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Old 2010-11-11, 19:29   Link #1
skunkfish
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Nagano-ken, Japan
Angry I teach English in Japan - any questions?

There may well be a thread like this already here, but I like answering this type of questions. (also works as a good introduction thread )

I live in the mountains in Nagano and teach juniour high. Any questions about the job or Japan?
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Old 2010-11-11, 19:36   Link #2
Tsuyoshi
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Ohh interesting. Being an english teacher in Japan was something I was wondering about. What's it like salary-wise? Is it difficult to get a visa or work-permit?
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Old 2010-11-11, 19:36   Link #3
Gin
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You should be friends with me and Langus, we are also accomplished professors.
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Old 2010-11-11, 20:15   Link #4
mindovermatter
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cool, I've been really interested in this for a while.
How did you find/apply/get the job and placement? Did you take a TOEFL course or test?

my main concern though, is whether or not it's possible to make payments on my school loans while doing this (I'm not talking about paying them off, just meeting minimum payments).
What age group do you teach? Any advice, or funny stories?
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Old 2010-11-11, 20:16   Link #5
thevil1
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質問 (Question):
Are you part of JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program?
I've asked other people the best ways to teach there, and most of them recommended looking up about JET.
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Old 2010-11-11, 20:52   Link #6
skunkfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsuyoshi View Post
Ohh interesting. Being an english teacher in Japan was something I was wondering about. What's it like salary-wise? Is it difficult to get a visa or work-permit?
I have written a blog about the wages, which I'm not sure if I can post here. I got told off about it before, but as you are asking me directly I'll send you here (also has job links).

In short, the average wage for an English teacher is 250,000 yen a month. I get a bit more than that because I have a really good deal with a Board of Education.

mindovermatter - I do have a tefl certificate, but that wasn't necessary for the job. All you need is a BA degree (in any subject). I found the job by chance through a friend. I was originally going to go to Venezuela and teach there, but then the better paid and vastly cooler job here came up.

Depending on what your minimum payments are, I think the wage here should cover it, although you will find that a job in one of the big cities will rob you of most of your salary very quickly.

I teach juniour high, which is 12-15yo. It's a lot of fun, but can be really dull as well (depends on the Japanese teacher you teach with). Funny stories? I have plenty

thevil1 - no, but you're right that JET employ a very large number of people out here. They just happen to not be used by my BoE, who recruit by themselves. It's notoriously hard to get on the jet programme, but there are a lot of companies out there advertising, and many of them (interac, nova x geos) are desperate for people. Check the above link for websites etc.
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Old 2010-11-11, 21:00   Link #7
thevil1
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Well even though you didn't go on the JET program, you probably know this... After teaching in Japan, do you think it would be easier to get a residents/working visa if you decide to move after your done teaching?
Also, when your applying for an overseas teaching job, at any company (JET, Nova etc), what kind of questions do they ask, and what are they generally looking for in a person?
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Old 2010-11-11, 21:14   Link #8
asunder
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any amusing stories?

(see -> http://gaijinchronicles.com/category...chool-teacher/ )
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Old 2010-11-11, 21:27   Link #9
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Where are you from?

How many schools do you teach at?

How many hours do you work a week? Are most of your working hours spent in or outside the classroom?
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Old 2010-11-11, 21:39   Link #10
skunkfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn Demon View Post
Where are you from?

How many schools do you teach at?

How many hours do you work a week? Are most of your working hours spent in or outside the classroom?
England.

1, but it was three last year (one day a week was at an alternating elementary)

7.45-4.15 mon-fri. Average of three lesson hours a day. The rest is split between prep work and wasting time on forums etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by asunder View Post
hah that site's pretty funny. most of my stories revolve around kids trying to shove their fingers up my arse and grab my balls. Although today I did get a letter from a student saying he wanted to "go to play in dominique" (my name is dominic) and "sleep suitably" at my house. Yesterday he showed me a gay light novel, but today he denies being homosexual. Kind of odd.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thevil1 View Post
Well even though you didn't go on the JET program, you probably know this... After teaching in Japan, do you think it would be easier to get a residents/working visa if you decide to move after your done teaching?
Also, when your applying for an overseas teaching job, at any company (JET, Nova etc), what kind of questions do they ask, and what are they generally looking for in a person?

It's sometimes possible to get a work visa which lasts longer than your contract, but without a job it's pretty tough to secure one so I don't really know about returning after going home etc. After 5 years you can apply for citizenship, but it can be tough to get without a Japanese wife/husband and I've been advised that 10 years is more likely for those without.

As for what companies look for - geos wants a pulse, and jet wants you to fill out a massive application which will give you a pretty good idea of what they're after. they will also ask you to demonstrate your teaching ability with a short task. Not having done it I don't know what it is, but I'm sure there is information out there.
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Old 2010-11-11, 21:55   Link #11
thevil1
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OK next question.
Do you feel that the students treat you differently then they would a "normal" teacher?
Are they more disrespectful to you since they "assume" you can't understand Japanese?
How do you get treated as a foreigner in Japan in general outside the workplace?
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Old 2010-11-11, 22:02   Link #12
Azumanga Davo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skunkfish View Post
hah that site's pretty funny. most of my stories revolve around kids trying to shove their fingers up my arse and grab my balls.
Now the big question of all eternity. Did they find what they were looking for?
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Old 2010-11-11, 23:37   Link #13
skunkfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey Missus View Post
Now the big question of all eternity. Did they find what they were looking for?
Yes, the rumours are true. I do indeed have balls. I do not have an arse, however.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thevil1 View Post
OK next question.
Do you feel that the students treat you differently then they would a "normal" teacher?
Are they more disrespectful to you since they "assume" you can't understand Japanese?
How do you get treated as a foreigner in Japan in general outside the workplace?
I'd say my students like me by default just for being foriegn. I'm also 6'4 with a muscular build, though, so maybe they just like the whole foreign giant thing. I feel like they're more friendly with me than some other teachers though. I mess around with them and threaten to cut their heads off etc, which they like (my girlfriend says I should stop doing it though )

Outside the workplace we're under scrutiny quite a lot. Especially as I live in the countryside, there are a lot of old-fashioned opinions. Japanese people have all kinds of preconceived notions about foreigners, the most significant being that we are a totally different species who can't speak Japanese or use chopsticks. A bit sad really. My friend has been here for 22 years and still gets complimented for elementary Japanese utterences.
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Old 2010-11-11, 23:54   Link #14
Master_Yoma
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Can you ship things to me from japan there a few things I cant get here

Is there a Godzilla st or ave. some where in japan?
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Old 2010-11-12, 00:12   Link #15
skunkfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master_Yoma View Post
1. Can you ship things to me from japan there a few things I cant get here

2. Is there a Godzilla st or ave. some where in japan?
1. Like what? Panties?

2. Maybe!
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Old 2010-11-12, 03:04   Link #16
MrTerrorist
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This may sound rude but.... how good are your students english?
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Old 2010-11-12, 03:57   Link #17
Tsuyoshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skunkfish View Post
I have written a blog about the wages, which I'm not sure if I can post here. I got told off about it before, but as you are asking me directly I'll send you here (also has job links).

In short, the average wage for an English teacher is 250,000 yen a month. I get a bit more than that because I have a really good deal with a Board of Education.
Nice, that's around 1900. Either way, would you say that's good enough to have a stable life (like, if you wanted to get married, for instance). Even without that, is it enough to get by renting a place, utility bills, etc?

On another note, what exactly do employers require you to have? What should you expect to be asked in an interview? And how does the interview process work and getting a work permit there?

Sorry for so many questions btw, it's just something I've been thinking about so it's good to know these things
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Old 2010-11-12, 06:31   Link #18
Khu
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So do you need like a JPT Cert or not to teach English? Or is it because they've learnt it all their educational lives that you don't need one?
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Old 2010-11-12, 06:38   Link #19
solomon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skunkfish View Post
There may well be a thread like this already here, but I like answering this type of questions. (also works as a good introduction thread )

I live in the mountains in Nagano and teach juniour high. Any questions about the job or Japan?
So JET is hard to get into I hear. I still wanna aim for it in the near future.

What was your program again? Was it private? I have heard some none too happy stories about some private schools.

Were you interested in teaching before going to do this? Did you have a lot of that on your resume?

I want to do teaching in Japan and am currently tutoring stateside children for resume padding.
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Old 2010-11-12, 09:31   Link #20
skunkfish
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khu View Post
So do you need like a JPT Cert or not to teach English? Or is it because they've learnt it all their educational lives that you don't need one?
No and no. You only need a degree (in anything), and English is only compulsory atm from juniour high, which is where I teach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solomon View Post
So JET is hard to get into I hear. I still wanna aim for it in the near future.

What was your program again? Was it private? I have heard some none too happy stories about some private schools.

Were you interested in teaching before going to do this? Did you have a lot of that on your resume?

I want to do teaching in Japan and am currently tutoring stateside children for resume padding.
I work directly for the local government, but this is a rare job and usually requires high level of Japanese and already being in Japan at the time of application. A lot of private schools are a bit dodgy, but many are also fine. Earlier I posted a link about wages which has links to some pretty well respected schools.

I always wanted to teach, and had several teaching things on my CV, but many other teachers with this Board of Education don't have any experience. Ultimately I think it's very possible to get a job out here with zero experience, but I wouldn't recommend it. If you don't like working with kids, then you won't like teaching them. Simple as that.
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