About us

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The Stairway School was founded in 1994 by Tim Murphy.
Tim Murphy graduated from Oxford in Philosophy and Politics. After doing his P.G.C.E. in English, he taught English in a Birmingham secondary school for several years. After this he worked for many years in various ‘real world’ jobs, before taking the Trinity College Certificate T.E.S.O.L. (A grade). Some schools are proud to claim that they are part of larger international organizations. We, on the contrary, are proud that we owe neither our name, our ethos nor our reputation to anyone but ourselves. We have always used qualified native speaking teachers of English. Although the majority are British, we have used teachers from all over the English speaking world, including the U.S. The origin of our teachers is less important than their education, theoretical knowledge, and feeling for their language. What is equally important is that they be committed and open to new ideas and methods. It is not easy to be a ‘Stairway’ teacher, but the majority stay with us for a long time.
 
 
 

Our teachers

David Lilley

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I originally come from Birmingham in the UK and I’ve been living in Krakow and working at Stairway for just over three years. Although my academic background is in languages and linguistics (I have an MA from the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies and a PhD in linguistics from the University of East Anglia) I worked as the world’s worst primary school teacher before discovering my true vocation: teaching English to adults. Students respond well to my lessons, which combine a calm atmosphere, sound methodology, plenty of opportunities to speak, a healthy dose of grammar and my unique brand of humour! In my free time I like reading, walking, playing the piano and learning bizarre and complicated languages. Polish, for example.

Stuart Adamson

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Stuart has been living in Poland for nearly twenty years, and has been teaching English as a foreign language for even longer! He lived and worked in Koszalin first before coming to Krakow and joining the Stairway team in 2006. He’s a popular and lively teacher who makes sure that his students are always active, interested and, most importantly, learning. No boring grammar exercises in Stuart’s lessons! Stuart plays an active role in organizing our popular social events, particularly our English pub-quiz events.

Lynn Suh

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Lynn Suh is a teacher, poet, essayist, and translator from Boston, Massachusetts. He moved to Poland in 2011 because of his interest in Polish poetry. Since that time, he's taught English as well, bringing his love for the language into the classroom. He makes it his aim to have his students speak English not only fluently, but also with passion, to have them enjoy the language - its richness and quirks. He studied jurisprudence and political philosophy at U.C. Berkeley and at the University of Chicago. He's also a member of a cowboy band based in Krakow called The Razcals.

Robin Castellina

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Robin comes from Gloucestershire in the UK and studied modern languages and literature at university, before embarking on a career in teaching English as a foreign language. Prior to joining Stairway in October 2016 he taught English in Italy for a number of years. Students respond well to his calm, relaxed and thoughtful approach to teaching. In his free time Robin enjoys exploring new places and has a keen interest in folk music.

Mariusz Dudek

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Mariusz was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He studied film and philosophy at university, after which he went to Poland to teach English for 8 years. He taught in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain in 2016-17. In October 2017, he began his first year at Stairway. He has a keen interest in film and music, but spends a good deal of his free time listening to podcasts about various historical events as well. He is a two-time defending Stairway Quiz Night champion, having been part of the winning team in the fall of 2017 and the winter of 2018.

Chris James

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Chris is a new October 2018 recruit for Stairway and hails from the West Midlands, UK. Having earned a degree in Natural Sciences, Chris went on to work in the Scotch whisky and financial industries, during which time he tutored Mathematics in a local school. He earned his CertTESOL teaching qualification in Prague. Chris aims to provide engaging and participative lessons through relatable activities and the creative use of resources. Feel free to ask him for an English Idiom of the Day! In his spare time Chris enjoys rock climbing, escape rooms and following his beloved Wolves football and speedway teams. He hopes to put his plentiful supplies of useless knowledge to good use at the Stairway pub-quiz events.

David Richardson

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I grew up in Newcastle, England, and studied History and Central East European Studies at the University of Glasgow. I have worked for an educational charity in Scotland for four years, which involved taking part in living history events. I recently completed my CELTA in Krakow where I enjoyed creating fun and interactive lessons. I also enjoyed getting to know my students and changing my lessons to suit them as we went on.