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hithere4
January 28th, 2015, 15:10
I finished JET last year and seem to remember a mini-revolution against AJET here on the ITIL when it was announced that CLAIR was essentially cutting AJET out. There were a lot of complaints about AJET and then I think I remember the head of AJET posting about promised changes, etc. Did those ever come about? When I was on JET it seemed like the national AJET people were just interesting in resume building (even though I don't think AJET really builds a resume that well).

uthinkimlost?
January 28th, 2015, 15:17
No difference that I've seen.

To be fair, I'm not sure what they could really do differently. They can't be a proper union with the turnover rate what it is. Maybe they shouldn't exist at all.

word
January 28th, 2015, 15:31
Wasn't just here that shit was going down, but yeah... no.

Nothing significant changed. AJET (worth noting: this is National AJET we're talking about) has been severely diminished in effectiveness and importance, which is pretty much what a lot of people (especially me) wanted to happen. This will no doubt result in both positive and negative effects, but I consider it a necessary and inevitable result.

AJET is still not a legitimate or legally-defined organization. Any money donated to them can be funneled directly into the pet projects or even pockets of its high-ranking members without consequence. Their finances are still completely hidden from public view. There is no oversight of the "organization," such as it is. They apparently still enjoy corporate sponsorship in some form, as they regularly hawk commercial products and services. National AJET absolutely does not legally represent JETs in any legitimate form or fashion; their claim that "all current JET participants are members of [National] AJET" is--for all realistic intents and purposes--completely false and quite impossible as the "organization" is not legally capable of verifying whether or not an individual is a current JET participant.

Thankfully, CLAIR seems to have woken up to the dubious, shady, and quite possibly criminal nature of National AJET and has effectively severed all ties with the "organization." National AJET still attempts to claim connections of various sorts to CLAIR and the JET Program, but these ties are figments of the high-ranking members' imaginations. National AJET is a meaningless and legally non-existent group of self-promoting buffoons.

johnny
January 28th, 2015, 20:42
Well, there isn't much to add to that.

greyjoy
January 28th, 2015, 23:37
Don't let that stop you

starfish
January 29th, 2015, 03:01
Thankfully, CLAIR seems to have woken up to the dubious, shady, and quite possibly criminal nature of National AJET and has effectively severed all ties with the "organization." National AJET still attempts to claim connections of various sorts to CLAIR and the JET Program, but these ties are figments of the high-ranking members' imaginations. National AJET is a meaningless and legally non-existent group of self-promoting buffoons.

I'm curious-- what is the drama with AJET about? In every context I see it mentioned, there is nothing but derision. Aside from behaving like a non-profit, what did they do?

The official JET website still references AJET as well and makes it sound like a good thing: The JET Programme--Official Homepage of The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (http://www.jetprogramme.org/e/current/ajet.html)

Zolrak 22
January 29th, 2015, 03:21
Look at Word's post for a clue....?

starfish
January 29th, 2015, 03:33
All I'm seeing is that their marketing is a bit misleading and they have questionable financial practices. I'm not seeing the difference between AJET and any other given NPO. Did they pocket disaster relief money or something? Extort money from new JETs who don't know better?

Not trying to be snarky, I genuinely do not understand what they did to deserve the hate.

word
January 29th, 2015, 09:39
The official JET website still references AJET as well and makes it sound like a good thing: The JET Programme--Official Homepage of The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (http://www.jetprogramme.org/e/current/ajet.html)Hmm, that probably ought to be updated.


All I'm seeing is that their marketing is a bit misleading and they have questionable financial practices. I'm not seeing the difference between AJET and any other given NPO.Most other NPOs, among other things, are legally-defined organizations, have a charter and democratically elect officials, and have a legal means by which to quantify membership.


Did they pocket disaster relief money or something?Probably.


Extort money from new JETs who don't know better?Yes.


Not trying to be snarky, I genuinely do not understand what they did to deserve the hate.Most people don't, which is why they're still around.

They are a group of randoms who claim to be an official organization, even though they are not legally organized in any way. They claim to represent all JETs, when in fact fewer than 20% (I think it's now more like 10-15%) respond to their surveys (and there is no way for them to know whether or not the responses actually come from JETs or are legitimate--anyone can take the survey (worse, anyone can take the survey and claim the identity of other JETs--we have know way of knowing if ANY of the survey responses were actually made by JETs)). They claim to influence CLAIR--they do not, and if they did, it would be extremely inappropriate and probably illegal. They make money from preferential treatment by CLAIR, exploiting an inappropriate business relationship that should not exist to deprive clueless new JETs of money upon their arrival in Japan. They maintain membership through a nepotistic system that is about as "democratic" as China's planned elections for Hong Kong. They claim the ability to charge membership fees or request personal information about their members--which now, apparently, include all JETs.

Hate is a strong word, but I stand by it. They absolutely deserve it.

webstaa
January 29th, 2015, 09:47
All I'm seeing is that their marketing is a bit misleading and they have questionable financial practices. I'm not seeing the difference between AJET and any other given NPO. Did they pocket disaster relief money or something? Extort money from new JETs who don't know better?

Not trying to be snarky, I genuinely do not understand what they did to deserve the hate.

They've cast themselves as the saviors of ALTs everywhere, from getting smoking in staff-rooms banned to getting CLAIR to clarify issues about the national labor regulations, and they're constantly raising money for something or other. Or try to guilt ALTs into volunteering for (essentially) full-time positions during holidays. And they put out a shit magazine occasionally too. The biggest impact AJET had was organizing the 'business fair' thing at TO up until last year - companies would sent representatives to give out stuff and information at Tokyo Orientation, after which various local AJET chapters would sell crap like Foxy Fonics or T-shirts to fresh off the plane ALTs.

Local (prefectural) AJET chapters are much more... low key. Generally. Usually there are a few that do things that are pretty cool (like Hokkaido AJET organizes hotel space for JETs that want to go to the Yuki Matsuri in Feb. Fukushima AJET organizes a camping outing at Mt. Bandai etc.) And then they organize various parties - Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, 4th of July. Generally they're OK. Some have money they give out through grant programs (I think Miyagi's AJET chapter has a grant from the ALT that died on 3/11.) But they are completely opaque - there is no accountability outside of the 3-4 people who run each AJET chapter (and its the same for National AJET too.) And there are horror stories of retiring chapter presidents or treasurers emptying the chapter's bank account or not giving that information to the next year's officers etc.

Mostly, AJET is an organization for pretty pretentious posturing and painfully pointless resume padding. With a side helping of extra drama, bureaucracy, and incompetence. And maybe a dash of fraud. Think middle-school or high-school levels of student government - with the knock on effect that 'we represent everybody' actually meaning 'we act in our own interests, but damage every JET's reputation.' The most that most of AJET does is post slacktivist stuff on Facebook.

JETAA is kinda similar. They get money from consulates (or used to) to put on info fairs. Usually by the same sort of people who were active in AJET too. But at least there they have some kind of obligation to actually be... helpful​.

Ini
January 29th, 2015, 09:50
AJET is an organization for pretty pretentious posturing and painfully pointless resume padding.

So people like apollo87 then?

Zolrak 22
January 29th, 2015, 09:52
So people like apollo87 then?
Oh come on, don't say that.

You know he's just trying to be helpful.

It's why he didn't even mention having a website till everyone in the Threads begged him for more info.

starfish
January 29th, 2015, 11:21
Cool, thanks for the clarification. It really is shocking "organizations" like that exist.

I was mainly curious because I know foreigners in any country are most likely to be preyed upon by their own kind. Guess that holds true in Japan as well.

Gizmotech
February 17th, 2015, 09:50
ALL THE LOLS!

So I was reading about AJET blocks for shits and giggles (some pompous crap came through my facebook feed) and I found this gem in group 2 https://www.facebook.com/groups/ajetblock2



★★★URGENT AJET ELECTION NEWS★★★
★BLOCK 2 NEEDS AT LEAST ONE MORE BLOCK REPRESENTATIVE APPLICANT!★
ELECTIONS: POSTPONED FOR A WEEK! PLATFORMS STILL BEING ACCEPTED UNTIL SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21ST, 11:59PM!
WANTED: Applicants for EVERY elected role!
CHECK OUT: http://ajet.net/national-council/ajet-elections/ for rules to apply!
16 people managed to get their applications in on time. But we were left with a difficult decision to make when it transpired that only 7 of the 11 blocks had a candidate running in the election. Furthermore, there is only ONE candidate for Block 1, Block 2, Block 6, Chair, and NONE for CIR Representative, or Treasurer. These numbers hardly make for a challenging and democratic election contest.
We have been discussing how to move forward with this situation. Nothing like this has been done before. We want to respect the 16 candidates who have already submitted platforms on time, but we also want to give the next AJET National Council a chance to have a full, elected team.


So in 4 blocks, people didn't give enough of a shit to even start, and in 3 of the remaining 7 blocks only 1 person gave enough of a shit to apply.

My favourite comedy is the bolded part, that somehow in the past it was more democratic? More challenging? More people gave a shit?

And the piece de resistance is that only one person wanted to run the whole show. LOL.

johnny
February 17th, 2015, 10:05
Gizmo. Do it! Run with the promise to bring it crashing down. Or lie. Say you'll work hard as the AJET head, and bring it down from the inside once you win.

webstaa
February 17th, 2015, 10:18
Run, get elected, write an article or two in their shitty newsletter about how cool a hipster you are... then take their money and run.

Gizmotech
February 17th, 2015, 10:18
Okay, more fun.


http://ajet.net/downloads/reports/2014/JET_Involvement_in_Tourism_ENG.pdf



Interestingly, there is a strong negative correlation between the number of years as a JET and the willingness tovolunteer. The data shows that first-year JET participants who have not yet volunteered are eager to be involved,with only 9% stating they were not willing to volunteer, but this number rises with each successive year. Ofrespondents who had previously indicated that they had not been involved in tourism or economic activities,17% of second-year participants, 24% of third-year participants, 29% of fourth-year participants, and 56% offifth-year participants also stated they would not be willing to volunteer. This implies that with prolonged lackof involvement, JET Programme participants feel less inclined to volunteer.

This is an alarming observation, suggesting that in order for JET Programme participants to stay motivated topursue volunteer activities, the first two years represent a window that is dangerous to miss, and that allowingparticipants to remain uninvolved during their JET Programme experience damages their potential to benefitJapan across a spectrum of community relations and business endeavours.

WTF.

This implication assumes that ALTs want to volunteer their time constantly, and that it is an expected part of the job.

Now for my next bit of reading:
Winter 2014 Opinon Exchange Meeting | AJET (http://ajet.net/announcement/winter-2014-opinon-exchange-meeting/)



In the third segment, its focus was on progress in the English education reform plan, and was presented by Mr. Tsuyoshi Enomoto of MEXT. During the past year, MEXT has been working alongside English education experts and teachers from all levels to develop a successful strategy for the reformation of the English curriculum. The following are being discussed as tentative plans.
From 2020, foreign language activity will begin in elementary school Years 3 and 4, while English will be taught as a core subject for Years 5 and 6.
MEXT is seeking to change the evaluation of English from “How much grammar and vocabulary have you studied?” to “What can you do using English?” This assessment method seeks to decrease the need for rote memorization and encourage active use of language. Textbooks will also change: 5th and 6th year elementary school classes will receive official textbooks (rather than the current Hi, friends! foreign language activity assistance manual).


Okay, but if the teachers can't do anything with English, and the ALTs aren't being trained to evaluate and/or teach the content... it's never gonna fly.



Junior high and senior high school textbooks will be expanded and revised to include more emphasis on cultivating various abilities through training in debate, presentation, and discussion. The implementation of digital textbooks is also being considered.

Specifically designed to run on old school flip phones or highly proprietary environments which no school can afford



Special focus is also being given to training and teaching Japanese members of staff to teach English better, as well as how to successfully implement ALTs in the classroom. New training courses that focus on the English teaching skills of teachers, as well as development of their training skills to pass the abilities on and to support other teachers, are also being offered. For aspiring teachers still in university, qualifications are also under reform. Finally, admission to universities from senior high school is being revised. It was indicated in the presentation that across university admissions in Japan, there are almost no tests measuring the four essential English skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) as part of their admissions testing. MEXT is seeking to include an English proficiency test requirement into the admissions system for universities.

Now this is something I would actually like to hear more about. Like extensively.



Further enquiries were made by AJET about the lack of fluidity in the current system, as there is a lack of communication between the different school levels concerning English. MEXT stated that the issue of abilities and study at each level (and the constant repetition of the same material) is something they are hoping to fix with the reform. The new national curriculum will seek to standardize the flow from elementary to senior high school, and hopes to establish a more equal ability level, regardless of the school.


See now this makes me angry. NAJET, rather than offer to help using it's vast network of ALTS all over the country, merely asks "so what are you gonna do about it". What a pointless question to ask in an exchange not designed around that topic. Offer to help, offer to get us more involved, over to use us effectively in our job.

The complete lack of understanding in how ALTs (or JETs) could be useful in our every day jobs to the government is just lost on them.

also, big lols. the meeting lasted three hours. Meaning it was typical Japanese meeting. Read the slides for an hour, nod your head, and then toss it in the rubbish on the way out.

webstaa
February 17th, 2015, 10:29
The shocking thing is that a lot of localities (including local BoEs and prefectural BoEs) are outpacing MEXT on these changes. One of my JTEs is in a conference group to help formulate and propagate Can-do and 小中連携 (ES/JHS level linking) for English - as the BoEs are looking to do anything to raise schools' abysmal test scores.

A bunch of ES in the area are going to be adding ES 'English' tutors/specialists to aid in increasing English in ES, so ALTs based at JHS can concentrate on single schools week in/week out instead of going to visit ES 1/2 days a week. Digital textbooks are probably going to be along the same lines as Hi Friends now - on a projector or TV linked to a DVD player or PC. The Hi Friends ones aren't bad - and are better than a shitty CD (hey visual examples instead of just listening? You might actually keep a student's attention that way.)

The 2020 Reform is supposed to be a deadline according to prefectural authorities in my area - they want to adopt a new ES curriculum in the next 2 years, have full English-only JHS 2nd and 3rd year classes and push SHS levels up towards Eiken 2's Can-do goals. Pretty crazy, but they aren't really pushing any other subjects the same way.

I mean English did increase from 105 to 140 hours/year in 2011 - and now they're upping it again before the Olympics too. And shock of all shocks NAJET is useless - they don't have any authority over ALTs so they don't even try to help improve things, only complain. No wonder MEXT and CLAIR dislike NAJET.

Gizmotech
February 17th, 2015, 12:26
Sounds like you're in a prefecture with a bit of money.

uthinkimlost?
February 17th, 2015, 12:42
Interestingly, there is a strong negative correlation between the number of years as a JET and the willingness tovolunteer. The data shows that first-year JET participants who have not yet volunteered are eager to be involved,with only 9% stating they were not willing to volunteer, but this number rises with each successive year. Ofrespondents who had previously indicated that they had not been involved in tourism or economic activities,17% of second-year participants, 24% of third-year participants, 29% of fourth-year participants, and 56% offifth-year participants also stated they would not be willing to volunteer. This implies that with prolonged lackof involvement, JET Programme participants feel less inclined to volunteer.

This is an alarming observation, suggesting that in order for JET Programme participants to stay motivated topursue volunteer activities, the first two years represent a window that is dangerous to miss, and that allowingparticipants to remain uninvolved during their JET Programme experience damages their potential to benefitJapan across a spectrum of community relations and business endeavours.

What I find interesting here is the conclusion drawn. They didn't track whether those curmudgeonly 5th years EVER volunteered. Did they volunteer at first and peter out? Did they never opt to volunteer? What was classified as a volunteer activity?

It is equally possible, and more likely to me, that the ones that stay are the ones that don't burn themselves out or have a Japan Bucket List
With all the assumptions here, it's like all of the worst psychological studies I've ever read rolled into two paragraphs of stupidity.

Gizmotech
February 17th, 2015, 12:59
What I find interesting here is the conclusion drawn. They didn't track whether those curmudgeonly 5th years EVER volunteered. Did they volunteer at first and peter out? Did they never opt to volunteer? What was classified as a volunteer activity?

It is equally possible, and more likely to me, that the ones that stay are the ones that don't burn themselves out or have a Japan Bucket List
With all the assumptions here, it's like all of the worst psychological studies I've ever read rolled into two paragraphs of stupidity.

It's like none of these people ever took a course in statistical validity... ohh wait.

I came to similar conclusions when I read it at first. That being said I was also in that percentage that said I have no interest in volunteering now, in the past, or ever.

coop52
February 18th, 2015, 08:00
Why does AJET give two shits whether people volunteer or not?

webstaa
February 18th, 2015, 08:11
Why does AJET give two shits whether people volunteer or not?

Because they like to claim that ALTs are angelic beings of pure light and we volunteer so much we deserve halos and better working environments.

Jiggit
February 18th, 2015, 08:27
Good point though.

Maybe they want to focus on the "cultural ambassador" stuff to move the focus away from the "real teaching" aspect that we have nothing to do with.

Or maybe they're taking the Apollo87 approach that you're more likely to attract people with pictures of sakura and tales of visiting all 47 prefectures than a bunch of social outcasts and ol' bastards talking about tranny porn and model planes.

Gizmotech
February 18th, 2015, 08:50
Why does AJET give two shits whether people volunteer or not?

I dunno... but another post was about the disappointing turn out of volunteer hours in the race for the top.

I think what happened was the NAJET people, who are volunteers themselves, assumed that all ALTS must be volunteers if they volunteered, and their little echo chamber they built for themselves just reinforced this idea.

I would actually bet that only around half at most of the ALTs are naturally inclined to volunteer. It's just that they drag everyone into whatever bullshit event they have planned that there's no helping it and it looks like 75% or more are participating by choice.

(and that choice is to not look like an outcast and heartless fuck because that's all the group will bitch about while volunteering.)

johnny
February 18th, 2015, 09:05
I dunno... but another post was about the disappointing turn out of volunteer hours in the race for the top.

I think what happened was the NAJET people, who are volunteers themselves, assumed that all ALTS must be volunteers if they volunteered, and their little echo chamber they built for themselves just reinforced this idea.

I would actually bet that only around half at most of the ALTs are naturally inclined to volunteer. It's just that they drag everyone into whatever bullshit event they have planned that there's no helping it and it looks like 75% or more are participating by choice.

(and that choice is to not look like an outcast and heartless fuck because that's all the group will bitch about while volunteering.)

The main reason I don't volunteer through AJET is that whether it's local or a regional thing, they want to drag me two or three hours from where I live. What a fucking pain. It costs me a lot of time and a lot of money to do anything AJET asks me to do.

So no, I don't want to get up at 5:30 am to take a three hour and 3,000 yen trip to the neighbouring prefecture to help do some useless task. I don't want to spend the time and money to come back either. I'd rather just donate the $60 and spend the day wanking in my apartment, because it will do more good anyway.

That said, if my BOE or schools ask me to volunteer time, I almost always say yes.


Good point though.

Maybe they want to focus on the "cultural ambassador" stuff to move the focus away from the "real teaching" aspect that we have nothing to do with.

Or maybe they're taking the Apollo87 approach that you're more likely to attract people with pictures of sakura and tales of visiting all 47 prefectures than a bunch of social outcasts and ol' bastards talking about tranny porn and model planes.

Does AJET want to get away from the teaching aspect though? On the last survey they were asking about whether or not we ALTs would like to teach alone? Crazy to be sure, but it's related to teaching.

I think you're right when you say they might be taking an Apollo approach. It makes sense.

Gizmotech
February 18th, 2015, 09:16
The main reason I don't volunteer through AJET is that whether it's local or a regional thing, they want to drag me two or three hours from where I live. What a fucking pain. It costs me a lot of time and a lot of money to do anything AJET asks me to do.

So no, I don't want to get up at 5:30 am to take a three hour and 3,000 yen trip to the neighbouring prefecture to help do some useless task. I don't want to spend the time and money to come back either. I'd rather just donate the $60 and spend the day wanking in my apartment, because it will do more good anyway.

That said, if my BOE or schools ask me to volunteer time, I almost always say yes.


WOAH. Don't suggest that to people. Seriously, reminding volunteers that their money is more valuable than their time (in most cases) just pisses them right off. Volunteering isn't about making something actually better, volunteering is about feeling good and helping the less fortunate by showing you're willing to give time once in a blue moon to a random cause and never think of it again.

Your BOE is a totally different situation, and deserves a bit of consideration.



Does AJET want to get away from the teaching aspect though? On the last survey they were asking about whether or not we ALTs would like to teach alone? Crazy to be sure, but it's related to teaching.

I think you're right when you say they might be taking an Apollo approach. It makes sense.

LOL. NAJET would need to get on a topic longer than 3 months to get away from it. The only thing they have been consistent on in my 4 years is wanking about themselves and extorting money from newbs.

Gizmotech
February 18th, 2015, 09:18
Also, totally random question...

Why do people (read: you feckless losers) volunteer? What are your reasons for doing it?

uthinkimlost?
February 18th, 2015, 09:33
The main reason I don't volunteer through AJET is that whether it's local or a regional thing, they want to drag me two or three hours from where I live. What a fucking pain. It costs me a lot of time and a lot of money to do anything AJET asks me to do.
So no, I don't want to get up at 5:30 am to take a three hour and 3,000 yen trip to the neighbouring prefecture to help do some useless task. I don't want to spend the time and money to come back either.

Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ on a Cracker, this. ^


Also, totally random question...

Why do people (read: you feckless losers) volunteer? What are your reasons for doing it?

I do it when I can have a direct impact on things. Like Johnny, if my BoE or school ask for time, I give it without any fuss.

Jiggit
February 18th, 2015, 09:34
Also, totally random question...

Why do people (read: you feckless losers) volunteer? What are your reasons for doing it?

I'm not a volunteer for much the same reasons I think you don't, but I think you're kinda letting your own prejudices cloud this.

Also, what does volunteering mean? Is it exclusively about charity work? I wasn't under the impression Japan was a third world country, ergo most "volunteering" means getting involved in local events and activities. Doing Taiko, lugging around the mikoshi, fiddling with old ladies' flowers, that kind of thing? Yeah, sure, volunteering to go bumble around Tohoku and get in the way of actual cleanup might be a circlejerk. But people who actually enjoy getting out and involved with doing stuff with Japanese people (even just Eikaiwa) are probably enjoying themselves, meeting new people and those Japanese people are enjoying having their little activity spiced up with gaijin genki.

Life isn't about extracting as much "score" out of your time and effort as is humanly possible. We're all just here for the ride, if you enjoy yourself with what you're doing and not fucking anyone over too much in the process, what more can anyone ask?

And that's about as much of the "cultural exchange" as JET wants I think. Sure, COs (esp high schools) might have zero reason to care, but I wouldn't be surprised if the people AJET talk to are at least mildly concerned with it.

Gizmotech
February 18th, 2015, 09:50
I'm not a volunteer for much the same reasons I think you don't, but I think you're kinda letting your own prejudices cloud this.

Of course I am, that's half the fun.


Also, what does volunteering mean? Is it exclusively about charity work? I wasn't under the impression Japan was a third world country, ergo most "volunteering" means getting involved in local events and activities. Doing Taiko, lugging around the mikoshi, fiddling with old ladies' flowers, that kind of thing? Yeah, sure, volunteering to go bumble around Tohoku and get in the way of actual cleanup might be a circlejerk. But people who actually enjoy getting out and involved with doing stuff with Japanese people (even just Eikaiwa) are probably enjoying themselves, meeting new people and those Japanese people are enjoying having their little activity spiced up with gaijin genki.


Volunteering means donating your time and resources towards a task without expectation of financial gain.

Now, where that activity occurs is a huge thing. I don't consider volunteering (read helping your local community) a bad thing, but when the organized "volunteer events" are around things like "go visit an orphanage", "go clean up tohoku", or other... third world voluntourism type stuff, then I have an issue with it.

Also, any volunteering for the BoE in which you are expected to be a representative in any way for the BoE is not volunteering. It's free labor.



Life isn't about extracting as much "score" out of your time and effort as is humanly possible. We're all just here for the ride, if you enjoy yourself with what you're doing and not fucking anyone over too much in the process, what more can anyone ask?

And that's about as much of the "cultural exchange" as JET wants I think. Sure, COs (esp high schools) might have zero reason to care, but I wouldn't be surprised if the people AJET talk to are at least mildly concerned with it.

I'm not talking exclusively about score. If I was, then all volunteering is pointless in the end as the score will never balance. What I'm talking about is the assumption that we all volunteer. That it's a default state of the person, to want to give to others without expectation of compensation, and that ALL JETS are some how like this. I'm happy to give my time if I want to give it, but it should not be expected of me to give my time freely. NAJET assumes this position. Exploitative BoEs assume this position.

johnny
February 18th, 2015, 09:53
Yeah, I like to do local volunteering too. I haven't done enough really, and when I go back to Vancouver, I'd like to do more. Helping the poor feels like a good one for me.

Gizmo is right though. It's only meaningful if I do it of my own will. It's wrong to pressure people into volunteering.

uthinkimlost?
February 18th, 2015, 09:57
"volunteer events" are around things like "go visit an orphanage"

I'm always torn when these come up. On the one hand, spending time with kids that could use some extra dose of happiness in their lives sounds great. On the ohter hand, having a bunch of gaijin show up and pinch cheeks for a day might be more damaging than helpful.

johnny
February 18th, 2015, 10:25
I'm always torn when these come up. On the one hand, spending time with kids that could use some extra dose of happiness in their lives sounds great. On the ohter hand, having a bunch of gaijin show up and pinch cheeks for a day might be more damaging than helpful.

See, that's a good point. The poor kids probably end up feeling more abandoned when they learn the gaijin aren't coming back. I would think that it would almost be better to buy them Yokai watch crap that they can enjoy for more than a few hours.

I was going to post something about wanting to volunteer when I get back home. It would be good to help the poor by volunteering at a soup kitchen or food bank.

A big part of the value derived volunteering in something like a soup kitchen is forming relationships and getting to know people. It's not just about feeding the impoverished, it's letting them that the world cares about them. It's letting them know they still matter. I don't think you can do that by dropping in one or twice. It's best to go continuously so that and a human component.

I think that's especially important with children who have lost their family.

Jiggit
February 18th, 2015, 10:33
Volunteering means donating your time and resources towards a task without expectation of financial gain.

I suppose I thought you were saying that if you're not getting paid you shouldn't bother to do it. But you're actually saying if you don't want to do it then you should only do it if you get paid? I'd agree with that. I just haven't really run into the situation or heard of other's in the situation where they really felt a pressure to do that. Not saying it isn't a problem, but yeah.

I can also get the point of view that the area wants to bring over people who are going to get involved in the local community. If they have an ALT who just sits in his apartment, does his lessons and goes off to the local city every weekend, it makes sense that they'd be unsatisfied with that. Sure it isn't something they can force you to do, but it is something that they make pretty clear that they'd like in an ALT before you even apply for the programme. They want someone who wants to volunteer, and thus they want to encourage people to have a desire to be a part of the local community. Having to force an ALT to do it is obviously a bit bs, but I think if you don't have at least some desire to do so then you shouldn't be on the JET programme. It's like mothy was trying to point out the other day; if you came here just to be a teacher, the JET programme is not for you.

Also, I'm not saying AJET are thinking that way, but it would make sense for them to address that "issue" in a way - to communicate with local communities about how they can make ALTs feel more welcome and make volunteering more appealing to them. It's not like they can have anything to do with the teaching side of it, after all...

Gizmotech
February 18th, 2015, 11:24
I suppose I thought you were saying that if you're not getting paid you shouldn't bother to do it. But you're actually saying if you don't want to do it then you should only do it if you get paid? I'd agree with that. I just haven't really run into the situation or heard of other's in the situation where they really felt a pressure to do that. Not saying it isn't a problem, but yeah.

If your boss asks you to do it, and you're not getting paid, it's free labor, not volunteering.

Until this year I would get in bucket loads of shit from other ALTs because I don't volunteer my time in events. I have no interest. I'll volunteer my time for things I have a personal interest in, and where I can see a potential long term reward, but I am not going to visit the kiddies because everyone is visiting the kiddies. I'm not gonna go dress up like Sanata for a local community centre just because I'm fucking white (that one really pissed me off, when it was expected that I do it because I was the last ALT still in town... WTF)



I can also get the point of view that the area wants to bring over people who are going to get involved in the local community. If they have an ALT who just sits in his apartment, does his lessons and goes off to the local city every weekend, it makes sense that they'd be unsatisfied with that. Sure it isn't something they can force you to do, but it is something that they make pretty clear that they'd like in an ALT before you even apply for the programme. They want someone who wants to volunteer, and thus they want to encourage people to have a desire to be a part of the local community. Having to force an ALT to do it is obviously a bit bs, but I think if you don't have at least some desire to do so then you shouldn't be on the JET programme. It's like mothy was trying to point out the other day; if you came here just to be a teacher, the JET programme is not for you.

Also, I'm not saying AJET are thinking that way, but it would make sense for them to address that "issue" in a way - to communicate with local communities about how they can make ALTs feel more welcome and make volunteering more appealing to them. It's not like they can have anything to do with the teaching side of it, after all...

I understand where this point of view comes from, but looking for someone who "wants" to volunteer is wrong. You're basically looking for free labor. If a job is important enough that you need to be voluntold to do it, then it's worth compensation. Looking for someone who wants to participate is okay, who wants to be involved, and there are obviously major deficiencies in communication between BoEs and ALTs in that regard. But there is no reason you can't come here to be a teacher, to live your own life separate from everyone else, to build connections and community involvement over time. Being active in the program, in your community, does not require you to be a volunteer in the sense of charity work.

mrcharisma
February 18th, 2015, 11:34
Volunteering with the orphans was practically compulsary for a few years down my way but has tailed off recently.

I've always steered clear, partly because the self-serving motives of the grinning ALT clowns made me feel physically sick and partly because I prioritise boozing, eating and travelling over playing catch with some emotionally stunted ratchild.

coop52
February 18th, 2015, 13:52
I've always steered clear, partly because the self-serving motives of the grinning ALT clowns made me feel physically sick and partly because I prioritise boozing, eating and travelling over playing catch with some emotionally stunted ratchild.

Same here. If it were some cause that actually made a difference, like helping at a soup kitchen or cleaning a beach or something like that, I'd probably do it. But I just don't feel the need to travel for hours to play with kids or build houses.

I used to do Relay for Life in high school and college, but that wasn't a whole lot of effort. I just asked people for a few bucks and walked around a track for a couple of hours. I don't know if that organization actually affects anything, but it didn't seem that bad. At least they don't seem as bad as the pink ribbon people.

coheeshosho
June 12th, 2015, 14:17
AJET and the other bastard organizations of JET are ways for ALTs with nothing to do to pad their resumes in hopes of getting a job, after their 5 years are up. They give themselves these ridiculous titles like "Project Manager" and "Head of Sales and something."

For anyone that actually knows what a Project Manager does and what AJET people claim to do, it is absolutely ridiculous. Project managers have all kinds of certifications, (Prince 2, PMI, PNP), and usually CS or finance backgrounds. In Japan, they often make more than 10M yen a year. Do you really think that you can be a volunteer project manager? This is craziness.

Dululu
June 12th, 2015, 15:06
AJET and the other bastard organizations of JET are ways for ALTs with nothing to do to pad their resumes in hopes of getting a job, after their 5 years are up. They give themselves these ridiculous titles like "Project Manager" and "Head of Sales and something."

For anyone that actually knows what a Project Manager does and what AJET people claim to do, it is absolutely ridiculous. Project managers have all kinds of certifications, (Prince 2, PMI, PNP), and usually CS or finance backgrounds. In Japan, they often make more than 10M yen a year. Do you really think that you can be a volunteer project manager? This is craziness.

The job titles really annoy me. They have Directors ffs.

It's like those ALTs that call themselves "Teaching Consultant" or "Cross-Cultural Educator". The former is certainly closer in that it starts with a C and ends with an NT.

Virgil
June 14th, 2015, 17:13
The job titles really annoy me. They have Directors ffs.

It's like those ALTs that call themselves "Teaching Consultant" or "Cross-Cultural Educator". The former is certainly closer in that it starts with a C and ends with an NT.
Gross. I guess it helps if your going into education to put "Assistant Language Teacher" as it almost gives the impression that you mentored under a professional educator. Too bad that's rarely the case.

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