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jperez09
November 5th, 2012, 09:47
Throughout the forums, I've heard claims that some applicants are just "over-qualified" and are feared to become very bored with the program.

I'm studying to become a bilingual teacher, so I have experience working with 4-10yr olds for the past 4 years. When I graduate, I'll also be ESL and have a teacher certification. I'm taught to plan lessons following state standards, but making sure to be innovative in the way I teach.

As for the JET Program, many claim that you "teach to the book" while others say that you do have a say in your lessons. I have even heard claims that you are a "puppet", reading aloud what the JTE wants you to. Although I am taught how to actively teach in the American curriculum, I have no problem learning and following how the Japanese education system works.

My real question is if there is a risk of being judged as over-qualified, or not qualified enough for that matter, in the JET Program?

coop52
November 5th, 2012, 10:02
There is a risk that you'll be bored, but that's a risk for pretty much anyone. The ESL teaching thing tends to look good on the application though. Generally, speaking though as long as you have the degree and aren't a complete weirdo, then you are qualified for the JET program.

Cytrix
November 5th, 2012, 10:47
I'm definitely overqualified for the role as an ALT here in Japan, but thankfully as a SHS ALT I take sole charge of the planning and implementation of the OC course so I'm never bored. It seems, in my area at least, that those people who are already trained teachers tend to be placed in the Senior High Schools, where we pretty much run the OC courses/are TIC.

However, in saying that, that might not be the case in other places. It's luck of the draw in every case sadly.

jperez09
November 5th, 2012, 11:15
Okay, thanks! I was just worried about how it would be perceived in my application.

Haha, and I don't think I fit into the "weirdo" label, so I should be good then :D

Cytrix
November 5th, 2012, 11:23
Some people might query why you are coming to work in a job you are over-qualified for but as long as there are reasons for it it's all good. I explained in my interview (when they brought up about likely being bored) that I wanted to do the JET programme to experience a different educational system and see how their pedagogy/professional development worked. I've had lots of chances to sit in on PD, observation classes and feedback sessions and explained what we do in NZ schools for PD/teacher training etc.

You basically just make the most of what you are presented with while here!

Page
November 5th, 2012, 14:43
Yeah, Cytrix is pretty lucky! I designed syllabi from scratch where I taught back home but now the only thing I get control of is "I think maybe criss cross" time. It's soul deadening at times but as long as it's only temporary (damnit) you'll be fine--just set aside time to keep up with your own pedagogical studies so you don't lose track of yourself. There are also plenty of chances to conduct research while you're here (as long as you get it OK'd by your school)!

jjstrand
November 5th, 2012, 18:05
If you do your first year working in say a junior high school / elementary school, in your following years do you ever get changed / can you request a change to, say, a senior high school? Or do you generally work your entire contract with JET in the same school(s), regardless of the years- just like how your location doesn't change?

jwkelley
November 5th, 2012, 21:34
I have seen mixed feelings of people coming in with teaching degrees and experience. Some have learned a lot while others have been bored. I did basically the same thing I do in Jet for 2 years prior and learned a lot and am still learning. If you have a good JTE you will find yourself learning a shitload, if not you basically will only learn how to survive with a weak coworker.

coop52
November 6th, 2012, 08:15
If you do your first year working in say a junior high school / elementary school, in your following years do you ever get changed / can you request a change to, say, a senior high school? Or do you generally work your entire contract with JET in the same school(s), regardless of the years- just like how your location doesn't change?

I started out at a junior high then moved to high school because the junior high BOE had a time limit. I don't think you can just change from junior to senior high just because you feel like it because it usually requires a change in your contracting organization. Whether or not you change schools or stay in the same one depends on your placement. There are BOEs out there that make you change every few months or every year, while there are others that would let you stay in the same place for 3-5 years.

jjstrand
November 6th, 2012, 09:38
Ah okay, thanks Coop. I don't have any substantial preference at the moment, I just wondered if there was opportunity to experience teaching all the different age ranges served by JET. I'm looking forward to rolling with whatever situation I find myself in, though.

Gizmotech
November 6th, 2012, 10:11
My real question is if there is a risk of being judged as over-qualified, or not qualified enough for that matter, in the JET Program?

It's not about being judged over qualified so much as how you respond. So, I'm a linguist, bilingual (eng/fr), w/ a university tesol required to teach at nationally funded ESL programs in my country. In my interview I was asked right quite early on, what I would do in an environment where I was subordinate to someone else. How would I react not being in charge, not having any influence and power. Basically, "How are you going to cope w/ being a super computer relegated to adding 2+2".

If you answer "well it will suck"... You get an express ticket to not going to Japan. It's about what you can do in that position and what you can get out of it. I said I wanted to cut my chops on High-School students. Younger students, and learn how to adapt to those situations. I wanted to become a better teacher. (now I want to become an alcoholic, but that's another problem :P)



Yeah, Cytrix is pretty lucky! I designed syllabi from scratch where I taught back home but now the only thing I get control of is "I think maybe criss cross" time. It's soul deadening at times but as long as it's only temporary (damnit) you'll be fine--just set aside time to keep up with your own pedagogical studies so you don't lose track of yourself. There are also plenty of chances to conduct research while you're here (as long as you get it OK'd by your school)!

That is really important. If you're trying to be a teacher, keep reading. Keep trying new ideas if you get the chance, but don't become lazy in the job. Hell, my friend and I are starting an after school intensive English vocab program for the students as a small study for a paper we'd like to try and publish. He's going to Masters next year, and the data from the project will also help with his masters thesis (and might help me get into one).



I have seen mixed feelings of people coming in with teaching degrees and experience. Some have learned a lot while others have been bored. I did basically the same thing I do in Jet for 2 years prior and learned a lot and am still learning. If you have a good JTE you will find yourself learning a shitload, if not you basically will only learn how to survive with a weak coworker.

I think the opinion here is what are we calling teachers and what are their personalities.

There are two (and a half) types of people that they we call teachers on JET:
a) People who have Bachelors of Education
b) People who have TESOL/TEFL education as a university course (IE Teacher in service training level)
c) People who have done fly by night TESOL courses from X random online site and say they're teachers.

I find group A tend to be the ones who are the most apathetic to the job, IF they were successful back home. I like the teachers who come here and want to learn how to be better teachers, who think about their classes and the classroom, even if they can't do anything in them, but those teachers tended to be either fresh out of uni, or had been on the supplementary track back home for a while. There are very few like Cytrix that I have met (but I could be wrong, JET is rather big).

The B group tend to be the easiest to crush in Japan. They come over full of ideas they'd been sold in their teacher training and realize that all the stuff they were told was Bad/Obsolete/Proven Wrong ... is exactly what the Japanese education system does, and does well. They have images of doing Task based teaching, introducing TPR and story telling systems, focusing on communication, when in reality no one really cares about this because the kids have static tests they need to pass, that can be mastered by a mathematician who can memorize a word book better than a half kid who can communicate and can't understand the way they teach grammar. The Bs who succeed tend to be the ones who are the most flexible and can adapt into the situation without trying to desperately change everything.

The Cs are generally idiots. There's no hope for them.


Final take home. TLDR : It's not how qualified you are, but how you sell it. Most people on JET are not a teacher in ANY capacity, so you can't be under-qualified unless you don't speak English. How you survive here is up to you.

Cytrix
November 6th, 2012, 10:33
<3 Gizmoduck.

If you're a qualified teacher (aka. trained and have a few years under your belt) you realize pretty early on that what you are taught at teacher's coll can rarely be put in place in a normal classroom...and to try and fit that same idea into a classroom in a completely different culture is just crazy.

The Japanese education system is years (if not sheer decades) behind NZ in regards to the treatment of students and their learning. We really emphasise group work, giving students responsibility and letting them be the teachers. Here it's more 'repeat after me' and the kids are used to it. There is a slow (read glacial) change towards more student-focused learning, but it is going to take at least another generation to be fully operational.

I've been a little lazy in regards to keeping on track of my own learning, past observation and practice in the Japanese education system. Largely due to the responsibilities I have taken on here that take up a LOT of my time. Thankfully my final year (if I choose to stay next year) will be free of such responsibility and I fully intend to use it to plan out HUGE units of work and to get up to date/scratch with everything back at home.

Page
November 6th, 2012, 11:01
Giz you should share data and informations in VIP! I wanna know what you're researching, what your hypothesis is, and what your methods are! It sounds pretty awesome.

mothy
November 7th, 2012, 12:44
Everyone is overqualified for JET.

jperez09
November 7th, 2012, 15:22
I started out at a junior high then moved to high school because the junior high BOE had a time limit. I don't think you can just change from junior to senior high just because you feel like it because it usually requires a change in your contracting organization. Whether or not you change schools or stay in the same one depends on your placement. There are BOEs out there that make you change every few months or every year, while there are others that would let you stay in the same place for 3-5 years.

Is there a way that you can petition for a change? Say you really like the JET Program but the JTE you are working with does not give you much freedom to create or implement a lesson you designed.

^ and by this, I mean after the year is completed and you are asked to stay another year

jperez09
November 7th, 2012, 15:28
Also, thank you to everyone that responded! I'm getting a better idea of how the JET Program works within the classroom, which is something that is not actually mentioned within the Program.

Gizmotech
November 7th, 2012, 15:37
HA! Petition to change. ROFL HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. lol.

No.



If that was the case I'd find every reason in the book to transfer to somewhere else. (I like my coworkers actually, so it's not a problem, I just hate snow THAT MUCH).

jperez09
November 7th, 2012, 15:40
lol it was worth a shot!! Ah, snow....I live in Texas...it has only snowed twice during my whole lifetime...and this consisted of having snow falling from the sky and then landing as water droplets -_-

jwkelley
November 7th, 2012, 20:07
I have seen people with online degree be extremely skilled at their jobs and certified teachers suck. For the most part I think it's random, and related more to how open the person is to adapt and learn from the situation. I also would not call people without certs teachers, unless they have been working in the field for 7 years or more.

Hell my best JTE did not even study English in college she just watched shiploads of Sesame Street.

Gizmotech
November 7th, 2012, 21:46
I have seen people with online degree be extremely skilled at there jobs and certified teachers suck. For the most part I think its random and related more to how open the person is to adapt and learn from the situation. I also would not call people without certs teachers unless they have been working in the field for 7 years or more.

Hell my best JTE did not even study English in college she just watched shiploads of Seseme Street.

You're talking about ALTs right? Extremely skilled at their job involved standing upright. Barking on command is at genius level.

zero
November 7th, 2012, 21:48
I have seen people with online degree be extremely skilled at there jobs and certified teachers suck. For the most part I think its random and related more to how open the person is to adapt and learn from the situation. I also would not call people without certs teachers unless they have been working in the field for 7 years or more.

Hell my best JTE did not even study English in college she just watched shiploads of Seseme Street.

What the hell is wrong with you?
Also, have you never heard of commas?

I find it ironic that people are always going on about being "overqualified" for ALT work but many ALTs can't string together a coherent sentence.

Teishou
November 7th, 2012, 21:55
Ah, Zero, I love having you around.

jwkelley
November 7th, 2012, 23:38
You're talking about ALTs right? Extremely skilled at their job involved standing upright. Barking on command is at genius level.

Actually I speak mostly from my experience in Korea. There I did the ALT thing, taught college level (which i was horrid at, surprise), taught Juku and a few other things. I taught with and shared students with a wide degree of teachers/instructors so it was easy to make judgments.

MJN
November 8th, 2012, 12:29
Unless you've just had a stroke and forgotten English, you're probably overqualified for JET.

jperez09
November 9th, 2012, 04:00
jwkelley,

Did you teach in Korea in a program or did you find the job yourself?

jwkelley
November 11th, 2012, 23:44
I found one off Daves ESL cafe.