Originally from Ukraine, Mariya has made Spain her second home. She has been living in Spain for the past 14 years and as a member of TEFL Madrid Academy team for the past 4 years. She has a B.S in English Education, Masters in ESL and she is fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and Spanish. She is a teacher trainer and advisor, and she helps both new and experienced teachers to further develop in their roles.
What is your favorite travel memory?
I’ve been to many places within and outside of Spain's territory and can definitely say that Spain is my favourite travel sight. It’s such a diverse country with a great history, beautiful culture, reach cuisine and great weather and long sunny days! I’ve enjoyed my long-weekend trips to the north of Spain with its surf culture and best food, and skiing in Spanish Pyrenees, but my ever the most memorable trips were to the Balearic islands! I’d go back any day and any time!
They definitely have some of the most beautiful beaches with mountains covered with pine trees at the north side of islands and white sandy beaches with crystal-clear turquoise waters at the south side. The food is fantastic and the atmosphere is great. My favourite memory is watching the sun going down at Ibiza with the music at the background coming from the nearby beach-bar and just enjoying the moment.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
Since working at the TEFL Madrid Academy, I have really grown both personally and professionally. Before joining the company, I have had an educational background and experience in teaching, but I had no idea what a complex work stands behind the TEFL courses and Visa support. With the years of experience, I became knowledgeable of the TEFL world and everything related to it.
As a person, I definitely see the world very differently from how I saw it years ago, before taking this job. I used to see everything more ordinary, more routinely, probably, because I have been mostly dealing with people who are having ordinary lives, ordinary 9 to 5 jobs, and that's fine, but now I know that we can choose the life we want to live. The world is big and full of possibilities waiting for those who take the risk.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
For me, the best students’ stories are those that turn into the self-discovery!
Most of our students have no teaching experience before taking our TEFL course. They come from different countries, professional backgrounds, and personal beliefs about to find out that they can teach, that they are good at it, and that it is what they want to do for the years to come!
It’s great to see someone who hated their office job back in the USA, becomes an ESL teacher in Spain, and loving it! Those are the best stories ever :)
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
The TEFL Course and Spanish Lessons Classes for sure!
I always thought that you couldn’t understand people’s culture if you don’t understand their language. I’ve been living in Spain for the last 15 years and thinking back of times when I didn’t speak Spanish frighten me! I thought I knew a lot about Spanish people just from observing them in my routine life when really I barely knew anything about them. Now I speak fluent Spanish and have many Spanish friends, and I think that our Spanish Classes program gives a significant boost to the learning curve!
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
Every member of our team is here to give our best and help our students to become great ESL teachers. For us, it’s not just a job, as we all have had very similar experiences of moving abroad and had to make the very same choices.
We know what our students need, we know what challenges they face at every step of their TEFL experience, and we’re here to help them on their way and make the transition more comfortable and less stressful. I am especially proud of my team every time.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Good question! I think that delivering great quality courses and giving the best to our students is what matters the most! In the end, If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t exist at all. It’s them and our team that makes us successful!
Our students, by choosing us, trusting us, relying on us, and supporting us after completing their courses and our team by doing what we love the most, never stop improving and creating a great atmosphere here at TEFL Madrid Academy!