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Verbatim
October 20th, 2015, 20:09
Hello all! Not a major problem here, but I have a sneaking suspicion that my school has had an enkai already and I wasn't invited.

I've settled in really well, and I enjoy my school and co-workers, but now I get the feeling that I've said or done something wrong. One of my teachers was telling me a funny enkai story on the way to class, and I should have used that as an opportunity to ask but didn't get the chance. This is my base school, so I'm there basically every day. Should I be concerned?

One of the other folks in town didn't get invited to his, either. I don't know about his situation, though.

word
October 20th, 2015, 20:56
Approximately how big is your school?

Are you on good terms with a teacher? I'd recommend just asking him/her outright. Depending on the size of your school, the situation at hand, etc, it's entirely possible that someone just forgot to mention it to you, or that a sign-up was passed around and you didn't realize what it was.

Verbatim
October 20th, 2015, 21:28
Approximately how big is your school?

Are you on good terms with a teacher? I'd recommend just asking him/her outright. Depending on the size of your school, the situation at hand, etc, it's entirely possible that someone just forgot to mention it to you, or that a sign-up was passed around and you didn't realize what it was.

I've got about 70 teachers in the staffroom. I'd say I'm on good terms with all of my JTEs, we seem to get along really well. My supervisor, on the other hand constantly neglects to tell me anything. She hasn't even given me her number yet. When I ask, she just says "call the school".

EDIT: At the very least, I feel like the other JTEs would have been asking "Where's Verbatim-sensei?" unless I'm that misled about our rapport. Maybe there hasn't even been an enkai yet...but I doubt it. I'll ask one of the other JTEs I'm closer to about it next time I see him.

Ini
October 20th, 2015, 22:33
Are you sure there was an enkai?
Are you in/pay towards the club fund?
Was it an enkai for all the staff or just one of the groups (just the 1st grade teachers for example)
Maybe they only invite full time staff to enkais? (did the caretaker go?)
Did the past ALT make a big deal about not wanting to go to enkais?

give it until mid november then start asking about when the end of year enkai is. If they say "there is no end of year enkai" either somebody's relative died this year or they hate you.

mothy
October 21st, 2015, 08:24
My school genuinely has no end of year enkai. I was suspicious, but upon investigation found it to be true.

Ini makes a good point that it could have been an enkai for a specific group you're not a part of. Don't decide that everyone hates you yet.

Pup
October 21st, 2015, 08:24
Are you reading all of the stuff they leave on your desk? I get invited to enkais via memo mostly.

Jiggit
October 21st, 2015, 08:31
I'm with Ini, most likely the first or last options. They quite often have specific enkais for certain events that you may not be a part of. I also know plenty of ALTs who don't go to enkais because of money reasons. They generally assume you're going to be exactly like your predecessor.

Supervisors can be real hit and miss. Since my very first one, none of them seem to have the foggiest idea what they're doing. A lot of teachers make a lot of false assumptions about ALTs... especially about their level of qualification.

ambrosse
October 21st, 2015, 09:01
I hadn't been invited to really anything until the culture festival rolled up.
I was asked if I wanted to sing with the teachers; I said yes. Instant enkai invite. They're attached to specific events, I swear :/

Ini
October 21st, 2015, 10:25
Possible reasons for school wide enkais include : start of school year/welcome new staff, end of term 1, start of term 2, bonenkai, shinnenkai, after graduation, end of school year/farewell to leaving staff, after sports day, after culture festival, after school wide research project presentation. After that you have the ones for specific groups, 1st years, 2nd years, 3rd years, "the others" (principal, VP, secretary, nurse, ALT etc), male teachers, female teachers, teachers under 30, just PE teachers, just English teachers and so on...

Some schools might only have 1-2 enkais a year, others seem to have them every couple of weeks. Depends on your school really.

lightpop
October 21st, 2015, 10:37
Also sometimes you won't be invited because the teachers think it would be an inconvenience to you to listen to them speak Japanese all the time.
One of my schools didn't invite me to anything until they realised I could actually understand what was going on some of the time. (My predecessor spoke literally no Japanese beyond basic greetings.)
So they might actually think they're being considerate of you.

x_stei
October 21st, 2015, 10:50
They are attached to special events. I've gone to all of them. I feel good that I'm invited at all, because I think some people don't. I've had two so far, and will have another one in a few days.

I would try and ask the teacher that's closest to you or that you get along with the best when the next enkai is. I always ask (and usually end up going) because it's the only time I can see my teachers laugh and talk about interesting things, otherwise they always kinda feel like they're operating on robot mode.

Virgil
October 21st, 2015, 12:39
At first they acted like it was a huge inconvenience and very expensive. Then after a few, and once they realized that I was an 'Every day drinker' they just invite me to it and don't mention anything about it being 'Expensive' or 'Inconvenient'

Gizmotech
October 21st, 2015, 13:11
Ya, after PTA enkais I'm never invited to, year group (1st year teachers, 2nd...) I'm not invited to. All the big ones, AOK.

It totally depends on the structure of your school.

JinxCookie
October 23rd, 2015, 17:47
I don't get invited to enkais either unless they're really important ones (end of the year, for example). At first I felt a little hurt because I thought it meant they didn't like me. I thought about it and realized it's probably because I don't drink alcohol and I'm also a vegetarian, so everyone assumes I won't enjoy the enkai and think they're doing me a favour by not inviting me. They're kind of right, enkais are extremely expensive and it's awkward for me because I don't drink, so secretly I'm relieved that they only invite me to the major ones.

thatitguy
October 30th, 2015, 08:53
I don't get invited to enkais either unless they're really important ones (end of the year, for example). At first I felt a little hurt because I thought it meant they didn't like me. I thought about it and realized it's probably because I don't drink alcohol and I'm also a vegetarian, so everyone assumes I won't enjoy the enkai and think they're doing me a favour by not inviting me. They're kind of right, enkais are extremely expensive and it's awkward for me because I don't drink, so secretly I'm relieved that they only invite me to the major ones.

hows not drinking and being vegetarian like in Japan? Always been curious since japan seems like such a big meat eating country and all the enkais they have.

Zolrak 22
October 30th, 2015, 14:02
I remember a while back how a vegetarian was complaining that they were trying to force him to eat fish "Cause it wasn't meat".


I'm not in Japan, but I don't think you'd encounter any issues with no drinking.

Sure, you might miss out on the bar experience, but it's not like you HAVE to drink to go to those places.

if you go to an enkai, just let them know beforehand and see if they can bring you tea instead. If not then just leave your cup full.

weepinbell
October 30th, 2015, 14:08
It really doesn't matter if you don't drink at enkais - a lot of my teachers don't drink. The last nijikai I went to a teacher ordered a smoothie lol. And at the enkai they had tea and coke.

We have a few vegetarians and a vegan here at my BOE and they've had to make some adjustments for convenience's sake. One vegetarian has basically become a pescatarian, and the other will eat meat/fish if there's no other option or if they accidentally order something with that in it. The vegan will eat fish stock because it's in pretty much any broth you'll find here.

uthinkimlost?
October 30th, 2015, 14:29
Ya, after PTA enkais I'm never invited to, year group (1st year teachers, 2nd...) I'm not invited to. All the big ones, AOK.

It totally depends on the structure of your school.

I was invited to one PTA enkai, I think? It was my first year.

JestersJ
December 2nd, 2015, 09:15
My school has a separate enkai thing so that miiight be the case? We have a fairly big school (elevator school where JHS and SHS are in one school) so we have English dept enkai, hs teachers enkai, jhs teachers enkai, end of year, start of year, end of term, end of culture festival, end of sports festival, end of... every event. ((my poor liver)) The ones I don't get told about are sports teachers, other departments, and PTA enkais (for obvious reasons) There's over 100 teachers in my school though. (I'm only at one location)

The first few times, the teachers around me told me about the enkais, afterward they just posted things on the wall and you put a mark near your name if you wanted to come or not.