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Thread: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

  1. #1
    Senior Member osakavamp's Avatar
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    Default First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    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

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    Senior Moment Antonath's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    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.
    ...because Japan.

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    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    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.
    Last edited by SomePeopleJustSaySnow; June 7th, 2014 at 13:35.

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    Senior Member osakavamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    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.

  5. #5

    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    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.
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    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


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    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    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.

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    Senior Member osakavamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    Hm. I guess all I can do is wait and ask during my first week or so. Thanks guys.

  8. #8

    Default First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    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.
    Last edited by richief_611; June 7th, 2014 at 20:11.

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    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    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...)
    Everything I have ever said was a lie, and that's the truth.

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    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    Lol "gaijin smashing" - love it!

  11. #11

    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    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.
    Last edited by coheeshosho; June 9th, 2014 at 08:17.

  12. #12
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    if you are at JHS you may have speech contest practice at school in august......
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    Quote Originally Posted by coheeshosho View Post
    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.

  14. #14

    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    More class hours maybe, but that's extremely rare. Actual hours spent at school compared to Japanese teachers, not even close.

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    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    Then that's not being a teacher, that's being Japanese. Two very different things.

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    Senior Moment Antonath's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    Quote Originally Posted by coheeshosho View Post
    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.
    ...because Japan.

  17. #17

    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  18. #18

    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    Ok mom, I'll look into that.

  19. #19

    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    Quote Originally Posted by coheeshosho View Post
    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.
    Last edited by mrcharisma; June 9th, 2014 at 08:41.

  20. #20

    Default Re: First Month on JET (This Upcoming August)

    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.
    Last edited by coheeshosho; June 9th, 2014 at 08:46.

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