Elementary School Education · Jr. High School Education · Living in Japan · Teaching

Awesome News!

soccer apple!

I have to admit that the above picture has nothing to do with what I am going to post about. The picture is of one of my elementary school teacher’s bags and I thought it was adorable.

Anyway, onto my awesome news

The new boss finally gave us ALTs our school assignments for the new school year. I am super excited to announce that I will be keeping my two elementary schools!


The bad news is that my request for only elementary schools was once again denied (but I do not blame the new boss for that). I have been assigned to a new Jr. high school that is about 6.6 km away from my apartment. I looked up the route and asked one of my co-workers who works at the elementary school next to the Jr. high and it seems, for the most part, to be pretty straight forward. I am going to try to bike the route this weekend to make sure that I do not get totally lost on my way out there Monday morning. I don’t know what time I need to be at the school, but I am thinking about calling the school tomorrow or Friday to talk to the school’s principle or vice principle.

I have gone to the school’s website to see what sort of information was provided…and there isn’t a lot. I know that the entire student body is around 130 students between the first, second, and third graders. I also know the school only has 4 clubs available” baseball, ping pong, track & field, and culture. Other than that…I know nothing. I am not even sure what time I am supposed to be at the school. It is going to take between 30 – 40 minutes to get there…so I am hoping for a little later start time than my other schools. We are always asked to be there by 8:15…but we are never used until 9:00 ish. I guess the Board of Education feels that we really need to be a part of the morning meetings?

Anyway, my co-worker who works at the elementary school told me that the Jr. high goes through ALTs like tissues. This is not because the school is bad, but they have never had a non-company ALT. Working for an eikawa company or a dispatch company in Japan can be a horrible thing. I won’t go into too many details, but you can check out a link my co-worker sent me about some of the scams revolving around ALTs.

I do not have high hopes in terms of working at any Jr. high school as I was severally sexually harassed by students at one and then treated like a child’s tape recorder by a teacher at the other, but I will try to keep a positive attitude while I am biking out there and during the first week or so.

Guess we will all see how things go down starting Monday.


5 thoughts on “Awesome News!

  1. Every time I hear about this stuff, I wonder “how would an English teacher who doesn’t know Japanese deal with it?” Is KET different from JET in this regard? I heard JET was non-Japanese friendly.

    1. I was told before I had my JET interview that I should not push the fact that I liked Japan, but rather that I was interested in cross-cultural exchange. KET is pretty much JET, but there are some differences. With KET, we didn’t even have an interview (which was ridiculous) and I am pretty sure they based who they were going to hire on our pictures. Knowing Japanese is a definite plus in this job – even if JET does not favor people who know it.

  2. Your new Jr. High school assignment will be a challenge in many ways.

    One major hurdle you will have to deal with is the preconcieved notions about an ALT the school will have based upon the impressions thay have gained from having a contract ALT experience only.

    Try hard, do your best and maintain a positive attitude at school at all times. Find helpful things to do by being creative at the work place. If you manage to turn things around to create a supportive Jr. High staff by the end of the academic year you will have done something big.

    Try not to complain in public about this assignment. Beat up on Jun to deal with your frustrations. If you find it necessary to speak with your boss about Jr. High, be prepared with facts and discuss the situation in a calm and logic manner.

    Really, best of luck with this and hope for a good new school year!

    1. Thanks Dad. I’ll try my best. Jun says that he can take on that role (he kind of already has been). I just biked out to the school today, and the ride is not as bad as I thought it was going to be. There are ridiculous amounts of rice fields, but they are all surrounded by flowers and sakura. The people living by the school are all old men and women and they were all very friendly. I don’t think the area gets any foreigners besides the ALT. Hopefully things will go OK. I don’t think things could get much worse 🙂

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