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Teaching in Japan

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by smileyface06, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. Hi all,
    When i become a qualified teacher (post 16) i would like to go to Japan and teach for a while, i have looked at the JET website, and it seems good, but was wondering if anyone else had gone this route, and what kind of experiences they had.

    Thanks x
  2. Hi all,
    When i become a qualified teacher (post 16) i would like to go to Japan and teach for a while, i have looked at the JET website, and it seems good, but was wondering if anyone else had gone this route, and what kind of experiences they had.

    Thanks x
  3. i did JEt for 3 years then came back to do my PGCE so I did it the opposite way round.

    If you do want to teach in Japan - JET is one of the best ways to go through. They find your school/ contracting organisatio - pay for your flight over there ( and back if you finish your contract) and give you an orientation in Tokyo for a few days on arrival.

    However - the position is usually as an ALT - assistant language teacher and as a fully qualified teacher this may be frustrating. Most of the teaching is team teaching - you and a Japanese teacher of English. This could range from you actually preparing all lessons and doing most of the delivery yourself or it could just be you being taken to a lesson and asked to read out a passage in English for the class to copy ( human tape recorder teaching). There is no way to tell in advance what type of school/teacher you will have and the staff change roles every April so it isn't constant.

    On the plus side - you get a decent wage ( though no pay rises no matter how long you stay), ypou should have somewhere to live organised before you arrive by the school.

    There are a lot of variables on JET and you are basically employed by the school/local county council so once you get there you may find you are much better off/worse of than the person in the next town. You may get given a car and not have to come to school for the holidays or you may have to cycle everywhere/buy your own car and come to school everyday of the school holidays ( unless you use your alloted holiday allowance )

    I would recommend JEt - stayed 3 years - loved it. If you are definite about going to Japan you will be in a much better position than many of the convrsation schools. You do get a choice of where you want to be placed but i don't know anyone who got there choice. I lived in a " city" which was actaully a town of 50,000, 2.5 hours from nearest mainline train, city, english bookshop etc. Many places still had pit toilets - old women wandered around in kimonos and it was very interesting.

    any specific questions just let me know!

  4. I did JET for three years near Kobe city. During my final year I sent my CV to some international schools and got a position at one in Tokyo. I did the PGCE in the UK a few years before I came here though.

    JET is good if you want a stress free life for a few years while having the opportunity to travel around Asia. You aren't going to get holidays like teachers do in the UK though. You will probably have to go into school even during the summer and do basically whatever you want. Most JETs only get 4 weeks of vacation per year. There are lots of public holidays though. I took three overseas trips every year for three years while on JET.

    If you are serious about staying in Japan then JET is a good stepping stone to an international school. The salary is good, the taxes are low and the life is fun.
  5. Heya,

    I lived in Japan (Tokyo) for a year, although not with the JET scheme. I went out with a small independent language school and had a great time. Japan is an amazing place to live and I'd go back out tomorrow if I could!

    You could get more specific advice from the job forums on;


    Quite a useful website.

    Hope this helps.

  6. I also did JET for three years in Kyoto city and would agree with the content of the posts from aquablue and krb 102.

    Japan is definately a fascinating place and it has both good and bad sides to it, like anywhere in the world. I´d certainly recommend it though.

    Conditions of work and life can vary on the JET Program so there can be an element of luck to your placement.

    If you want to know anymore, smileyface 06, I am happy to email you if you post an email address on this thread.

    Anyway, good luck to you!
  7. Hi, i too taught in Japan for 2 years on the JET scheme, and agree that this program is the best in terms of setting up participants with good jobs and apartments. Also, the wages are much better than on programmes like NOVA or in private language schools. however, i was a teacher in NZ before i went to Japan and i found it extremely frustrating being a teaching assistant after being in charge of my own classes. Depending on the school, you may not have much say on the curriculum or how classes are taught - some JETS are given 10 minutes to plan a class, and teach all day, others are not allowed to stray from the textbook.
    Japan was a great experience and the people were very friendly - you will get complete strangers on the train wanting to practise their english with you.
  8. I also am looking to work in Japan. I've been teaching for 4 years now and i prefer teaching disuptive boys. Any need for people like me in Tokyo?
  9. How easy is it to find ad hoc teaching in Japan from Jan-April? I've a post 16 PGCE and will hopefully have my M.Ed then, as well as 2 years teaching in China (University, Business and Private) and a couple of years in the UK in Adult Ed.

    Would prefer to teach Business English and am well used to agencies in the UK. What I'd like to know though is, am I terribly naive thinking that it would be easy enough to find immediate work for a native UK lass with yellow hair?

    Thanking you!
  10. Gosh, yes. Japan is wonderful place to work. There's great money to earn and those Japanese people are so nice, polite and friendly too. Just ask all those people who used to work for Nova. 'The Land of the rising sun' is really super.
  11. Hi, sorry to hijack this thread a bit but I was wondering if anyone did the Jet when they were a bit older. I have a few friends who did Jet (and some others who went to Korea, China, elsewhere in Japan) but they all tended to do it early 20s.

    I'd probably be 30/31 when I wanted to go and wondered if it was something that was frowned upon/ a barrier?

    Also, do they generally just put placements in schools or can you get a placement in a university? I ask because, for those who know me from posting here, I currently work as an academic so am used to university life more.
  12. I dont think that you will have too much of a problem!

    Though I agree with all here that the programme is a very good way of getting a foot in the door. Whilst in Osaka there were ALTs that were in their 30s ... I am not too sure if this is official policy, it may have been for the Osaka Board of Education ...each Board was slightly different.

    Apply and find out there is no harm in that.
  13. Why are there so few jobs in Japan this year? Well, only 1 in my subject and it doesn't suit.
  14. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Taught in Japan for 2 years and loved it. No experience with JET, but looks like plenty of others have chimed in there.
    As a qualified teacher, I would turn over every possible stone to find an actual teaching job in an int'l school before going the JET route. The JET experience may be fine and a good way to be introduced to Japan, but there is no comparison to the professional (and likely financial) benefits of teaching at even a small/dodgy international school in Japan.

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