MEET OUR TEAM
Good things come in small packages: each one of Bema’s carefully-selected, accredited educators represent a key aspect of the active, constantly-improving curriculum that sets Bema apart from its competitors. We are proud to host a highly-qualified team of seasoned experts in all areas of education—from primary to tertiary.
Claire is the founder, owner and president of Bema Education Ltd. A Chinese entrepreneur educated at the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management, she combines her experience in business, education, and online learning to lead a multifaceted team of educational experts mentoring students in language, literacy and leadership.
Due to the challenges that Claire, her family and friends experienced in their pursuit of international education, Claire saw the need for a flexible, complementary learning platform that offered small class sizes, had a student-centered learning philosophy, and provided hands-on, interactive classroom activities. This learning philosophy encourages her educators to tailor their teaching to suit individual student needs while at the same time empowering her students to take ownership of their learning process.
Claire’s vision for Bema is to shift learning away from a one-way-only, I-teach-you-listen, teacher-to-student paradigm—making “school” a place to not only gain knowledge, but also a platform to question, argue, learn, make mistakes, and–most importantly–grow.
Coached 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Silver Key Novel Winner
Coached 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Essay Honorable Mention
As Bema’s operational director, Jeff (B.A. (Hons.), M.A., Cert.TESOL) draws on many years’ experience as a university administrator in international and executive programs at York University and the University of Toronto–as well as his time in the private training sector as a director for Chinese government training programs certified under the People’s Republic of China State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA).
Jeff began his educational career at universities in Hong Kong and Taipei, teaching undergraduate students English for Specific Purposes, including International Business and Economics. In Canada, he taught graduate students entering the top-ranked Schulich School of Business MBA at York University.
Jeff excels at helping his students meet the challenges of university preparation and standardized tests (TOEFL, SAT, SSAT, IELTS, AP) especially in the areas of academic writing, persuasive speaking and rhetorical analysis. He also has extensive experience designing and delivering international executive training programs to government officials from the People’s Republic of China, auditors in the Deloitte Global Development Program and executives at other global institutions.
Monique is a high energy, TESL certified teacher with over 20 years of Canadian and international experience in developing and delivering inspiring and interactive curricula to students with diverse backgrounds, ages and abilities. Her top priority in every class is to create a warm and nurturing atmosphere where students feel connected to and fully empowered in their learning.
In addition to making English lessons fun, Monique has focused on English literature, using novel studies to help students develop not only their appreciation for literature, but also improve their vocabulary, writing, creativity and critical thinking.
Monique looks forward to meeting and working with Bema students and sharing her passion for English literature.
Tracy studied at the University of Toronto, earning an Honours Bachelor of Arts with a Specialists in History, and a Minor in English Literature. She is passionate about teaching, and has 18 years of experience teaching students of all ages and backgrounds, from young children to adult ESL students.
Tracy utilizes her history and literature background to engage students in meaningful and thought-provoking discussions, and written work, for a classroom environment that is inclusive and inspiring. She is quick to understand individual learning styles, and to adapt to the students’ needs, promoting their strengths while challenging them in new areas which foster critical thinking and confidence, reinforcing both language and grammar skills.
In the LINC program at Fleming College, Tracy has worked with newcomers to Canada to introduce them to the language, while helping them to adapt to life in Canada. She has traveled extensively to places such as Britain, Europe, Asia, India, Australia and Central America and lived and worked in France for a year. She understands that learning a new language is more than just sentence structure and grammar, and strives to help students understand the nuances of the English language.
Tracy is excited to share her passion for learning and her love of history and English literature with students at BEMA.
Valerie is an enthusiastic teacher who believes that fully engaging her students acts as a springboard to making more meaningful and powerful connections. After obtaining her Honours BA in Psychology (McMaster University), she went on to pursue her Bachelor of Education and Special Education Part 1 from the University of Western Ontario. Additionally, she has a Masters degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy from Roehampton University UK, where she lived, studied and worked for five years.
Valerie has ten years experience with the Toronto District School Board teaching grades 1-4 and two years in Alexandria Egypt teaching primary grades. Her love for diversity, culture and people’s lived experiences add greatly to her upbeat teaching style which encourages students to become alive with the literature through dramatic role playing, poetry and self reflection. She believes in self-directed learning, making strong connections with her students and always looks forward to sharing her love of learning with the students at Bema.
Carla has been a teacher for 15 years. She attended the University of Toronto majoring in Political Science and then went on to study Education at the Christchurch College of Education, New Zealand. Her diverse teaching experiences include; set tutor for professional acting children, boarding school matron, private tutor, Literacy Coordinator and international classroom teacher.
Carla has taught within four different curriculums in both public and private systems in Canada, the U.K., the Middle East and New Zealand. Her most recent teaching position was at Havergal College, Toronto. Carla has a wealth of experience to share as a published author and life-long learner. Her teaching philosophy embraces student-directed inquiry, engaging youth and adults alike in an appreciation of reading broadly, writing and developing learning skills that will ensure their success throughout their educational experience.
Carla looks forward to sharing her knowledge with Bema students and being a part of their English language adventure.
Christine has been a teacher for more than 20 years. She attended the University of King’s College at Dalhousie University, majoring in English with a minor in History and Political Science. Christine also holds a degree in Education from St. Mary’s University, specializing in French/German and Remedial Reading teaching methods. She later returned to School, to obtain a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, and worked as a trainer for the Province of Nova Scotia, in Canada.
Her diverse teaching experiences include: teaching across all levels (Primary through grade 12), in all subject areas excluding Math, providing in-home tutoring support to students unable to attend school, working with learning disabled students in both Resource and Learning Center, working with a local psychologist to become conversant with the Verbalizing and Visualizing Program (in order to assist students to learn these vital skills), and being a middle school Literacy Support teacher.
Christine has a great deal of personal experience in dealing with attentional and learning difficulties and obstacles, due to her own children’s learning difficulty. She has developed numerous ways to assist these children to succeed. She has also taught online, to students from Russia, Israel and China for the last 4 years, and has assisted her students to successfully compete in such competitions as MMUN and Design Thinking.
Christine embraces the philosophy of “Love them first, teach them second”. She establishes a deep personal connection with her students, sharing with them her love of reading and writing, and helping them to find their own passions through investigation, discussion and analysis while reading, and assisting them to find their own unique voice in writing.
Christine looks forward to sharing her knowledge with Bema students and being a guide in their English language journey.
Jaime is an enthusiastic and seasoned educator with more than 12 years experience in teaching and tutoring. Jaime has taught in Asia, North America and Europe allowing her to develop her own unique style of teaching both in person and online.
Jaime received an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto with a Specialist in English and minors in French and Italian. She also holds a post-graduate qualification as a Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of Toronto.
Jaime is well versed in standardized testing and scored in the 90th percentile in the verbal section of the GMAT. Completing the coursework for her Master’s of Adult education is one of her proudest achievements and she is currently finishing her thesis on Intergenerational Learning. She has written for university publications, and for both national and international online magazines.
For several years Jaime has volunteered with organizations that serve the community. One such organization, assists students from marginalized communities attend prestigious independent high schools. This experience has given her insight into navigating Ontario’s independent school system.
Jaime brings a friendly style to online teaching with interactive lesson planning and a fun atmosphere. As a Teacher, Jaime believes that studying should be enjoyable and believes in student-centered learning.
Dionne Douglas is a native English speaker from Toronto, Ontario in Canada. She has a Bachelor of Arts Honors degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Adult Education. Furthermore, she has an Early Childhood Assistant Certificate and a postgraduate TESL/TESOL diploma. In addition to her education, Dionne has undergone training by Oxford in the field of IELTS exams and by Paragon in the field of CELPIP exams.
Dionne has been teaching in a traditional classroom and as an online educator for over 12 years. She has experience working with a variety of different ages from children to adults who come from various backgrounds and countries. She has international English teaching experience, but also has training experience as an accent trainer, online teacher trainer and corporate soft skills trainer.
Dionne is a firm believer in incorporating fun discussion into the classroom about topics that interest her learners. She believes she must incorporate rich discussion into classes because language is in fact, a tool for communication and therefore, her learners should practice speaking as much as possible. During a class, Dionne knows the importance of providing a positive learning experience and comfortable learning atmosphere. She has found that incorporating a little humor into lessons works very well to accomplish that. In her experience, students feel at ease when there’s some laughter while allowing for the level of comfort and positive experience needed to feel relaxed while learning. This ties directly into Dionne’s teaching Motto: “Learning should be enjoyable. Smile! Laugh! Learn!”.
Matthew has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Queen’s University (Kingston), an M.Sc. in Philosophy & Public Policy from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. in Philosophy (with a minor in English) from Wilfrid Laurier University. He has solid experience teaching philosophy courses at Queen’s University and McMaster University, tutoring students in academic writing at the Wilfrid Laurier University Writing Centre, and tutoring students in writing for GRE and GMAT tests with Kaplan Test Prep.
Matthew is passionate about clear communication and clear reasoning, believing that the ability to communicate clearly and to reason well confers power, enabling one to make oneself understood, to defend one’s views, and to join others in the collective pursuit of wisdom.
Shannon is a graduate of the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies who brings over a decade of experience to Bema from her previous positions as a customer service manager for international companies in China. After working several years in China’s educational industry, she became involved with Bema and was impressed by the professionalism of Bema’s teachers and its founder’s vision for education. In 2019, Shannon officially joined Bema full time, adding her conscientious expertise in customer communication and educational administration to the Bema team. It is her goal to provide professional and caring customer service for all Bema students and their families.