PDA

View Full Version : Typical Work Schedule for ALTs



Corvus
April 2nd, 2014, 08:01
Apologies if a similar thread was made for this; didn't see one. What does the typical ALT's work schedule look like? I know some ALTs have to move around to multiple schools, while others work at just one. Does it all balance out to a typical 8am-5pm work week, and do you keep the same work schedule throughout the school year? I imagine transit can play a big factor as to how soon you start your day too. Thanks

uthinkimlost?
April 2nd, 2014, 08:17
There is no typical schedule. 830-400 or so is a pretty good starting point but transportation times and actual work hours vary wildly. Clubs and community stuff can have you working until 7-8. You could live next to your school or 45 minutes away. There's just not a good answer.

yingyangryder
April 2nd, 2014, 08:18
As you said, each ALT will be different.
I will just tell you my situation, I am contracted from 8am - 4pm. However I usually arrive about 7:40 and leave anywhere between 4:30-6:00 depending on if I have stuff to do, want to take part in clubs, speech contest, steal free heating etc.

I have two schools, a base JR high and a visit elementary school both are relatively big, not huge. I have my elementary school schedule sent to me at the start of each semester and they usually fax me the lesson plans the day before the lesson. I go to elementary school after I eat lunch with the kids in junior high school. Usually, elementary ALTs teach 5th and 6th grade. I am the opposite, I do 1 - 4 (for some unknown reason) and never see 5th or 6th. I see all grades at least once a month. I see 4 nen usually twice a month.

In junior high, Friday is my 2 nen day so I have 3 classes on Friday. However 1 nen and 3 nen just call me when they need me, usually about 5 minutes before class. On average I have about 10-15 classes a week. Sometimes more, 5 or 6 classes day but this is pretty rare and sometimes none! Like this week, which is why I am on here.

About transit, I use a bike to get to and from school. My town is pretty small and I can get to my schools within about 15 minutes by bike from my apartment.

Also I very occasionally work saturdays, but I usually get a day off in lieu.

In contrast, the ALT close to me has 26 classes a week and is all totally scheduled.

coop52
April 2nd, 2014, 08:20
It really depends on if you have one or multiple schools, if the school is ES, JHS, or SHS, and how big the school is.

My first school was a fairly large JHS (650ish students). My contract didn't start until 8:15, but I always got there around 7:45 because of the train times. I typically went to 4-5 classes a day and went home right around 4pm (contract was until 3:55). I went to elementary schools once a week, where I usually did 5-6 classes.

My second school was a SHS with around 600 students. I got there around 8 in the morning even though the contract was from 8:15, again because of the train. I did 3 classes a day. I also had English club, which was once a week when I started and became a 4 day a week thing. I went home at 4 on the days I didn't have English club and around 5 when we had the club. My contract time was also 3:55 for this school, but I never got any time off or overtime pay or anything for doing the club 4 days a week.

There were also times at both schools when I'd stay pretty late (7ish) to help with speech contest practice or do stuff for the culture festival or whatever. If you don't drive, you also might find yourself stranded at school for a while waiting on trains and buses. My train only came once an hour, so I'd just hang out at my desk and drink some coffee or something rather than sit at the station.

webstaa
April 2nd, 2014, 08:23
According to my contract, work hours are 8-4, with one hour for lunch. At my base school JHS - they don't care if I have to run to the post office or conbini to buy lunch etc, as long as I'm back for any classes I have scheduled. EDIT: The classes I go to are scheduled weekly - the JTEs pick out what classes they 'need' me there for, and then afterwards whoever asks for a class gets it. Usually about 12 classes a week at JHS.

Elementary (one day per week) they prefer I be punctual, but the post office is 100m away, so they don't really care that I skip out about 2 to go transfer money or send mail (PO closes at 3, like a fucking bank) as long as I've set up next weeks classes. I don't do any clubs and they don't ask me too. My commute is maybe 10 minutes by bike on a bad day. EDIT: I have 5th and 6th years 1-4 hours, then a bonus class with a random 1-4th year class. 6th hour free.

There will be a few events, like the Sports Festival, Culture Festival, Chorus Contest etc that fall on a Saturday - you have to go to them as they are considered a work event. You usually get the following Monday or Tuesday off.

Jiggit
April 2nd, 2014, 08:25
Apologies if a similar thread was made for this; didn't see one. What does the typical ALT's work schedule look like? I know some ALTs have to move around to multiple schools, while others work at just one. Does it all balance out to a typical 8am-5pm work week, and do you keep the same work schedule throughout the school year? I imagine transit can pla a big factor as to how soon you start your day too. Thanks

Despite what other people are saying I would say for most ALTs it does work out that way in the end. It kind of depends on how much you want to do. There are ALTs who work at schools with a very active and keen English club and feel it's worth their time to be there as much as they need to be; which often works out as every day until 6:30-7:00 plus weekends. TBH if I had an English club as awesome as the high level schools in my prefecture I would probably be there a similar amount of time. On the other hand some ALTs at those schools seem to piss off home at 4:00 most days leaving the club floundering.

Some people get bullied into doing outrageous commutes and other various forms of nonsense because they are ridiculous babies who have never stood up to anyone a day of their life, but really you have to massively fuck up before your school will fire you, and that's the only punitive measure they have.

Gizmotech
April 2nd, 2014, 14:44
I'm contracted 8:30-4:30. I have a one hour lunch. I have a 20 minute walk to work. I am not "chained" to my desk, I can go to the bank/post office/convenience store just like any other coworker. I often leave around 4-5, but sometimes when I've had shit to do (like massive pile of marking) I've been there till 6-7 at night. My visit school is a 25 minutes of walking combined with a 20 minute ish train ride. I am even less restricted there.

That's pretty normal in my prefecture for SHS ALTs, who aren't retarded, offensive, or childish.

Corvus
April 3rd, 2014, 06:41
TBH if I had an English club as awesome as the high level schools in my prefecture I would probably be there a similar amount of time. On the other hand some ALTs at those schools seem to piss off home at 4:00 most days leaving the club floundering.

What makes an English club awesome, and on the other end of it, insufferable? :confused:

coop52
April 3rd, 2014, 08:09
It's awesome if the kids are actually motivated to do stuff. It really sucks when the kids join it just to say they're in a club and end up not doing anything.

Jiggit
April 3rd, 2014, 08:24
What makes an English club awesome, and on the other end of it, insufferable? :confused:

My English club: "we don't want to speak English and we don't like foreigners leave us alone. Oh wait now there's an event we want to do. Oh no we don't want to do any work why are gaijin so mendokusai making us actually write a script and learn it for a drama contest taihen~~~"

Well that's kind of an extreme example but basically in the top schools the English clubs are full of very keen, smart kids who are interested in speaking English and doing the prefectural events seriously, whereas at lower level schools it's just a bunch of kids who joined because they're too shy/lazy to join a hardworking club and getting them to be engaged is like pulling teeth.

We have an English club summer camp thing in our prefecture and every year when I go I just want to cry. At my school the club kids have zero interest but the kids at summer camp are full of energy, really enthusiastic to speak English to you, enjoy all the games and activities you make and think ALTs are the coolest thing ever. Or at least they think I am, for some reason a lot of ALTs see it as being an annoying waste of time and instead of spending time with the kids just moan about how tired they are and hang around with each other.

Gizmotech
April 3rd, 2014, 08:54
My English club has VERY little interest in doing anything, and have absolutely zero self drive. In the past, the teachers did EVERYTHING for the kids, preparing games and activities and fun times... like being a baby sitter, and the kids liked that type of club. I tend to treat it more like "you guys decide what you want to do and I'll do everything I can to help, but I am not the club leader".

Jiggit
April 3rd, 2014, 08:57
I wouldn't even mind preparing stuff for kids it's just that for the last 2 years they would just hate me for trying to get them to do anything. My kids now are just... zombies. I have no idea what they want. I don't know why they joined English club. Or any club at all. There is no emotional reaction to anything we do. At least the last lot were clear that they wanted to be left alone...

Antonath
April 3rd, 2014, 09:06
I don't know why they joined English club. Or any club at all.
The answer to your second questions supplies the answer to the first. Not joining a club would cause teeth-sucking, lectures, subtle (and not so subtle) bullying from teachers, reminders about having to be part of the school community... So they joined the English club because they can zombie-out in the clubroom without having to do anything. They see the ALT trying to get them to do something and are all

3493

mmarief09
April 3rd, 2014, 09:12
I`m contracted from 8:15 to 4:00. I technically have a one hour lunch in my contract but I eat with the kids. I work at a base JHS 5 days a week (about 580 kids) and every month I go to two local ES`s for 2 or 3 days. I live about 5 minutes from my base school (very lucky), but have to commute for 25-30 minutes to my ES`s.

I wish I had an English club- I tried to make one but the school told me there was no money. Kind of sad :c I havent broken into a club yet but since its the new school year I might try to go. My teachers don`t pressure me to go and aren`t annoyed that I am not involved in club activities. I do help with speech contests whenever they come up. I know other ALTs who are really involved in their English clubs and have a great time coming up with ideas for it though. It all depends on your school..

But as everyone else has said it depends on what activities you are involved in, commute time, etc. It really varies so much.

Gizmotech
April 3rd, 2014, 09:16
The answer to your second questions supplies the answer to the first. Not joining a club would cause teeth-sucking, lectures, subtle (and not so subtle) bullying from teachers, reminders about having to be part of the school community... So they joined the English club because they can zombie-out in the clubroom without having to do anything. They see the ALT trying to get them to do something and are all



Funny enough, when I told the various teachers that I want my English club to die this year they were supportive. They would rather I go bother the other clubs doing their things than sit around with that pointless English club. The cooking club, brass band club, hell, even the base ball clubs would rather I were out talking/watching them while they practiced.

The teachers all pretty much agreed that if the students don't want to do anything, there are other go home clubs to join and then they wouldn't have to financially support mine either (woo 150$/year budget)

Jiggit
April 3rd, 2014, 09:31
The answer to your second questions supplies the answer to the first. Not joining a club would cause teeth-sucking, lectures, subtle (and not so subtle) bullying from teachers, reminders about having to be part of the school community... So they joined the English club because they can zombie-out in the clubroom without having to do anything. They see the ALT trying to get them to do something and are all

It's not that simple though. I thought that was true in the beginning and just left them by themselves to do whatever. That's what I did with my bitchy kids previously and they were happy to sit and chat and do hw. But next year I had quite a few kids quit English club to join another club because we weren't doing anything. Now they're in newspaper club doing way more work than they did in English club.

Also I know quite a few kids who don't have club and are both really chill and happy and really popular with the teachers. I don't think they really mind kids not being in club so long as they study properly at my school.

I think all it is is that these kids are dumb as fuck. Their life is just doing things cause other people tell them to. They have no internal motivation to do anything. So they join club because that's what students do but haven't really thought about it at all. So they're in English club and having to speak English so they speak English because a teacher told them to. And they do events because a teacher told them to. But they don't want to do those things. They don't want to do anything. But they also don't want to do nothing, because that's boring. They don't know what they want. It's like when you ask kids "what's your hobby" or "what would you do if you had more free time" and they answer "I would sleep". What a fucking answer that is. And yet so many people (not just kids) give you that. Their entire life is doing something because they have to until they have a chance to rest. What a life.

Clubs are also massively dependent upon senpai. They are supposed to be showing the newbies the ropes and encouraging them to take part and ganbareing everyone along. If they just sit there and chat among themselves ignoring them then then it just doesn't work.

uthinkimlost?
April 3rd, 2014, 09:37
Clubs are also massively dependent upon senpai.

I hate to read journal entries speaking about the respect and admiration students have for their sempai, when I know perfectly well that their sempai is an abusive bully.

therealwindycity
April 3rd, 2014, 12:48
Their life is just doing things cause other people tell them to. They have no internal motivation to do anything. So they join club because that's what students do but haven't really thought about it at all. So they're in English club and having to speak English so they speak English because a teacher told them to. And they do events because a teacher told them to. But they don't want to do those things. They don't want to do anything. But they also don't want to do nothing, because that's boring. They don't know what they want. It's like when you ask kids "what's your hobby" or "what would you do if you had more free time" and they answer "I would sleep". What a fucking answer that is. And yet so many people (not just kids) give you that. Their entire life is doing something because they have to until they have a chance to rest. What a life.


I have a few coworkers like this too. "So what did you do with your one day off from school this month?" "Oh, I watched TV." Well, then you're not allowed to iina me to death when I actually do something interesting in my free time!

Jiggit
April 3rd, 2014, 12:56
Maybe they are iinaing your mental capacity to make the effort to make plans and do stuff.

Corvus
April 3rd, 2014, 15:33
It's not that simple though. I thought that was true in the beginning and just left them by themselves to do whatever. That's what I did with my bitchy kids previously and they were happy to sit and chat and do hw. But next year I had quite a few kids quit English club to join another club because we weren't doing anything. Now they're in newspaper club doing way more work than they did in English club.

Also I know quite a few kids who don't have club and are both really chill and happy and really popular with the teachers. I don't think they really mind kids not being in club so long as they study properly at my school.

I think all it is is that these kids are dumb as fuck. Their life is just doing things cause other people tell them to. They have no internal motivation to do anything. So they join club because that's what students do but haven't really thought about it at all. So they're in English club and having to speak English so they speak English because a teacher told them to. And they do events because a teacher told them to. But they don't want to do those things. They don't want to do anything. But they also don't want to do nothing, because that's boring. They don't know what they want. It's like when you ask kids "what's your hobby" or "what would you do if you had more free time" and they answer "I would sleep". What a fucking answer that is. And yet so many people (not just kids) give you that. Their entire life is doing something because they have to until they have a chance to rest. What a life.

Clubs are also massively dependent upon senpai. They are supposed to be showing the newbies the ropes and encouraging them to take part and ganbareing everyone along. If they just sit there and chat among themselves ignoring them then then it just doesn't work.

I could understand how that sort of situation arises. If it got that bad I couldn't imagine an ALT wanting to be a part of it, though, and how bad would the ALT's chances be of recontacting if they ruffled their BOEs feathers over not joining up, anyways?

Jiggit
April 3rd, 2014, 15:37
I could understand how that sort of situation arises. If it got that bad I couldn't imagine an ALT wanting to be a part of it, though, and how grim said ALT's chances would be of recontracting if they ruffled their BOEs feathers about it.

On the contrary I can't imagine any BoE punishing an ALT for not taking part in English club. ALTs have done far worse and got recontracted, you have to seriously be a weirdo (or have an unusual BoE) to actually not get offered it.

There are quite a few ALTs at aforementioned schools with great English clubs where the ALTs just do as they please and leave the kids in the lurch. And I hate them and I want their jobs.

zombiekelly
April 3rd, 2014, 17:46
I was dispatch, so keep that in mind, but my contracted time was 8:30 to 3:30, usually 4-5 classes a day. The early departure time was because I didn't get a break period. I'd usually show up 15 min early because of having classes first period, but even when I had stuff to do I rarely stayed late. Not because I'm a lazy doof, but because the principal would all but shove me out the door. I did have to stay a few times for eiken or forum practice, but that was "volunteering", aka unpaid.

lambolamb
April 4th, 2014, 13:58
The schedule as many have said, varies for each person.
8:30-4 is a good time frame to expect but sometimes you may be involved with more activities so your time schedule changes.

At my base school, my set schedule is 8:30-4:45 but on days I rotate around to different schools, I may start at 9 or end at 20:30 (8:30pm) at times. It depends on the schools you get and when they need you.

Ini
April 4th, 2014, 20:56
It's been 7:30-9 all this week but I have a proper job

Jiggit
April 4th, 2014, 21:05
It's been 7:30-9 all this week but I'm getting reamed up the asshole and have completely contracted stockholm syndrome

Try getting an actual real job in a real country.

Ini
April 4th, 2014, 21:07
Don't need to do that. Just need to stay here until father dies

Reassuring Skeleton
April 11th, 2014, 09:15
I'm a short-lister this year and currently work in a law firm (with JET as a nice little gap yah before my training contract starts).

These hours sound divine.