Tanya Van Strien

Favorite Quote:

"We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans - because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. That's why we paint, that's why we dare to love someone - because we have the impulse to explain who we are."

Maya Angelou


  • Name: Tanya van Strien
  • High School English Grades 9-12
  • Years in Education: 15

department: English



  • Master of Arts, English Literature, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Specialized English Literature, York University, Toronto, Canada


  • Teaching Remotely: A Practical Guide, NC State University
  • Learning to Teach Online, University New South Wales
  • AP Summer Institute, St. Clement's, Toronto, Canada
  • Introductory Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language
  • Propell Workshop for the TOEFL iBT Test, American-Mideast Educational and Training Services Inc., Riyadh, KSA
  • Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) /Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Toronto, Canada

Professional Experience:

  • English Language and Literature Teacher/ Head of Department (Memorial International School Tirana) Tirana, Albania
  • English Language Instructor, (Seneca College), Toronto, Canada
  • English Language Teacher/ Lead Teacher (King Saud University, Preparatory Year Program, Riyadh, KSA
  • English Language Teacher (Pohang Poly School), Pohang, South Korea
  • Teaching Assistant, (Carleton University), Ottawa, Canada
  • Academic Coach, (Carleton University), Ottawa, Canada
  • Writing Workshop for Freshmen, (York University), Toronto, Canada


I did not want to be a teacher. I tried to avoid it for years. My first career was in social work, where I worked with the elderly and disabled. Next, I spent several years in the fast-paced environment of event planning. Even though I loved both of these fields, I felt like something was missing in my life, and I returned to university.

At this point, I was still not sure what the future would hold for me. Then, at the beginning of my second year, one of my mentors asked me to create and deliver an essay writing workshop for freshmen. It was the most terrifying and gratifying experience I had had up until that point in my life. I was hooked.

Fifteen years and four continents later, my passion for learning and teaching has not waned in the slightest. I strive daily to plan interactive and engaging learning activities, encourage curiosity and critical thinking, create safe learning environments, and motivate students. I am grateful for this time at ACS to work with, and learn from, our incredible students.