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View Full Version : Being an ALT in High School vs Junior High/Elem



mrfahrenheit
February 21st, 2011, 09:27
Hi all!

I'm bored and curious and some of this info may be interesting for applicants to hear about!

In your area, what's your impression, as an ALT, of living and teaching as HS versus JHS/elem?

My impressions!

I can't speak too specifically about the JHS situation here because I'm a HS ALT, but I have gathered some things from talking to a handful of other JETs...

- HS ALTs have less work to do for classes, have high rent in nice apartments, usually do not have cars because insurance is expensive, and have no subsidies on anything. We have fewer holidays and JET functions. Usually only have one school (and I'm a rare exception in that I have two).
- JHS ALTs have more work to do for classes, have lower rent in sometimes-not-so-awesome housing, usually have cars because insurance is covered municipally, and have slight subsidies on housing/transport. More holidays and more (usually pointless) JET seminars to attend. Usually have several schools.

Is this the same in your area? Are there other differences/similarities?

Azrael
February 21st, 2011, 09:36
car insurance isn't expensive, well it is considering it doesn't cover you for anything so is essentially useless but still...

mrfahrenheit
February 21st, 2011, 09:44
car insurance isn't expensive, well it is considering it doesn't cover you for anything so is essentially useless but still...

Oh really? A HS ALT friend of mine got a car when she first arrived and ended up ditching it this month because the monthly insurance payments were too much for how little she actually had to drive (out of town on the weekends, essentially). She had some old clunker white plate but idk exactly what she was paying. I don't know any other HS ALTs that had/have cars. Maybe they (we) are just cheapass.

3696
February 21st, 2011, 09:47
i'm HS and i have low rent. i also do lesson plans for most of my classes. JHS/ES ALTs in my mura always complain about how easy i have it before they trudge off to class to teach colors and sing songs about numbers.

Azrael
February 21st, 2011, 09:48
probably, or driving pieces of shit cars that the company didnt want to touch, or were under 25, or because it was their first year the cost of insurance is naturally going to be a little higher. still, absolute max should have been 1man a month, maybe 1.5 if it was some kind of 3litre street racing monster.

Jojo
February 21st, 2011, 10:05
ive done them all and in my expereince in HS and Elem you do the most work (although quite different). Housing is really esid - but ive had to have a car for all of them...

Antonath
February 21st, 2011, 10:15
I'm HS and my rent is 50% subsidised. Can't comment on the car as I don't have one.

Talking to elem / JH ALTs, I think the main difference at school is how likely the kids are to climb on you and/or poke you in the ass.

Azrael
February 21st, 2011, 10:19
my experience of JHS was its a complete joke.

Jojo
February 21st, 2011, 12:49
my experience of JHS was its a complete joke.
This.. The kids are too high a level for you to have a lot o fun games with them like in elem (from the JTE's perspective) but they arent good enough to interact a lot in english or do advanced activities and there is such an emphasis on cramming as much grammar down their throats (esp 1st years) that there isnt much else left for you to do. Even a teacher with really poor spoken english can still teach the shit out of grammar.. the end result being you are used soley to practice pronounciation as a human tape recorder...

WesleyCrusher
February 21st, 2011, 14:53
The JHS/ES ALT in my town has 20 schools and 4-5 classes every day of the week. He has to eat kyuushoku with the kids, play with them at recess, and is asked to do a ton of translation work for the city BOE and to teach lectures to town civil servants. His rent is about 11,000 yen more per month than the SHS ALTs.

The SHS ALTs here (me and two others) have 4-8 classes per week, can bring our own lunches or buy at cafeterias, and are generally left to our own devices most of the time. Our rent is cheaper too.

elleohelle
February 21st, 2011, 15:20
It's still ESID. Seriously. I'm JHS/ES as our all the other people in my city. All of us have very different working situations. The thing about high school is the kids are either very bright or very slow because of differing levels.

Lyra
February 21st, 2011, 15:48
While I think it is ESID, I also think it's helpful to the person who asked to see as many different situations as possible.

I'm JHS with occasional visits to Elem/Kindergarten. My rent is low, my apartment sucks (an extremely small studio with a bathroom that looks like it belongs attached to an RV not an apt), it's in a rural/suburban area. I've got 3 JHS that I spend a month at before rotating. I go to Elem. school/kindergarten maybe 3-4 times a month. There are 9 elementary schools total, but I've only been to 4 so far.

For elementary, they give me what they want me to cover (i.e. colors), but I make and do the entire lesson plan with varying levels of help from the teachers (some just sit there and some will help with lost in translation issues, discipline, etc.) For JHS, with the exception of 1 school, I make the lesson and rely on the teacher for discipline and translation issues. I have anywhere from 3 (the least busy school) to all 6 (the most busy school) classes a day.

My BoE doesn't seem like it knows what to do with ALTs personally, whereas the HS ALT in my town's base school seems to have a much better handle on managing her. I kinda agree with what @Jojo said too....the kids are old enough where they get bored by a lot of the games, but don't have enough English skills to do anything extensive. Also, a lot of my JTEs don't actually speak English.

3696
February 21st, 2011, 15:52
i think this situation is more SVFPTP than ESID

JackAttack
February 21st, 2011, 15:57
There are no municipal JET ALTs in my city, or anywhere nearby in the Hanshin area, so I have nothing to compare to. They're all privates and I do not know these people (met one a couple years ago and he has since left).

I should have about 15 classes a week. This depends entirely on the time of year (such as no 3rd year classes due to the students graduating, exams, term breaks, swine flu, etc). My rent is about 50% subsidized. Don't need a car. Short commute to school, though some of my fellow ALTs have to go to Kobe or have about a 45 minute bike ride to their school.

It really is ESID, which people need to figure out when giving placement advice to the n00bs in applying. Every year there's at least one person who makes a blanket statement that it's a certain way for municipals vs. prefectural, but it doesn't work like that everywhere.

Truthsauce
February 21st, 2011, 16:02
Wait, do some people get their shaken and "optional" insurance subsidized by their BOE?
*grumble grumble*

Azrael
February 21st, 2011, 16:12
some people get some fancy optional insurance for gov workers that works out at 10yen a year or something silly like that

Punchy
February 21st, 2011, 18:58
The HS ALTs here seem to work a lot more. I don't know about their rent because they live in a different area than all the rest of us.

I really think that high school ALTs get shafted because they don't seem to have the same support network that JHS/ES ALTs do. It seems like they're expected to work out whatever problems arise on their own.

mrfahrenheit
February 21st, 2011, 21:30
i think this situation is more SVFPTP than ESID

I'm really proud I was able to work that acronym out.

And yeah, I agree. I'm surprised to hear there are HS ALTs with subsidized anything, though! It seems like most prefectures in Japan are super broke. My pref used to subsidize everything until it went bankrupt or something a few years ago (so I hear). I figured the case would be similar across jland.

I also agree with Punchy -- my boss is technically some dude at the kencho who I have never met or spoken to. No one at my school wants to help me out with anything because they don't feel it's their responsibility to (and it's not) so I've had to do a lot of things on my own. Internet was the biggest pain in the ass to do alone. (It should probably be noted that I speak minimal Japanese so these outside-of-work hardships are largely my own fault.)

(PS: Truthy, some of the BOE's in my area own cars they lease out to the ALT! That's where the super mega cheapness and lots of JHSers having cars comes from I think)

Truthsauce
February 21st, 2011, 21:38
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(PS: Truthy, some of the BOE's in my area own cars they lease out to the ALT! That's where the super mega cheapness and lots of JHSers having cars comes from I think)

Hah! I got a big ol "Oh, you are buying predecessor-san's car? Good idea. Let's shakkening." BOE better let me take special leave to go get my Japanese driver's license this summer.

jerseywonder
February 21st, 2011, 22:08
I teach at ES, JHS and SHS ... ES is by far the most work for me (and also the most enjoyable) because I actually do stuff - yay! I only go once a week, but on those days I usually have 3 or 4 lessons, which is A LOT compared to the rest of my week. I get to plan and lead my own lessons, and it's loads of fun as the kids are amazing and interested in learning (although this is changing now with the new curriculum stuff that's coming in, which is a bit shit as suddenly the HRTs who don't speak any English are leading the English lessons). At JHS I only teach first grade, once a week, and the JTE plans everything, but at least he runs it past me before the classes ... at the SHS (my base school) I do very little, have very few lessons, and those that I do attend I mostly just read vocab and the students parrot it back to me. All very exciting!

On the plus, my rent is subsidised, and I get an extra 6 days of holiday in the summer on top of my nenkyuu. No subsidised car insurance though, pay that myself but the car was my best buy out here so don't care too much. School is 15 mins walk away so the car is just for my freedom/sanity at the weekends anyway.

JackAttack
February 21st, 2011, 23:01
And yeah, I agree. I'm surprised to hear there are HS ALTs with subsidized anything, though! It seems like most prefectures in Japan are super broke. My pref used to subsidize everything until it went bankrupt or something a few years ago (so I hear). I figured the case would be similar across jland.


I don't think Hyogo is quite broke, but money is pretty tight. All the high schools got shiny big flatscreen TVs last year for all the homerooms. Seems a bit expensive, so I just don't know. :| I'm not sure where my subsidized rent comes from. Even just in my city, the amount each of us pays for rent seems to be a bit different. My school covers certain necessities, such as replacing my refrigerator and washing machine, that comes out of some kind of fund the office has set aside for such things. (Though I was on my own with the a/c unit.) I have absolutely no contact with the Hyogo BoE. Whenever I need something, I talk to someone at school, and everyone is super helpful! I've never had a supervisor. =/

Taurus
February 21st, 2011, 23:33
The SHS ALTs here (me and two others) have 4-8 classes per week,

I still find it amazing that there are JETs with so few classes.

Anyway, in my neck of the woods, HS JETs seem to teach between 15-25 lessons per week and most of them do all the planning themselves; JHS seem to do fewer lessons and less planning. Housing just varies all over the place.

mrfahrenheit
February 22nd, 2011, 08:10
I still find it amazing that there are JETs with so few classes.

I technically have twelve classes a week, but I very, very rarely actually go to all of them -- I usually end up with around four or five total. It's weird. I help grade stuff outside of class, so that keeps me kinda busy sometimes!

jerseywonder! Your situation sounds pretty nice, with visiting three different schools! I would love to be able to dabble in all grade levels, just to get a feel for them all? And extra nenkyuu is yes.

3696
February 22nd, 2011, 08:24
I still find it amazing that there are JETs with so few classes.

Anyway, in my neck of the woods, HS JETs seem to teach between 15-25 lessons per week and most of them do all the planning themselves; JHS seem to do fewer lessons and less planning. Housing just varies all over the place.

i usually have about 12 a week. there is an ALT at one of the best high schools in the prefecture who (as of last november) hadn't taught a class since march 2010.

Truthsauce
February 22nd, 2011, 08:32
I'm JHS ES. I have 14-16 classes monday through thursday. Friday I go to 1 of 5 of my elementary schools (by car because they is all over creation). My schedule varies from 2-4 classes there. Decent workload. Not complaining one way or the other.

word
February 22nd, 2011, 10:33
I'm a JHS/ES. I usually teach 18 classes a week. I do lesson planning for most ES classes.

My rent is not subsidized, but it's pretty cheap out in the inaka, especially for my nice, modern, humongous house (2.9man). My tiny house was much cheaper (1.35man). I have to pay for my own car, shakken, etc., although my insurance is through the village and is quite cheap (3man one-time payment).

JHS kids are at a difficult age, regardless of location, nationality, or ethnicity. Junior High is just an awkward time for kids all over the world; trust me, I had the same sorts of issues teaching them in the 'States.

I'd like to teach HS here, and have seriously considered applying to some local HSs.

chuckle
February 22nd, 2011, 10:33
I am also JHS and ES. I have probably around 3-5 classes a day at JHS Monday-Thursday and 5-6 classes for one of my 2 ES's which is a visit once a week (I guess totalling around 20 classes in an average week). I also have 2 kindergartens and 2 preschools which amount to a visit to one of them once every 3 weeks or so. JHS is ok, human tape recorder there and required to arrive around 8AM. ES has me arrive at either 8 or 9 depending on the school. Had to get a car, about a 15 minute drive to work each morning no matter where I'm heading and couldn't arrive properly with the bus. Paying for shaken and utilities myself, but rent half-subsidized (about $200 a month for a pretty good apartment. Cramped but not bad).
Have only had a few pointless orientations/seminars, most were prefecture-wide and in the biggest city near me (Sendai, reppin' the Tohoku with the saucy Truth), or were helpful in helping me meet the experienced ALTs in my town. I think that's about everything... Let me know if I can help you in any other way. Every ALT in my city who is contracted with JET gets JHS/ES, so I have limited information available on the workload/life of HS JETs... but I hope this helps you/anyone else who is interested.

JackAttack
February 22nd, 2011, 10:36
i usually have about 12 a week. there is an ALT at one of the best high schools in the prefecture who (as of last november) hadn't taught a class since march 2010.

ACK, why?

There's a JHS ALT somewhere in Hyogo who has a few schools to visit, but two weeks a month at one school she's not allowed to go to class... no teaching, no observing, nothing. :|

3696
February 22nd, 2011, 10:56
i think they're just really concerned with getting the students to pass the tests. they send a lot of kids to really good colleges. ALT is very distract.

phenom
February 23rd, 2011, 14:54
i'm HS and i have low rent. i also do lesson plans for most of my classes. JHS/ES ALTs in my mura always complain about how easy i have it before they trudge off to class to teach colors and sing songs about numbers.

I'm with dirtbag on this one. I have a shit ton of work...hell just now I was handed about 300 essays that I have to grade and mark by the beginning of next week. Not to mention I plan ALL of my lessons.

My rent is cheap...but I always get these bogus bills for "apartment maintenance" (there is none) and I have to pay money just because of the district I live in? Plus my apartment is a piece of shit roku-jo that's falling apart.

jerseywonder
February 23rd, 2011, 20:32
I'm with dirtbag on this one. I have a shit ton of work...hell just now I was handed about 300 essays that I have to grade and mark by the beginning of next week. Not to mention I plan ALL of my lessons.


I'm so jealous - your students can actually write essays?! Mine can't even answer "How are you?" without thinking about it for about ten minutes ... then after a huge amount of effort, during which time a look of panic and confusion fills their eyes, they finally reply with one of the following: sleepy / so-so / fine. The question and answers never change, yet neither does the time taken for them to think of said answer.

I would LOVE to have actual work to do!

patjs
February 24th, 2011, 18:46
I don't completely hate being a JHS teacher, but I always dream of having a teaching situation where I could have the kids have a discussion, or write and perform a skit, or anything involving more than repeating or doing REALLY simple conversation activities.

I think that being at a higher level high school could be pretty fun.

Azrael
February 25th, 2011, 08:12
I always found the higher up you went the easier the job was because more emphasis was put on the student. teaching preschoolers was a nightmare because it was all on you, by the time you get to uni all you need to do is say "lets have a discussion" then sit back and stare at the girls in the short skirts

Antonath
February 25th, 2011, 09:54
My rent is cheap...but I always get these bogus bills for "apartment maintenance" (there is none) and I have to pay money just because of the district I live in? Plus my apartment is a piece of shit roku-jo that's falling apart.
My rent is fairly expensive, but subsidised. I also get 2000 off for not using the parking space. On the other hand, it's a nice big place two minutes from my base school, and I've never had issues with it. No extra bills, though I do have the "district tax" I pay once a year. I don't begrudge them that, as they keep the area looking nice and I get free alcohol at all the big festivals.

My base SHS students say they can't do essays or even long conversations, but are quite capable of it if pushed. Most of my visit students are barely up to "My name kenji. I like dog."

Alphabet
February 25th, 2011, 22:30
My rent is over 4man a month but that is my only complaint about being a SHS ALT.

Lyra
February 26th, 2011, 13:00
I'm so jealous - your students can actually write essays?! Mine can't even answer "How are you?" without thinking about it for about ten minutes ... then after a huge amount of effort, during which time a look of panic and confusion fills their eyes, they finally reply with one of the following: sleepy / so-so / fine. The question and answers never change, yet neither does the time taken for them to think of said answer.

At least yours will come up with sleepy and so-so. Mine are always fine (except 4th period when everybody switches to hungry, but only after I've said it first). And I try to get them to come up with other stuff, but it also seems like the teachers get stressed when I do that.

KidKat
February 28th, 2011, 09:27
It really is an ESID situation. I'm JHS and I have about 20 classes a week and am asked to lesson plan and teach about 90% of those classes on my own. The good thing is that we have a set curriculum and a textbook we must follow and "be on this page by this date" so there are some guidelines... though I suppose that's also a negative point. However, I have a JHS ALT friend who teaches 25 classes a week and actually gets called into work in the evening, and another in town who is lucky to get any classes at all.

The same is true for HS here. I have friends who are so overloaded with work that they're at school every night till 8pm, and friends who have gone entire months with only a handful of classes.

Where I am the rent isn't affected by JHS vs ES or HS, it depends where you live. I pay a high rent because my location is ideal and my CO subsidizes a small part of it. My friend lives in the sticks in a house that's completely paid for by the CO. It really is ESID.

mrfahrenheit
February 28th, 2011, 09:35
We have a HS girl here who stays late too, like, 8pm almost every day (though she could be exaggerating). I don't really get that; I would just leave. Twelve hours a day? Definitely no. I get maybe there are circumstances where it's unavoidable but I'd be one of those obnoxious people that demands change (I was one of those obnoxious people, actually, when it came to my living situation).

Azrael
February 28th, 2011, 09:50
thats why you're skulking back home after only a year

mrfahrenheit
February 28th, 2011, 10:03
Basically yes.

ScienceDivison
February 28th, 2011, 10:33
Lets see, I am a JHS/Elem ALT. The situation is my city works that you teach at one base school Monday - Thursday and every Friday is elementary school vists (2 schools, each half day).

Each September and April we change schools. There are 7 JHS in my city and 7 ALTs so we basically rotate among ourselves.

On average, I teach between 6-12 lessons Monday-Thursday and on Fridays usually 3-4. Some weeks I teach as low as 4... For example this week is another testing week so I have no classes Monday or Tuesday.

I should note that even when I do have class, I am the embodiment of a human tape-recorder. I read off some flashcards, a few dialogs and thats it. I also grade papers sometimes, maybe once a month. I am more like a overpaid TA with a quarter of the responsibility.

I don`t plan the lessons, or anything like that. I am only obligated to stay till 3;45 PM. Sometimes I stay to play some sport, but mostly just go home.

My apartment situation is that the BoE pays for 50% of our rent. I have a pretty big apartment too. As far as car situation, all the JETs rent there cars from this one dude for between 22,000 - 30,000 yen a month depending on the car.

word
February 28th, 2011, 11:29
We have a HS girl here who stays late too, like, 8pm almost every day (though she could be exaggerating). I don't really get that; I would just leave. Twelve hours a day? Definitely no. I get maybe there are circumstances where it's unavoidable but I'd be one of those obnoxious people that demands change (I was one of those obnoxious people, actually, when it came to my living situation).I think it just depends on what sort of person you are; some people really don't mind (or possibly even prefer) staying late. If she didn't want to stay twelve hours a day, odds are, she could manage to find a way to get home at a normal time.

Honestly, I'm surprised that you're going home, or, surprised that you decided to move if you planned on just staying a year. Was your old house really that bad? Seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to if you're not planning on being around for at least a couple of years (my own move was an incredible pain in the ass).


As far as car situation, all the JETs rent there cars from this one dude for between 22,000 - 30,000 yen a month depending on the car.FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU...

mrfahrenheit
February 28th, 2011, 11:40
Honestly, I'm surprised that you're going home, or, surprised that you decided to move if you planned on just staying a year. Was your old house really that bad? Seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to if you're not planning on being around for at least a couple of years (my own move was an incredible pain in the ass)...

Yeah, I planned on staying for a few years. I was mostly trying to avoid having to buy a car -- moving to a place closer to my school would have saved me money in the long run (and it has). I changed my mind about recontracting over winter break (I've got a job opportunity back home that I don't want to pass up + I don't like the prospect of sticking around in Japan just for the money + I am very ill-suited for teaching). It is killing me a little that I spent so much money to move somewhere more comfortable for only a year but I can't do much about it... I'm cheap, but not cheap enough to stick somewhere to get my money's worth.

And: the ALT I was speaking of in particular makes it a point to bring up the fact she stays late almost every day at school, as if it's a strong point of scorn, which makes me wonder why she hasn't done something about it; clearly she's unhappy! But w/e, to each their own, I'm sure she's doing what's best for her.

Antonath
February 28th, 2011, 12:09
And: the ALT I was speaking of in particular makes it a point to bring up the fact she stays late almost every day at school, as if it's a strong point of scorn, which makes me wonder why she hasn't done something about it; clearly she's unhappy! But w/e, to each their own, I'm sure she's doing what's best for her.
Sounds like she might be being Traditional Japenese about it: complaining loudly so that everyone knows how much work she does.

patjs
March 1st, 2011, 07:29
Yeah exactly... she probably just thinks its socially expected that she complain but really just wants to show you how much work she does and what a great ALT she is.

But like was said, some people might actually like their jobs and their schools and don't mind staying later.

mrfahrenheit
March 1st, 2011, 08:30
That actually makes sense. Hm!

Being a HS ALT versus JHS just got more FROWNY FACE because I spoke with my JHS friend in town last night and she gets the entire time off from the 25th to the 4th in March-April. I get one day. The 21st. Sobbing.

Looking over the thread, it seems to be a pretty even pro-con on both the SHS/JHS side, tho...

Truthsauce
March 1st, 2011, 09:54
We have a HS girl here who stays late too, like, 8pm almost every day (though she could be exaggerating). I don't really get that; I would just leave. Twelve hours a day? Definitely no. I get maybe there are circumstances where it's unavoidable but I'd be one of those obnoxious people that demands change (I was one of those obnoxious people, actually, when it came to my living situation).

That's made of bullshit no matter how you slice it. I am DEFINITELY expected to come in those days and sit unless I take nenk.

(And y'all will be reading my minor rantings about it when the time comes)

Easy_money
March 1st, 2011, 13:22
I teach at one JHS and one ES. At the ES I have zero responsibility. They send me a lesson plan the day before and I just follow that. I don't have to make any flash cards or any other materials. In the 5th and 6th grade classes we follow those Eigo Note lesson plans to the letter.

At JHS i'm expected to prepare an activity for each class. Usually the JTEs wash their hands of it and just let me do whatever I want. I just email them the activity and tell them if they have feedback or comments to tell me. They never do. I spend maybe 1 free period a week making sheets or coming up with the activities. Some days I stay late for clubs, but usually I leave at 4 and have never had to stay later to get stuff done.

I had more responsibility when I worked part time in a bottle shop.

Jojo
March 1st, 2011, 14:34
I had more responsibility when I worked part time in a bottle shop.
This is 75% of ALTs i rekon

KidKat
March 2nd, 2011, 11:16
Ah yeah and one more JHS/HS thing... I can take nenkyuu anytime I want even if I have a 6 class day. My other JHS friends are the same. My HS friends in the same prefecture however, must schedule them months in advance and aren't allowed to take them off if they have any classes during that time.

But an ESID story... I get 20 nenkyu days a year plus carryover. On days I have no classes scheduled I still have to come in. My friend in a neighbouring prefecture on the other hand has 15 nenkyu days BUT when she has no classes scheduled she can just go home. In other words, she gets summer/spring/winter vacation off without taking nenkyu. She tried to complain to me once about how I had 5 extra nenkyu days on her. Didn't go over well.

word
March 2nd, 2011, 11:32
Yah, that's definitely an ESID thing; several local JHS/ES ALTs in my area don't have to come in for the breaks, but I do. I'm occasionally "encouraged" to take nenkyuu on certain days, but I only fell for that once. I'll happily force them to come open the school for me during the summer so that I can save a day of nenkyuu for myself.

mrfahrenheit
March 2nd, 2011, 11:35
She tried to complain to me once about how I had 5 extra nenkyu days on her. Didn't go over well.

I'd've kicked her in the crotch tbh

patjs
March 3rd, 2011, 22:21
Yah, that's definitely an ESID thing; several local JHS/ES ALTs in my area don't have to come in for the breaks, but I do. I'm occasionally "encouraged" to take nenkyuu on certain days, but I only fell for that once. I'll happily force them to come open the school for me during the summer so that I can save a day of nenkyuu for myself.

Haha I love during the summer when its me, the teacher in charge of sitting around , and maybe one more. they'll tell me over and over to take nenkyuu and cant seem to understand the concept of saving it for when I actually have something to do rather than just go sit in my apartment and watch movies.

adrianjet
March 4th, 2011, 06:05
Wow this is very interesting reading about the experiences in JHS/HS, etc. I'm leaving later this month for my first job and the grade level and school(s) I teach is something I find out after I arrive so its definitely going to be a learning as you go kind of experience for me (AKA The Lottery).

A question though. Besides the nenkyuu and sick days for JHS/SHS ALTs, are there also meetings you have to goto with the BoE or parent-teacher conferences where you have to judge the student's progress and explain to Mom and Dad A-kun or B-chan may not be able to make Todai due to unusual moon cycles and disruptions in the space-time continuum?

Jojo
March 4th, 2011, 07:15
Wow this is very interesting reading about the experiences in JHS/HS, etc. I'm leaving later this month for my first job and the grade level and school(s) I teach is something I find out after I arrive so its definitely going to be a learning as you go kind of experience for me (AKA The Lottery).

A question though. Besides the nenkyuu and sick days for JHS/SHS ALTs, are there also meetings you have to goto with the BoE or parent-teacher conferences where you have to judge the student's progress and explain to Mom and Dad A-kun or B-chan may not be able to make Todai due to unusual moon cycles and disruptions in the space-time continuum?
lol no. We aren't teachers and no one really cares what we think regardless.

word
March 4th, 2011, 14:08
lol no. We aren't teachers and no one really cares what we think regardless.Word.

My pred told me this story about how he once had a conversation with one of his kid's parents. This kid was doing badly in class, and my pred's Japanese wasn't all that great, but he tried to reassure the parent, saying: "Maybe it will be okay." The parent promptly freaked the fuck out; apparently, he had used the wrong word for "maybe" and implied that, in fact, it was not going to be okay. It's quite possible that we aren't involved in parent/teacher conferences for good reasons.

Miss_igirisu
March 4th, 2011, 14:21
I'm not even trusted to check over the messed up English used by the jtes in the tests, let alone marking them or anything else with actual meaning.

Jojo
March 14th, 2011, 14:03
i teach the office dude english. He's super crazy and easily the most interesting person here. In fact he is a living breathing japanese minor rant. last week he told me 'People in this office are cold heart. i am shame.' :confused:

Lyra
March 23rd, 2011, 20:10
Yah, that's definitely an ESID thing; several local JHS/ES ALTs in my area don't have to come in for the breaks, but I do. I'm occasionally "encouraged" to take nenkyuu on certain days, but I only fell for that once. I'll happily force them to come open the school for me during the summer so that I can save a day of nenkyuu for myself.

You're lucky you can sit in the school where you prob have a computer. My BoE forces the ALTs to come to the BoE and usually sticks us in a spare conference room for 8 hours with no internet..........and occasionally no windows.

theonewhogrins
April 25th, 2011, 20:26
You're lucky you can sit in the school where you prob have a computer. My BoE forces the ALTs to come to the BoE and usually sticks us in a spare conference room for 8 hours with no internet..........and occasionally no windows.

That's super lame. All the JHS ALTs here also have to go to their BoEs when they don't have classes, while the SH ALTs just go to their base school since it's pretty impractical for us to head down to the BoE if we don't have work. Consequently, I don't think I've ever been to/know where the BoE is. I also don't work with any other ALTs, but some of the JHS people work out of the same office or at the same school as the other ALTs. But this might be because Okayama Prefecture is dirt poor and doesn't have many prefectural ALTs.

Another thing I've noticed is that generally, the SH ALTs have a higher student to teacher ratio; most of my classes are between 30-40 students, but from what I've heard from others, the JHS tend to have much smaller class sizes. I was doing a quick tally in my head, and I have over 1200 students including last year's students (but not including my special needs school); without them probably a bit over 700? Needless to say, I don't remember many of my student's names.

For the SH in our prefecture, it's basically written into our contract that we have to help out with ESS club, but for the most part, I try to join or at least watch other clubs when I can. Consequently, I don't end up leaving school until at least 6:00 pretty much every day but Monday. Yaaay. Most of the JHS/ES people I talk to don't have to go to clubs (though some do) so they have more time to do stuff in the evening. BUT, they have eikaiwa classes to do sometimes, which SHS ALTs generally don't have in my prefecture.

Oh, and SHS ALTs rarely (if ever) eat kyuushoku (school lunch). I've heard fantastic horror stories of what ends up as kyuushoku, though mostly from people who dislike fish/seafood.