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|jamiefroud 8 posts||
Hi im moving to Japan next april 2012 (depending on visa) my wife and son are already there for xmas :( as they are japanese and stayed after holiday,so i should get a spouse visa.I am confident of getting my 120hr combined TEFL as im on last assignment then the 4 specialist.We will be living in Kazo - Saitama,and although i havn't seen alot of schools nearby looking for teachers I have seen that Omiya (approx 20 mins) is the more likely place.Im not sure if i should be looking to be an ALT as im not sure if its suitable to my style (i hear bad things about being used as dummy lol) but i don't think i would get into a school.Although i am quietly confident i can pull this off and teaching isn't something i have ever considered it is growing on me alot and i loved the experience in the classroom weekend part of course with great feedback.Can anyone recommend a good starting point or advice on what i should look at doing to find a job? we will be living with parents and my wife will work fulltime when i arrive so funds aren't essential for a while.But finding work in Japan as a teacher worries me with my lack of experience.
Thanks for your time Jamie
|StuartS 4 posts||
You are doing something similar to me. My wife and child went to Japan before me and I followed some months later. I got a 3 year spouse visa before she left pretty easily, I presume you are getting one in Japan? I also had a job to go to.
In answer to your query, do you have a university degree? Many positions ask for a BA in any subject as a minimum. Most ALT companies demand a BA. Your spouse visa will be an advantage however as this shows the Japanese employer that you are not going to run away after a month like so many people seem to do! February\March is peak hiring season in Japan for jobs (the Japanese school year is April - April) although not that many hire from abroad, only the big ones like Interac. Try websites like JobsinJapan and also search for Ohayo Sensei which has loads of jobs. I only have local links for Kansai where I live not Saitama so sorry about that. Do you definately want to be an ALT? How about teaching adults or working in an Eikaiwa? Also, because you have a spouse visa, you can work part time. A sponsored visa by an ALT company or any other type of school means full time or go home when it expires. Consider working part time as your spouse visa will allow this if money is not an issue to start with. There are loads of part time jobs advertised and this is a good way to get experience which leads on to a better job.
And yes, you must be suited and booted for the interview although if you end up in an Eikaiwa, it is generally more casual if you get the job.
Remember that your resume must be a Japanese style one and it always advisable to include a photo of yourself on the resume if you apply to any job. I guess they want to make sure you don't look like Schrek and have tattoo's on your forehead :-)
Don't be put off by some other forums that I won't name that tell you that teaching in Japan is awful and akin to slavery and then in the second breath seem to contradict themselves by saying there are 200 applicants for every job. Teaching in Japan is a great experience and you may be nervous to start with but that will soon disappear :-)
Good luck with your job search mate.
|jamiefroud 8 posts||
Thanks for the response stuart,we are applying for visa at the moment...wife wants to talk on skype about it tomorrow (hopefully good news) and i dont have a university degree at all so im aware that beyond the visa needs there will be others better qualified to an extent.
I don't really want to be an ALT but i wouldn't rule it out, i think i would prefer to go it alone even if it meant regurgitating a certain amount of already made material..but preparing and teaching own lesson ideally kids i think would be really cool and something i think i would feel comfortable with.I am so bad at interviews its untrue so im not sure about japan interviews and their style lol.There will be many things i will struggle with i admit as its not just about me its about my wife and sons life in Japan so its going to be 50-50 for a while :S it really depends if i can get reasonable job and be happy with that.
I am generally quite flexible with who i teach and the hours to an extent so i wont limit myself there and as for the japanese way of working more for less because its expected iv'e been doing that for years at Tesco lol.Wearing suits and being quite formal will be difficult to start with.Its good to hear so many positive stories about peoples teaching experience in Japan as well so thanks for that.
|PDixon 169 posts||
Generally private classes are easy to set up - with the help of your wife (or if you know japanese) you could set up an english study group in your area for children... i live in a small city in Iwate (miyako-shi) and we have one for adults... so in your location it should be possible...
At the same time by getting to know the locals or asking if you can put up flyers in the area offering English classes you will get students... i think from what youve described this will be best for you
Or as stuart suggested Eikawa, which are private language schools and you can work part time or full time and usually have a variety of different students.
An ALT position might not be best for you - generally most contracts for an ALT at school is 11months and it is very bad to break contracts in japan. At the same time its very rare to get a direct hire with a school - you usually have to go through a dispatch agency (this is for nearly all High Schools, Junior High schools and Elementary - unless they are a special or private school)
Finally - as far as i'm aware the BA degree is only required for the working visa NOT for the job itself - therefore if you are able to get a spouse visa that also enables you to work in japan then you wont need a BA degree
|jamiefroud 8 posts||
Excellent,thanks for the reply Paul :D
I never really considered private however it does sound like a good idea and my wife does know quite few people so it is worth considering.I have seen alot about private schools so i figured this would likely be my port of call lol i just really want to find a good enjoyable job,it will help me settle massively if i can.I think for me im worrying about teaching a little especially in Japan because i feel they will want such a high standard (i think i can do this in my own way with time :D ) its quite scary when i think about it.
I did see quite alot of ads for heart english school not far away but i have read a post with not such good things lol so if anyone knows which schools are good/bad it would be cool.
I am going to stop worrying about not going to uni and having a degree as it seems it really doesnt matter,and i have to say its a massive relief.
Many thanks and i will keep everyone updated :) only got specialist modules to complete now everything else dne first time haha massively surprising.
|jamiefroud 8 posts||
Little update I completed my course few weeks back without any retakes lol I was quite surprised by this!
Recently went back to Japan to see my wife and son which was really cool but I also managed to get some nice experience teaching while I was there :D
My son goes to a small playgroup which kids and their mums/dads attend from babies to the age of about 4,my wife kindly told them about me and they were excited by the sound of it so when I went along with Kai everyone was like oooooh 'hello' 'how are you' practicing their english :)
At one point inbetween playing with all the kids lol i'm not sure they are used to dads turning up doing this though,they aksed me to go through some flashcards reading and getting them to repeat (kids parents and teachers) so completely on the spot and nervous I agreed and it was amazing experience.If anyone out there gets this opportunity even for 10 minutes wherever you go take it I learn't alot just from that.I even had one mum (pushy parent syndrome) asking me to do ABC with her son,we got to E before he ran off hehe but she was quite happy for the practice I think.
On top of this when I returned another day one of the dads was there,he's 34 but looked 20 wearing tracksuit lol but he loves English and the culture etc so he wants me to teach him English on a conversational level when I move there.So we will go to park while the kids play and we can chat in English,This is going to be valuable experience and a great way to help settle in,I wouldn't even mind contributing for free for a little while duting playgroup to gain valuable experience especially useful when I have an interview at some point :D
So anyone else in a similar situation try and get yourself out there because completely by accident and with some help with the wife i'm slowly making some contacts maybe one day will lead to a job :D
|PDixon 169 posts||
Any exerience is good experience - i once tried teaching younger kids but its a struggle... for me i prefer to talk to people on a grown up level (although some of my high school kids i treat like children when they act like children) - i also find i dont enjoy teaching adults...it just seems more difficult because i struggle to associate with them
i have established my prefered age group is between 11-30...needless to say i am willing to teach all age groups.
i also prefer high beginners and intermediates - rather than beginners or high level...but again i will teach all levels if i have to.
i just struggle starting people off (we all do i guess)...and for advanced i always feel like i should be teaching them something new BUT for most part its about them keep practicing and using english on a regular basis and when they have questions help them.
I wish you the best of luck with you move - be sure to keep us updated!!!
|jamiefroud 8 posts||
Right recieved my Visa on saturday morning (spouse visa) after getting certificate of eligibility! and have now handed my notice in at work,best feeling ever.One more week of work then one week to sort everything out and I fly to Japan on the 7th April for good (hopefully)
I just need to find work,I have looked at a couple of things on gaijinpot and noticed two possible ones I may apply for either when I arrive r over the next couple of days Heart English school working as an ALT or Gaba doing the one to one using the schedule.I have to admit the Gaba sounds good after looking on the website however you effectively have to wait 2 months for proper pay and then it depends on hopw many clients you have.But I am swinging towards this.Does anyone else here have any insight on either of these or perhaps another option I havn't noticed.Bearing in mind I have to stay fairly close to where I am based in Saitama.