Natasha Mason Kennedy (British) – Owner and Director
Natasha has a background in Law (LLB), Human Resources (Dip HRM) and is currently studying for her Masters in TEFL. She initially came to Madrid to be with her boyfriend and wondered what a girl should do in Spain when she doesn’t speak Spanish – teach English of course! She taught business English extensively throughout the Madrid province from 2003. During that time she has acquired an in-depth knowledge of writing materials, teaching groups,conducting telephone classes, seminars and intensive courses targeted at the business community.
Natasha became a TEFL trainer and worked in various TEFL schools in Madrid before starting up TtMadrid in 2005.
Whilst being a trainer on the course, Natasha is also very active within the teaching community and has taught on various Masters programs in Bilingual Education.
The love worked out and they got married, had a lovely baby and now live in the foothills of the mountains outside Madrid. Natasha is passionate about siestas and thinks anyone who doesn’t believe in them shouldn’t live in Spain.
Laura Brunwin (British) – Director of Studies
Laura fell in love with a Spaniard and deciding to put her plans to be a police officer on hold, came to see how things would work out in Spain. Many years later she is still in love with Madrid (and the man!). She completed the TtMadrid TEFL course in November 2008 and went on to teach in companies around Madrid. Laura specialised in intensive course and exam preparation for a very a high end TEFL agency.
Laura joined TtMadrid in September 2012 as Assistant Director of Studies. Once she learnt all she could from the Director of Studies, she staged a coup in November 2013 and took over the job. She is currently studying for her Masters in TEFL although she could teach the course herself!
Helen Finnegan (British) – TEFL Program Manager
Helen, was an optician in her previous life in England and looking for a challenge and of course some sun, she decided to move to Madrid. She completed the TEFL course with TtMadrid in January 2009 and began teaching business English in and around Madrid. In 2011, she was selected to be an in-house language consultant for Coca-Cola where she taught English and designed courses. She obviously liked the TtMadrid course as her mum came and did it in 2011!
Helen joined the Tt family in January 2013. She is here to answer your questions from your first email up until your arrival, her experience and knowledge of Madrid is extensive and she is always available to help and advise you. To get in her good books, feed her!
Valentina Ponasova (Russian) – Trainer and Observer
Valentina is a teacher through and through. She studied Theory and Methodology of Foreign Language Teaching at university for 4 years before embarking on a career as an English teacher in Russia. She has extensive experience with both adults and children for both general and business English. She completed her TEFL with TtMadrid in January 2013 and stalked us for a job and joined us in January 2014.
To unwind after a long day, you will find Valentina spinning around a pole at her pole dancing classes!
Monica Bixby (American) – Trainer and Observer
After University, Monica wanted to explore Europe and decided on Spain as her base. She worked as a Language Assistant for two years whilst
interning at TtMadrid. After two years she decided that she wanted to teach people who could wipe their own noses and tie their own shoelaces and decided to get her TEFL with TtMadrid. Teaching adults saw her teach in Grant Thornton and the Department of Defence along with many other opportunities. In May 2014, Monica was in for a ‘chat’ and asked to become a Trainer on the TtMadrid course adding a new dimension as a young learner specialist along with a profound knowledge of the Spanish educational system. She still occasionally has to wipe noses on the Tt course but is at peace with it!
Héctor Martín (Spanish) – Trainer and Observer
Hector is the Spaniard on the team. He studied Translation and Interpreting in his lovely home – The Canary Islands. He then went on to complete his Master’s in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language and Other Modern Languages at the University of Seville. He has been involved in foreign language teaching since the age of 21, and has loved every minute of it. TtMadrd saw him present at a conference and we were so impressed we made him an offer to come and life and work in Madrid with us. If you want to know how to get tickets for a Real Madrid game, or want a 1on1 basketball game, he’s your guy!
Home country: United States
Previous Job: Speech-Language Pathologist
Age: 30 years old
My husband Sean and I did the September TtMadrid program and are thrilled with the results. The course was initially a way for us to move to Spain legally and immerse ourselves in the Spanish culture. Sean was a math teacher and I was a Speech Pathologist in the US; teaching English seemed like a happy medium. I was a bit apprehensive- I had never taught before- but the TtMadrid method thoroughly prepared me. The program is quite comprehensive and lectures cover many practical and theoretical aspects of teaching. The teachers present a sort of recipe for how to conduct a class from start to finish.
The TtMadrid staff is unbelievably helpful and they foster a family-like atmosphere. I was impressed from the start of my journey while in the US, communicating primarily with Helen, who helped us with every step of the daunting visa process. She could not have been more patient! During the course, we spent countless hours with their talented teachers, who are genuine, kind, and experts in their craft. During my teaching practice, I appreciated the one-on-one attention they provided after each class. The feedback was invaluable and it helped shape my emerging skills. Of course, present throughout the process was Natasha, herself a gifted teacher and always lending a nurturing, helping hand. We’ve sought her guidance on everything from teaching and setting up a schedule to bank accounts and cell phones. You are never a number with Natasha and she stays connected well after graduation. As a married couple, she made us feel incredibly comfortable with this huge transition.
I strongly recommend the TtMadrid program to anyone interested in becoming TEFL certified, as well as to anyone wanting to live in Spain and work a very manageable schedule. I started working the week immediately following the course. I have actually turned down multiple job opportunities due to less ideal travel time or requirements for working in Fridays… TtMadrid truly makes you marketable and you can have a work schedule that suits your needs. I currently work 20 hours a week and have a three day weekend every week!