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Libellule
November 4th, 2014, 11:59
I have an education degree, and I will likely try to get a teaching job when I eventually return home. I'm wondering about things that I should be doing while I'm here that will strengthen my application. Has anyone here done something similar? What did you do/wish you did while you were in Japan to be a competitive applicant?

mothy
November 4th, 2014, 12:58
Actually teach.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
November 4th, 2014, 13:30
Learn your theory inside out. You have the time to do it, and you should.

Gizmotech
November 4th, 2014, 16:31
Learn your theory, expand your reading list (especially if you can find some alternative methodological materials like "understanding by design"), get class time actually doing constructive things beyond games, build a portfolio of activities/projects/units that you have created and assemble them with documentation identifying why you did it. Document every hour of class time.

Basically, do what you're supposed to do back home to be awesome.

wicket
November 4th, 2014, 19:34
Shadow teachers on yard duty, attend staff meetings, assist with sports clubs and special events.
Tee up colleagues to write references for you - these can be JTEs or other JETs in positions of responsibility (coordinators etc.)
Keep up to date on the use of info. tech in the classroom - Japan is woefully behind Australia.
Try to organise pen-pal exchanges and/or sister-school relationships with your current school and some schools you hope to teach at back in your home country.
Keep abreast of where the vacancies are in your home country and the application processes.
Before you leave Japan, get a police check done for the whole time you've lived there. Trust me - this is much easier to do face-to-face and will streamline your application back home as you'll need to have police checks done for every country you've lived in for the previous 10 years (Australian rule but similar in UK - not sure about other countries).
If you're given the opportunity to create exams and answer sheets, do so.
Document everything.
Good luck! (All of the above worked for me).

Namisuke
March 8th, 2015, 03:57
This is an old topic, but as a returned teacher, there's one major point that rises above the rest, which is networking. Contact previous employers you worked for in your hometown. It is best to even try to keep in communication once in a blue moon while in Japan, even through Facebook. Show photos of what you've been up to. This helped me when it came time to contact previous coworkers for references - they could see what I've been doing (of course this means having a positive, work-friendly Facebook if you go this route).

you will also need your criminal record check and child abuse registry. When I taught in Canada before working in Japan, I had to go down in person to get this done. I didn't realize things changed during my 4 years in Japan and I could have saved myself 8 weeks of jobless waiting by applying for it online. You might even be able to get substitute paperwork done early by downloading it and having it ready to send as soon as you arrive.

Collect evidence of your teaching successes (photos of students smiling as they work on your lessons, cards from students, lesson plans, team-work projects, etc.). Also, photos and videos from classes, clubs, and events you have organized are good to have. Bug your coworkers for written and stamped letters of recommendation as soon as you can. All of this can go into your portfolio. A portfolio is a lot of work, and starting it early is good. I recommend arranging an online portfolio. Wordpress allows you to have a limited access (unsearchable) blog which is only accessible by typing in the correct URL. This is convenient for including your resume and personal information. My current employer was able to hire me quickly because he was able to have all of my documentation at his fingertips. It's a great way to market yourself.

Resume and cover letter writing has also changed over the years. More people are doing skills-based resumes than chronological ones. Chronological ones can still work for teaching, but should be aimed at the job. It seems cover letters are including more bullet points nowadays too that mimic the resume. I've gotten interviews with both styles in Canada, so I'm not sure which is best.

Be prepared for a few cultural frustrations when you start back up again. For example, not having the bow to initiate the start of class and battling constantly with cell phones. Jobs in my city are hardly ever posted and are mostly for people who can speak French. Prep some business cards for sub work, as even that work is crazy competitive now. There's a huge backlog of teachers exiting university waiting for spots to arise. Have a list of alternative jobs you would consider just in case you really need the paycheque.

Libellule
March 10th, 2015, 14:45
This is an old topic, but as a returned teacher, there's one major point that rises above the rest, which is networking. Contact previous employers you worked for in your hometown. It is best to even try to keep in communication once in a blue moon while in Japan, even through Facebook. Show photos of what you've been up to. This helped me when it came time to contact previous coworkers for references - they could see what I've been doing (of course this means having a positive, work-friendly Facebook if you go this route).

you will also need your criminal record check and child abuse registry. When I taught in Canada before working in Japan, I had to go down in person to get this done. I didn't realize things changed during my 4 years in Japan and I could have saved myself 8 weeks of jobless waiting by applying for it online. You might even be able to get substitute paperwork done early by downloading it and having it ready to send as soon as you arrive.

Collect evidence of your teaching successes (photos of students smiling as they work on your lessons, cards from students, lesson plans, team-work projects, etc.). Also, photos and videos from classes, clubs, and events you have organized are good to have. Bug your coworkers for written and stamped letters of recommendation as soon as you can. All of this can go into your portfolio. A portfolio is a lot of work, and starting it early is good. I recommend arranging an online portfolio. Wordpress allows you to have a limited access (unsearchable) blog which is only accessible by typing in the correct URL. This is convenient for including your resume and personal information. My current employer was able to hire me quickly because he was able to have all of my documentation at his fingertips. It's a great way to market yourself.

Resume and cover letter writing has also changed over the years. More people are doing skills-based resumes than chronological ones. Chronological ones can still work for teaching, but should be aimed at the job. It seems cover letters are including more bullet points nowadays too that mimic the resume. I've gotten interviews with both styles in Canada, so I'm not sure which is best.

Be prepared for a few cultural frustrations when you start back up again. For example, not having the bow to initiate the start of class and battling constantly with cell phones. Jobs in my city are hardly ever posted and are mostly for people who can speak French. Prep some business cards for sub work, as even that work is crazy competitive now. There's a huge backlog of teachers exiting university waiting for spots to arise. Have a list of alternative jobs you would consider just in case you really need the paycheque.


Thank you!

Gizmotech
March 10th, 2015, 15:16
What do you mean chronological vs skill based? A resume should contain both functions to be useable. Skills are supported by chronological achievements that are relevant to the positions you are seeking.

Ini
March 10th, 2015, 15:27
Resume Formats: Chronological vs. Functional Resume Styles
(http://career-advice.monster.com/resumes-cover-letters/resume-writing-tips/chronological-resume-or-functional-resume/article.aspx)