers in high school. In my free time I enjoy rock climbing, skateboarding, playing drums, history and politics. I look forward to teaching your children English and any other subjects that peak their interests.
Amanda – Currently in my fourth and final undergraduate year at The College at Brockport State University of New York, I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Pre-Professional Health. I am looking to become licensed in Occupational Therapy focused mainly on disabilities found in pediatrics. I chose to spend my last semester of my undergrad traveling to the gorgeous Czech Republic, to be an intern at The Academy at Marina.
Throughout my life I have taking on a role of helping others, whether I was volunteering at local food kitchens, donating my time to local fundraisers, or working for Habitat for Humanity building houses to those who could not afford to do so themselves. I have found joy in being there for anyone in need, whether that be facilitating learning, promoting creativity, or establishing meaningful bonds.
Much of my early professional experience involved working with children, from an overnight summer camp, working in an infant daycare classroom, teaching horseback riding to young learners, to teaching to students with disabilities in a classroom setting. I have found a passion with the patience and kindness that comes with young children of all types. I believe that all children deserve the opportunity to learn, and am happy to provide my help.