About TFA Academy

The growth of our teacher training programs throughout 2017 has been an exciting time for us and with the increased demand for our combined courses we are planning to add more locations in the coming months.

We help our trainees to become great English Language teachers. Our friendly team of instructors have a wealth of experience that they will share with you during our internationally recognised online & in-class TEFL certification courses. Even if you have no prior teaching background, we will make sure you are fully prepared to teach English abroad and have a lot of fun while doing so.

Each month, our newly certified teachers are commencing high quality TEFL teaching positions in many locations around Asia and beyond. With the expert advice of our placement consultants working in our recruitment department as part of our ‘Teachers For Asia’ end to end recruitment service, we can provide you with several great options to match your personal requirements. For further information on our TFA job placement service, check-out our Job Section.

With the support and guidance provided by our professional staff, our teachers can graduate from TFA Academy with flying colours and with the confidence to teach their first lesson at one of our excellent schools in Asia.

David Cooney (Managing Director and Co-Founder)

David holds a BA in International Marketing with Languages (Spanish & French) along with a Masters in E-Commerce & Entrepreneurship, both from Dublin City University. Having worked in a variety of business roles in many different sectors over the last 20 years, including Real Estate, Retail and other start-up companies, he has always been most passionate about his time as a teacher in Europe & Asia. Having taught at several Universities and private Education companies in more business-related subjects to all age groups, Education is an industry he is very passionate about. As Managing Director for TFA Education Group, he is responsible for managing all aspects of the business and working closely with each of his key team members set out below.

Claire Duggan (Operations Director & Co-Founder)

Claire holds a BA in Applied Languages from DCU and has over 15 years of experience working in various management roles at Microsoft and Gateway 2000. As Operations Director for TFA Education, she is responsible for the management of our administrative team, our Recruitment software, key client accounts and social media platforms.

Laurence Finnegan (Senior Education Consultant)

Laurence holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Management (Hons), Trinity College, University of Dublin. As a former Headmaster and Director of Sutton Park School, a distinguished, private, fee paying, interdenominational, non-profit school in Dublin, he brought the school onto the international stage by joining the Council for International Schools (COIS) and managed a successful accreditation with COIS and NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges). Later, as CEO of IH Dublin and subsequently Independent Colleges, he travelled extensively throughout the Middle East and Asia and has valuable contacts and insights into the cultures of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and other MENA countries. On top of this, Laurence has extensive experience in China where he has worked with Middle Schools and Colleges in an advisory capacity. Laurence works closely with our senior management team at TFA Education in the area of new business development and leadership Training.

Michael McCarthy (Recruitment & Training Manager)

Michael holds a BA in Education, Business Studies & Accounting. He is a qualified secondary education teacher with over 7 years of experience working in international education. Michael is focused on sourcing excellent teachers for our client schools, while also securing positions for our candidates that allow them to have a highly positive overall experience and gain professional growth. Other key areas where Michael is involved include management and development of our online and blended training programs, new business development for TFA Education and maintaining close relationships with universities and teacher training institutions in Europe and North America.

Brady Shwartz (Recruitment Consultant)

Brady holds a BA in Business Administration with a focus in International Business from the University of Vermont, USA. Originally starting his career in education as a TEFL teacher in Shanghai, China, he would eventually move on to specialize in teacher placement & program management for several Sino-American exchange programs. In total, Brady has over 4 years of experience in the international education field—a career that he has become increasingly passionate about. Now residing primarily in Bangalore, India, he frequently travels throughout Southeast Asia and China to meet with TFA affiliates and assist with sourcing teachers for positions across the globe.

Paul Von Wittgenstein (Senior Advisor)

Paul is a serial edupreneur and senior learning enabler originally from Canada. We are delighted to have him as part of our team here at TFA Education. He has been living and working in China since 1998. Paul is familiar with the education system in Asia, particularly in China. He runs his own management consulting company focused on corporate training there. Paul is also the founder of an innovative early language development company that helps parents teach language to babies and toddler. He is working with TFA Education as one of our Senior Advisors in the area of Asia-related business development.

Sarah Stevens (Admin Manager)

Sarah holds a BA in Applied Languages and has over 10 years’ experience working in IT and customer interface roles. As Admin Manager, she is responsible for our website content, jobs pages and account management, as well as systems reviews and initiatives.

Michelle Power (Content Writer)

Michelle has been teaching English in countries far and wide for the last 10 years and has been on the TFA team for the last two. Her ESL adventures have taken her to 15 countries including Korea, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Indonesia. Michelle graduated from University College Dublin with a BA Honours Degree in Politics and History. She also has graduate diplomas in both Public Relations and Journalism, not to mention her all-important CELTA qualification. She is a self-confessed bibliophile and grammar enthusiast. In her free time, Michelle enjoys yoga, reading and of course… traveling.

Cody (Content Writer)

Cody is originally from Toronto, Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University, and Bachelor of Education (Primary/Junior) from Nipissing University. After graduating, she moved to Bristol, England, where she taught at primary school level. She is currently living in Shenzhen, China, teaching English to Grades One and Two at a public primary school.

Ben (Content Writer)

Ben is a primary school EFL teacher, and blogger, based in Shenzhen, China, and holds a BSc in Human Biology from Loughborough University. Prior to becoming an EFL teacher, he gained experience in IT consultancy, commodities broking, and the military. Bens varied background provides him with a unique insight when writing about his experiences as an EFL teacher in China.

Jessica Addington (Content Writer)

Jessica has been living and working in Shenzhen, China for the past two years. She is currently working at an international school with Grade 1 and Grade 2 students who keep her very busy. This experience has taken her all over China as well as many countries in Southeast Asia. Jessica is originally from Fort Collins, Colorado and graduated from Colorado State University with a BS in Human Development in Family Studies. Following graduation, she went on to get her TEFL Certification from the International TEFL Academy. Jessica also studied abroad for a semester in the Netherlands which helped spark her passion for living and working abroad.