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osakavamp
June 7th, 2014, 13:13
Hello beautiful people.

I haven't been able to find any information on this so I wanted to see if anyone here would be willing to share their experience or what they know about what the first month (namely, all of August) is going to be like for us incoming JETs. Yes, ESID, I know that in advance.

I know classes are not technically in session, but I'm wondering what our duties will look like? Will we have any of that month to ourselves to begin acclimating/setting up our residency/registering with the local city council/getting stuff for our apartments/doing a bit of Whoo-I'm-Here traveling and sightseeing? Or are we gonna be in the office from day/week one? Thanks in advance. xoxo

Antonath
June 7th, 2014, 13:33
ESID, but my first few days were spent with my advisor ferrying me to city hall, the bank, etc, getting everything set up. After that, I was sat at work lesson planning and getting to know the place.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 7th, 2014, 13:34
Speaking from personal experience + the experiences of a few friends, you'll have a few days to get used to life in Japan and somebody to help you set up utilities, make sure you understand the appliances and maybe show you round your local area. For me after that it was straight to work, but I didn't teach for the rest of the month and a lot of that 'work time' was getting used to the school/meeting teachers/being taken out for lunch by a few people.

A few friends of mine have had similar experiences, but we're all south-hokkaido - could be, and probably is, completely different elsewhere.

osakavamp
June 7th, 2014, 14:00
Hmmm. At risk of seeming like a lazy asshole who doesn't wanna work, I was really hoping to do a quick overnightish trip to Tokyo on a weekday in late August to see a friend perform in a show. Can anyone fill me in on when we can start requesting nenkyuu? Otherwise I'm gonna have to scrap these plans I think... PS. I'll be placed in Kobe.

uthinkimlost?
June 7th, 2014, 14:29
The last week of August can be pretty busy, especially if your placement has expectations of you.

That said, it can probably be wrangled after you arrive. You might have summer leave you can spend if it doesn't conflict with your school obligations.

jacklostinred
June 7th, 2014, 15:14
My classes started around the 25th of August and I had to do a speech during the opening ceremony. My schedule looked something like this:

Aug. 4: Fly into Tokyo
Aug. 5-7: Tokyo Orientation + travel to placement
Aug. 6-7: Setup Bank, Utilities, get cell phone, car insurance, etc with my co-workers
Aug. 9-13: Week in office, lesson plans and speeches
Aug. 16-18: Local Orientation
Aug. 19-20: Office days
Aug 23+: Opening ceremony and classes starting.

If you are group A you will have a few more days in here but don't expect much free time other then not needing to come in on office days or being to told to come in around the 10.

osakavamp
June 7th, 2014, 16:02
Hm. I guess all I can do is wait and ask during my first week or so. Thanks guys.

richief_611
June 7th, 2014, 20:10
I think your best option is to wait until your contracting organization contacts you. And then you can ask them.

In my city, for August, we have the 2nd week off for Obon, but the week before classes, it is orientation week. Veteran ALTs give a bunch of presentations, more information is given to new JETs by ALT staff, etc. It's quite intense actually.

Then after that, classes start.

You actually can take nenkyuu once you are in your city, but if it's during an important day (e.g. Orientation, meeting teachers or visiting schools, or anything administrative), then it will not look so good for you. I'm sure you wouldn't want a bad rep just starting out.

I'd say unless your friend is performing on a weekend, don't expect to go, unless you are off.

ihatefall
June 9th, 2014, 01:10
ESID, I think expecting to not be able to go and then being able to go is a better attitude than expecting to go and not being able to, or gaijin smashing your way to going and making the next year a bit awkward.
I would just assume you can't go. (And then feel it out when you get there.)


That being said my first placement on JET I was at a JHS and had most of the summer off, aside from some summer camps. My second placement, I had to be at the school all summer long. We met with the English clubs, set up the teaching rooms, etc.

But think about it, JET isn't a study abroad program, it's a job. To the people you work with, it's a career. What other job would you ask to take your vacation time within the first month?

I think most JETs (including me) have trouble adjusting to the fact that this isn't college anymore and most people don't have the summer off.


(Ps I know I sound like a dick, but I do hope you get to go...)

Randomgirl
June 9th, 2014, 03:54
Lol "gaijin smashing" - love it!

coheeshosho
June 9th, 2014, 08:04
I was actually asked to use some if my nenkyu (paid leave) the first couple of days I was there. Because school was on break the first month of August or whatever. I don't think it will be a problem.

As for the part about this being a job... Yes, but not really. It's nothing like being an actual teacher. People who believe this is actually a job are usually delusional.

Ini
June 9th, 2014, 08:11
if you are at JHS you may have speech contest practice at school in august......

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 9th, 2014, 08:14
I was actually asked to use some if my nenkin the first couple of days I was there. Because school was on break the first month of August or whatever. I don't think it will be a problem.

As for the part about this being a job... Yes, but not really. It's nothing like being an actual teacher. People who believe this is actually a job are usually delusional.

Depends on where you're placed, to be honest. Some people do a few lessons a week standing in the corner of the room, others set curriculums, teach their own classes and have more class hours than the Japanese teachers.

coheeshosho
June 9th, 2014, 08:19
More class hours maybe, but that's extremely rare. Actual hours spent at school compared to Japanese teachers, not even close.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 9th, 2014, 08:24
Then that's not being a teacher, that's being Japanese. Two very different things.

Antonath
June 9th, 2014, 08:32
As for the part about this being a job... Yes, but not really. It's nothing like being an actual teacher. People who believe this is actually a job are usually delusional.
We're not actual teachers, we don't do the hours they do, we're not obligated to be there on our "days off", we can take nenkyuu and no one bats an eyelid. Sure

But saying "this isn't a job" is the reason ALTs get a bad reputation in some circles. You're employed by the government to work in a school. You should act appropriately.

uthinkimlost?
June 9th, 2014, 08:34
But saying "this isn't a job" is the reason ALTs get a bad reputation in some circles. You're employed by the government to work in a school. You should act appropriately.

+1

coheeshosho
June 9th, 2014, 08:34
Ok mom, I'll look into that.

mrcharisma
June 9th, 2014, 08:39
I was actually asked to use some if my nenkyu (paid leave) the first couple of days I was there. Because school was on break the first month of August or whatever. I don't think it will be a problem.

As for the part about this being a job... Yes, but not really. It's nothing like being an actual teacher. People who believe this is actually a job are usually delusional.

SHS Jets in particular often have full-time workloads. If your school only has you turning up a couple of times a week to recite from the textbook, it's because they don't think you're competent enough to do anything else.

Going by the nature of your posts here I'm inclined to agree with them.

coheeshosho
June 9th, 2014, 08:45
No one can show up a couple times a week and still have a job. But a good deal of ALTs are tape recorders by no fault of their own. It's mostly incompetent JTEs that use them as tape recorders because they don't know pedagogy and have never really had a formal education in how to teach people. Or, it's just laziness. Saying that it's the ALT's fault that he or she gets used is incorrect I think. It's an incomplete understanding of the real problem.

mrcharisma
June 9th, 2014, 08:49
No one can show up a couple times a week and still have a job. But a good deal of ALTs are tape recorders by no fault of their own. It's mostly incompetent JTEs that use them as tape recorders because they don't know pedagogy and have never really had a formal education in how to teach people. Or, it's just laziness. Saying that it's the ALT's fault that he or she gets used is incorrect I think. It's an incomplete understanding of the real problem.

A good deal are maybe tape recorders, but a good deal aren't as well. Just because you aren't utilised properly at work isn't an excuse to call those who are "delusional".

therealwindycity
June 9th, 2014, 08:53
No one can show up a couple times a week and still have a job. But a good deal of ALTs are tape recorders by no fault of their own. It's mostly incompetent JTEs that use them as tape recorders because they don't know pedagogy and have never really had a formal education in how to teach people. Or, it's just laziness. Saying that it's the ALT's fault that he or she gets used is incorrect I think. It's an incomplete understanding of the real problem.

As with many things, it's complicated. Sometimes ALTs are given less work because they haven't really earned their school's trust, and sometimes their coworkers and school are all too willing to push them into the tape recorder box. My feeling, though, is that making an effort to fit in and (look like you) work hard will hardly ever steer you wrong. Your current batch of teachers might appreciate it, but things might change at the next school year, and someone somewhere has probably taken notice.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 9th, 2014, 08:56
Possibly, but both personal initiative and persistence can work wonders. At one of my visit schools I was used as tape recorder on the first day, I talked with the teachers about it, showed them some lesson plans, they agreed to run one of them and see how it went. I now plan my lessons for those schools and have a much better rapport with the classes and teachers.

Doing the bare minimum just because that's what you're asked to do is just plain lazy. You can - doesn't mean you should.

coheeshosho
June 9th, 2014, 08:59
I said usually delusional. I also make my own lesson plans and teach full classes with the implementation of my own plans. This doesn't happen everyday though. Also, perhaps those commenting are not delusional, but there are many among us who are used as tape recorders and still actually believe that they are doing a good job and helping people. I would argue that these types are perhaps a bit delusional. There is a tendency for self aggrandizement in this job I think.

chikorita
June 9th, 2014, 09:01
Personally, I arrived at my placement in the evening and had to go to work the following day. The first couple of days were mostly spent going around with my supervisor and setting up my bank account/ phone/ car stuff/ city registration/ meet people. Then I was expected to just sit at my desk and while away the time until lessons started.

On the other hand, my office also gives us 5 days of special summer leave that we can use anytime between July and September. Our only restriction is that we're not allowed to use more than two days consecutively in the same week (but if I wanted to take Thursday and Friday off during week 1 and then Monday and Tuesday off during week 2 it's no problem, for some inexplicable reason). I was actively encouraged to take this summer leave (my co-worker came up with a schedule and ordered me to mark off my days lol), and for some reason even though everyone else in the office is allergic to nenkyu they religiously take their summer days off. So yeah, if you're lucky that might happen.

ihatefall
June 9th, 2014, 09:08
As for the part about this being a job... Yes, but not really. It's nothing like being an actual teacher. People who believe this is actually a job are usually delusional.

How is it not a job? I can see you saying being an ALT is not a career, but not a job?
They are paying you, there are (sometimes clear/ sometimes unclear) expectations, and most ALT have some sort of responsibility. Chances are for most fresh out of college ALTs, it's the closest thing to a real job that they have ever had.


Lol "gaijin smashing" - love it!

I really wish I could take credit for that. It's an old, really funny blog about ALT life. He had to move servers a few times so it's a little out of order but it's still worth the read if you never have.

I Am a Japanese School Teacher | Gaijin Chronicles (http://gaijinchronicles.com/category/archive/i-am-a-japanese-school-teacher/)

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 9th, 2014, 09:13
I said usually delusional... Also, perhaps those commenting are not delusional, but there are many among us who are used as tape recorders and still actually believe that they are doing a good job and helping people. I would argue that these types are perhaps a bit delusional.

That's a fair point, and maybe there are. Hell, I'm sure there are. But I haven't personally met any of them yet, whereas I have meet a few people who don't do much and are quite happy to bitch about it without doing anything proactive.

I'd say laziness is more common than delusions of grandeur among ALTs, judging by the (admittedly small) number that I know.

therealwindycity
June 9th, 2014, 09:27
There is a tendency for self aggrandizement in this job I think.

That's true too, I think - there are also the super genki ALTs who convince themselves that they've completely turned around English education in their town. Maybe you kind of have to be a little delusional to do a good job; otherwise you'll just be thinking about how no matter how good your students' English is now, some future junior high/high school/university JTE will manage to squash it out of them.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 9th, 2014, 09:30
That's true too, I think - there are also the super genki ALTs who convince themselves that they've completely turned around English education in their town. Maybe you kind of have to be a little delusional to do a good job; otherwise you'll just be thinking about how no matter how good your students' English is now, some future junior high/high school/university JTE will manage to squash it out of them.

Oh... And that, of course.

Jiggit
June 9th, 2014, 09:45
In my experience JHS ALTs get neglected and HS ALTs often get asked to do everything by themself. Depend what kind of person you are as to which you prefer, neither is what your job is actually supposed to be.

Ini
June 9th, 2014, 10:46
Lazy jets.....

osakavamp
June 9th, 2014, 12:10
Okay guys. Let's keep this on topic. I didn't mean to inspire an evaluation of workplace ethics. Just wanted to see how likely seeing my friend perform in his play would be.

uthinkimlost?
June 9th, 2014, 12:24
Okay guys. Let's keep this on topic. I didn't mean to inspire an evaluation of workplace ethics. Just wanted to see how likely seeing my friend perform in his play would be.

Oh dear. I guess that depends on whether you show your supe your (apparently) oh-so-glorious gaijin paipai.

Ini
June 9th, 2014, 12:26
3778

Jiggit
June 9th, 2014, 12:31
Meeow!

coheeshosho
June 9th, 2014, 13:02
Wow Osaka. Deepest apologies. For it is I who caused your grief by diverting the topic. Something is rotten in Denmark.

I'm really not sure what else can be said, on topic, about speculation over whether or not you can use paid leave in your first week on the job.

johnny
June 9th, 2014, 14:35
A good deal are maybe tape recorders, but a good deal aren't as well. Just because you aren't utilised properly at work isn't an excuse to call those who are "delusional".


We're not actual teachers, we don't do the hours they do, we're not obligated to be there on our "days off", we can take nenkyuu and no one bats an eyelid. Sure

But saying "this isn't a job" is the reason ALTs get a bad reputation in some circles. You're employed by the government to work in a school. You should act appropriately.

I agree with both posts. Well said. I take this job seriously and I am not delusional.

BeckyJones
June 9th, 2014, 14:46
ask your superviser if you can take off after getting here. Just realize that it will probably be seen as a bad sign of things to come.

ESID

Jiggit
June 9th, 2014, 14:49
We're not actual teachers, we don't do the hours they do, we're not obligated to be there on our "days off", we can take nenkyuu and no one bats an eyelid. Sure

Just because they are a nation of idiots who bend over and take it doesn't mean we should feel any compulsion to do the same or feel less respect for ourselves when we don't (we're gone after a few years, making a good impression doesn't matter like it will for them). It's a salaried job and a minimum 40-hour week. It's a job, end of story.

Antonath
June 9th, 2014, 14:55
Just because they are a nation of idiots who bend over and take it doesn't mean we should feel any compulsion to do the same or feel less respect for ourselves when we don't (we're gone after a few years, making a good impression doesn't matter like it will for them). It's a salaried job and a minimum 40-hour week. It's a job, end of story.
That half of my post was responding to the "we're not real teachers" part of the argument. The other half, which you removed, said "but it's a job, end of story". Which means we agree. Yay for us.

Page
June 9th, 2014, 14:58
To answer your question, I spent the first two days going to meet with my schools with my supe and also getting signed up for the bank, etc. (it doesn't matter if you know how to do these things yourself, they're going to want to do them with you). Where I am we have speech contests in fall (JHS) so i was immediately put to work after that. School starts the last (full?) week of August where I am but this changes by region/prefecture. I would echo that it probably isn't the best way to make a good impression on your coworkers but that's a personal decision, some people just aren't worried about that (though I think most of us wouldn't recommend doing this on a day that you have classes).

Jiggit
June 9th, 2014, 15:03
Yeah I was just adding my thoughts on why I agree with you. People who say "you don't work like Japanese teachers do" forget that it's their own bloody fault for allowing themselves to be screwed over. It's like saying "yeah ALTs are overpaid because they get paid more than teachers in the US"; whose fault is that, nation of people who hold a similar view to unionising as they do to the boogeyman?

uthinkimlost?
June 9th, 2014, 15:04
To answer your question, I spent the first two days going to meet with my schools with my supe and also getting signed up for the bank, etc. (it doesn't matter if you know how to do these things yourself, they're going to want to do them with you). Where I am we have speech contests in fall (JHS) so i was immediately put to work after that. School starts the last (full?) week of August where I am but this changes by region/prefecture. I would echo that it probably isn't the best way to make a good impression on your coworkers but that's a personal decision, some people just aren't worried about that (though I think most of us wouldn't recommend doing this on a day that you have classes).

Would exposure of sideboob help matters?

Page
June 9th, 2014, 15:10
Maybe some dainty feet or leopard print bras could do the trick.

therealwindycity
June 9th, 2014, 15:15
Yeah I was just adding my thoughts on why I agree with you. People who say "you don't work like Japanese teachers do" forget that it's their own bloody fault for allowing themselves to be screwed over. It's like saying "yeah ALTs are overpaid because they get paid more than teachers in the US"; whose fault is that, nation of people who hold a similar view to unionising as they do to the boogeyman?

I love this post.

Seriously, there are times that my coworkers are whinging on about how erai they are and I want to just be like "you can do it the Japanese way and shut up about it or you can gaijin smash it and deal with Japanese people judging the hell out of you, but don't expect sympathy from me just because you made the choice. You're an adult." Especially when they then try to frame it in terms of "well I guess this is just why Japanese people are better than everyone else"

uthinkimlost?
June 9th, 2014, 15:20
leopard print bras

Remarkably enough, this is how I got extra winter leave.

Not my proudest moment.

Jiggit
June 9th, 2014, 15:23
I love this post.

Seriously, there are times that my coworkers are whinging on about how erai they are and I want to just be like "you can do it the Japanese way and shut up about it or you can gaijin smash it and deal with Japanese people judging the hell out of you, but don't expect sympathy from me just because you made the choice. You're an adult." Especially when they then try to frame it in terms of "well I guess this is just why Japanese people are better than everyone else"

I just tell them how much my mother who is a high school principal gets to go on holiday every year and give them the ol' blank stare.

Lianwen
June 9th, 2014, 15:32
Maybe some dainty feet or leopard print bras could do the trick.

Don't forget the sheer top. Leopard print only works if other people can see it.

osakavamp
June 10th, 2014, 04:25
Thank you for those of you who shared your experiences politely. As I mentioned, I did not have any idea about what the work schedule or work load would be like for August, so now I am able to better consider my plans.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 10th, 2014, 06:20
Maybe some dainty feet or leopard print bras could do the trick.

What's a dainty feet bra?

coheeshosho
June 10th, 2014, 07:54
Ok! Good luck with taking off work the first week.

Ini
June 10th, 2014, 08:04
to be fair when i arrived i spent 3 days driving around with my BOE supervisor getting set up and visiting schools then I had the rest of the month off until school started in early september. I continued to have every school holiday off for the entire time I was there with the unwritten rule that I never used nenkyu/took time off when the kids were in school. I only had about 16 days nenkyu used in 5 years and all of them were for the various hospital stays I had.

Jiggit
June 10th, 2014, 08:23
"I had a situation way more lenient than 99% of JETs, that's why I know you're all lazy whingers" classic Ini.

therealwindycity
June 10th, 2014, 08:30
to be fair when i arrived i spent 3 days driving around with my BOE supervisor getting set up and visiting schools then I had the rest of the month off until school started in early september. I continued to have every school holiday off for the entire time I was there with the unwritten rule that I never used nenkyu/took time off when the kids were in school. I only had about 16 days nenkyu used in 5 years and all of them were for the various hospital stays I had.

There are still a few places that are like this, although they're getting fewer.

webstaa
June 10th, 2014, 08:33
Mine went like this:

Day One: Get to the prefecture from TO, meet predecessor and supervisor. Go set meet the BoE and tour the school/meet the teachers hanging out during summer vacation.

Day Two: Go to village hall and fill out paperwork. Stop half-way and go to the bank to open an account. (this took about 2 hours.)

Day Three: Go back to village hall and fill out the rest of the paperwork. Get car registered/pay insurance etc. Afternoon free.

Next Monday: Go to village hall and pick up schedule for the rest of August. Rest of day off. (was hot as dicks, so I sat in the AC and unpacked.)

Tuesday: Go to Elementary school and meet the principal and teachers. Fuck back off to the apartment before 10 AM. Go to buy a phone with supervisor.

Wednesday: Free day. Finished unpacking and sorting through the predecessor's junk.

Thursday and Friday: Go to JHS in the morning and help with speech contest practice. Leave before noon.

Next Monday: Free day - went to help with speech contest again - left before noon again.

Tuesday-Thursday: Prefectural orientation. Sit through workshops and lectures about what being an ALT means and the consequences of 3.11.

Friday - the rest of the month: Help with speech contest practice, organize desk and chill in the Staff room with the other teachers. Endure the 15 billion earthquakes a week etc...

Ini
June 10th, 2014, 08:34
I was the worst ALT evar when I was on JET. Thats how I can get into the mind of the lazy JET.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkO2_LdgSas

therealwindycity
June 10th, 2014, 08:37
Hmmm. At risk of seeming like a lazy asshole who doesn't wanna work, I was really hoping to do a quick overnightish trip to Tokyo on a weekday in late August to see a friend perform in a show. Can anyone fill me in on when we can start requesting nenkyuu? Otherwise I'm gonna have to scrap these plans I think... PS. I'll be placed in Kobe.

Also I just realized, it might be a little hectic, but since you're in Kobe, you might be able to make it without having to take a full day off work. You could just ask to come in a couple hours late, which sounds a lot better than asking for a full day.

scarreddragon
June 10th, 2014, 10:01
Guess I got lucky with my summer schedule... After arriving, besides the first few days where my supervisor helped me setting up stuff and shopping, I was free minus prefecture orientation. My sup basically said "take nenkyuu if you leave the country. Otherwise have fun and get to know the city".

johnny
June 10th, 2014, 10:10
Not me. I don't even get Obon off and they won't give time off in lieu of OT. That being said, my BOE is pretty good for the most part.

Gizmotech
June 10th, 2014, 11:48
When I got here, I spent exactly one day being shuttled around to get things done (mainly because I was super prepared and my supervisor had NEVER done it before), then I spent the next 3 weeks with my thumb up my butt, and occasionally helping with speech practice.

I opted not to use my special holiday leave in august like many other people did, and I was very glad that I saved them for the following July.

I spent most of my time at work learning/researching/planning trips, and then went places on the weekend by myself via train.

Shincantsen
June 11th, 2014, 02:02
Not me. I don't even get Obon off and they won't give time off in lieu of OT. That being said, my BOE is pretty good for the most part.

Obon was my favorite. It was just the VP sitting in the staff room glaring at me and the other ALT, because we didn't use our nenkyuu for Obon and somebody had to be there to babysit us.

kenkennif
June 13th, 2014, 13:45
As a once young lad of school boy age I never thought I would say this.. but here, I hate summer vacation...

ihatefall
June 13th, 2014, 13:59
As a once young lad of school boy age I never thought I would say this.. but here, I hate summer vacation...

Do you mean that in your current role? Or in general?

kenkennif
June 13th, 2014, 16:29
It's just the long hot days sitting at a desk with nothing to do.. at least in school there's things going on, Summer vacation stuck at the BoE is just really hell - we changed office a few months ago too so now there is no air-con or internet.. I'll probably take some time off and go on a trip somewhere but not for too long cause I'd like to use my holiday time more sparingly this year.

(At least you guys will get some peace and quiet from me for a month!!)
:p_cube:

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
June 13th, 2014, 17:02
I like you!

Then again, I like just about everyone. Except that one guy.

spman2099
June 15th, 2014, 06:46
Hmmm. At risk of seeming like a lazy asshole who doesn't wanna work, I was really hoping to do a quick overnightish trip to Tokyo on a weekday in late August to see a friend perform in a show. Can anyone fill me in on when we can start requesting nenkyuu? Otherwise I'm gonna have to scrap these plans I think... PS. I'll be placed in Kobe.

I am not in Japan at the moment, and it sounds like most schools won't have any REAL use for you in the office when you first arrive, but don't you think that sounds a little unprofessional? I don't know about you, but it sounds like you would be starting your new job off on the wrong foot to me.

ihatefall
June 15th, 2014, 12:41
I am not in Japan at the moment, and it sounds like most schools won't have any REAL use for you in the office when you first arrive, but don't you think that sounds a little unprofessional? I don't know about you, but it sounds like you would be starting your new job off on the wrong foot to me.

Word

webstaa
June 16th, 2014, 08:17
I am not in Japan at the moment, and it sounds like most schools won't have any REAL use for you in the office when you first arrive, but don't you think that sounds a little unprofessional? I don't know about you, but it sounds like you would be starting your new job off on the wrong foot to me.


There might seem like there is nothing for you to do, but if you ask around and talk to the teachers, they'll find stuff for you to 'help' with. And it well start the relationship off on the right foot. Unless they're assholes, in which case they'll just laugh at you. Talk to your JTEs and get caught up on where they are in the school year/textbook.

johnny
June 16th, 2014, 08:25
I am not in Japan at the moment, and it sounds like most schools won't have any REAL use for you in the office when you first arrive, but don't you think that sounds a little unprofessional? I don't know about you, but it sounds like you would be starting your new job off on the wrong foot to me.

Agreed. The CO might not care, nevertheless , we're here to work.


There might seem like there is nothing for you to do, but if you ask around and talk to the teachers, they'll find stuff for you to 'help' with. And it well start the relationship off on the right foot. Unless they're assholes, in which case they'll just laugh at you. Talk to your JTEs and get caught up on where they are in the school year/textbook.

Unless you're a municipal ALT and the expectation is that you sit quietly in the BOE surrounded by public servants and do nothing. My first month was torture!

chikorita
June 16th, 2014, 09:15
Unless you're a municipal ALT and the expectation is that you sit quietly in the BOE surrounded by public servants and do nothing. My first month was torture!

My fellow newbie and I nearly killed each other in the first month. Four weeks at the BOE... another day, and there would have been blood on the filing cabinets.

johnny
June 16th, 2014, 09:47
My fellow newbie and I nearly killed each other in the first month. Four weeks at the BOE... another day, and there would have been blood on the filing cabinets.

Ha ha, I can imagine. The thought of being stuck in a room with one other person for a month is not a pleasant one. Two people can be a really bad combo because the two people get on each other's nerves. I find having a third person really cuts the annoyance factor.

I didn't have that problem though. I'm the only municipal ALT is my city, so I sat alone and studied Japanese all day.

coop52
June 16th, 2014, 10:55
Summer's not that bad if you can find somewhere to hide and take naps.

Gizmotech
June 16th, 2014, 11:01
And believe me, there are lots of places to go hide and take naps.

Jiggit
June 16th, 2014, 11:10
Why hide? Sleep at your desk and get a raise for working so hard erai ne.

ihatefall
June 16th, 2014, 13:37
And believe me, there are lots of places to go hide and take naps.

I found my pred's futon bed/ couch at one of my schools. Visiting that school was never the same, got some REM in that place.

Namisuke
June 16th, 2014, 16:45
I find JET is all about finding your own work to do. I've made myself pretty busy with preparing fun activities, studying Japanese, prepping for club, doing the English board, and taking MOOCs to keep my education up-to-date. Make yourself some goals and work towards them.

As for taking nenji right away, some ALTs get some extra summer vacation days. However, school begins usually around August 21-ish. I have had to miss seeing a local band from my hometown play in Tokyo. Just shrug it off. My first September in Japan has been my busiest month in my personal history. ESID, but when you're new, you're generally gonna be busy. I recommend expecting to be in your area for a bit before you can have the time to take nenji.

OdysseyOfNoises
June 16th, 2014, 20:28
If you get placed at a high-level SHS then your school may well be running summer English seminars for the third-year students. I'd recommend going along to check them out. I did and it allowed me to get a good idea of the kind of stuff that my prospective students were required to study and what the general style of teaching was over here.

webstaa
June 17th, 2014, 08:23
Heh, just got the information for the CLAIR Japanese course. They're doing away with the Advanced course and now only offer the Beginner/Intermediate level....

I did the Advanced this past go round and my BOE wants me to take the Intermediate level (because its the highest they offer, aside from the translation course...)

Jiggit
June 17th, 2014, 08:45
If you get placed at a high-level SHS then your school may well be running summer English seminars for the third-year students. I'd recommend going along to check them out. I did and it allowed me to get a good idea of the kind of stuff that my prospective students were required to study and what the general style of teaching was over here.

1. Read aloud from the textbook.

2. Spew grammar terminology in Japanese at them for 50 minutes every class.

3. ????

4. NIHONGO TSUJINAI

You almost certainly aren't going to be teaching 3rd years anyway, don't waste your summer holiday.

osakavamp
June 17th, 2014, 10:18
The whooole point of this post was to get advice. Like I said before, I didn't realize until reading some things here about scheduling that we would be expected to work in August. I had no frame of reference. So I'm already working on getting my ticket to the event sold because, as many of you have said, I've no desire to make a bad impression for the sake of a single night/day off in Tokyo. There will always be other shows.