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Thread: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

  1. #21
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    Quote Originally Posted by patjs View Post
    3. Try not to get caught up in the bizarre competition of who is the best super JET in your prefecture. It's hard to explain until you experience it, but if you attend events or conferences with your fellow JETs there are going to be a lot of people who feel the need to constantly talk about how amazing they are. I guarantee the people who claim their teachers and kids LOVE them and they are SOOO INVOLVED are not as great as they claim to be. Just worry about yourself and your own situation and making the best you can with your time here.
    word
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    Quote Originally Posted by patjs View Post
    3. Try not to get caught up in the bizarre competition of who is the best super JET in your prefecture. It's hard to explain until you experience it, but if you attend events or conferences with your fellow JETs there are going to be a lot of people who feel the need to constantly talk about how amazing they are. I guarantee the people who claim their teachers and kids LOVE them and they are SOOO INVOLVED are not as great as they claim to be. Just worry about yourself and your own situation and making the best you can with your time here.
    Double word.

    The ones that are on the cross are usually the ones least likely to be doing real work.
    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.

  3. #23
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    Also, balance how much pity you pour out when everybody tries to out-sob-story each other at JET events. Building friendships and trust is one thing - but be careful about throwing your hat in the ring to help someone else. If it is their fault and you involve yourself, the blowback (professional or personal) can hurt you too. Although that kinda goes along with the standing nail gets the hammer...

    Don't feel obligated to go to every event people cook up - go if you want to be there. It might be a nice opportunity to be able to talk with people at length instead of 5 minutes conversations in broken English/Japanese in your workplace.

  5. #25
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    stay off the internet and ignore the advice of washed up has-beens. Experience everything for yourself and be richer for it.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    Don't let wide-eyed genkiness get in the way of common sense. If a group of old crones turn up at your door demanding you host a weekly eikawa session or some blacktoothed weirdo comes up to you in the street as he wants an English-speaking friend, tell them where to go politely but firmly.

    Some fairly ambiguous wording in our job description might suggest that it's part of our job to entertain life's leftovers here. It's not.
    Last edited by mrcharisma; July 10th, 2014 at 16:51.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    For teachers on the JET Programme:

    - Make sure to take photos/videos and collect evidence of student learning/your teaching. Some jobs require video examples, and it is always good to have a nice collection for your portfolio. If you do a presentation, have someone snap your picture. I read a study about what employers value for documents, and pictures is by far the number one thing that they spend the most time looking at (60% of eye time on LinkedIn is on the picture).

    For all career paths:

    - Take memos of all the extra work you do, such as judging/prepping for speech contests, doing English camps, community work, etc. Take note of numbers (of people, funds, etc.), dates, and details. This comes in handy when you update your resume.

    - Know what skills you need for your next job and do something on JET that relates early on.

    From personal experience happening now:

    - If you know you're buying stuff that will just get sent home without being opened or used, keep a box of that stuff aside (don't mix it in with the rest of your stuff). You'll end up with bigger shipping costs and more boxes than you thought, and I think this would have helped me (especially true if you have a spouse/family with you).

    Bonus:

    - Save money on claw machines by bugging the attendants to move things into good positions for you. Many are happy to do it (although there is the odd strict one).

  8. #28

    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    Quote Originally Posted by mrcharisma View Post
    Don't let wide-eyed genkiness get in the way of common sense. If a group of old crones turn up at your door demanding you host a weekly eikawa session or some blacktoothed weirdo comes up to you in the street as he wants an English-speaking friend, tell them where to go politely but firmly.

    Some fairly ambiguous wording in our job description might suggest that it's part of our job to entertain life's leftovers here. It's not.
    Concerning the above, may I ask if anyone has found delicate ways to turn down engagements that the previous ALT participated in/hosted? My predecessor has a ton of side projects, and while I am willing to take on a few, I am hesitant to be taking on hours and hours of additional eikaiwa every week just because my pred taught them.

  9. #29

    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    Quote Originally Posted by sourdoughsushi View Post
    Concerning the above, may I ask if anyone has found delicate ways to turn down engagements that the previous ALT participated in/hosted? My predecessor has a ton of side projects, and while I am willing to take on a few, I am hesitant to be taking on hours and hours of additional eikaiwa every week just because my pred taught them.
    Hard question.

    I'd personally start put trying to do all the English related things s/he did. Then, after I figured out what was good, bad, and useful, start to consolidate and cancel. If you do it from the start you might alienate very helpful people.
    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.

  10. #30
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    Quote Originally Posted by sourdoughsushi View Post
    Concerning the above, may I ask if anyone has found delicate ways to turn down engagements that the previous ALT participated in/hosted? My predecessor has a ton of side projects, and while I am willing to take on a few, I am hesitant to be taking on hours and hours of additional eikaiwa every week just because my pred taught them.
    Yup

    Say the word no.

    Do not let yourself automatically inherit your press commitments. That basically ruined my Monday nights for a year.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  11. #31
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    -Learn to make a monthly budget. This may seem obvious, but there's always an idiot who always barely scrapes by every month. The envelope method is pretty effective if you don't feel like writing everything down every month. You can save money on JET and still pay off loans and have fun.

    -Eat something green every day. Again, should be obvious, but there's always someone who tries to live off only beer and Jagarico.

    -Don't bother with an electronic dictionary. There's free smartphone apps that do pretty much the same things. If you still really want one, get a used one.

    -Get some kind of hobby that gets you out of the house. Try something new.

    -Go to enkais. You don't have to go to every single one, but try going to at least a few. There's probably teachers who speak better English than your JTEs, but they'll only do it when they're drunk.

    -Don't flash around your JLPT-peen. No one cares. The only thing having N2 or N1 means is that you'll be constantly asked to translate for the non-Japanese speaking people.

  12. #32

    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    Quote Originally Posted by coop52 View Post
    -Go to enkais. You don't have to go to every single one, but try going to at least a few. There's probably teachers who speak better English than your JTEs, but they'll only do it when they're drunk.

    -Don't flash around your JLPT-peen. No one cares. The only thing having N2 or N1 means is that you'll be constantly asked to translate for the non-Japanese speaking people.

    FFF... I got invited to go drinking with my HRTs from the elementary school. And want to go. But I have to be in Tokyo that weekend to pick up family from the airport...

    Also, if you want your JTE's English to improve, use as much English and as little Japanese as possible. Although it isn't guaranteed to work, and will probably hurt you Japanese usage time.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    When you first arrive at your school you should get a calendar. Spend time and decipher/ask your JTE the dates and events. This will be really helpful when you are planning vacations. I didn't know that my school closed down between the 27th of December and January 5th until December 22nd because no one told me and I neglected to translate December.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    -Read your contract.
    -Air out your futon from time to time and keep your tatami room dry and filled with sun as often as possible.
    -Be careful of food with mayonnaise (especially tuna mayo onigiri) in summer.
    -If you are worried about getting chunky off kyushoku, take the milk home and use it for coffee/tea and cereal and offer some of the rice to your students. Chances are that they will be happy to accept.
    -Be especially nice to the secretaries. They can help you navigate through all kinds of paperwork. Also respect the groundskeeper and treat them like another teacher--a lot of teachers don`t. They are usually happy to help with bike repairs and give great advice about home repairs. Ask them if you need to borrow a wrench, weed wacker of pump.

  15. #35
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    Make strange lunches and then claim it's normal in your country. Peanut butter and rice? Norm.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    How big is kyuushoku? Should I worry about getting chunky?

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    I've got a maybe not so obvious question: How do you carry 250,000 yen around? I suppose if I can get 25 crisp 1man notes it won't be so difficult to stuff it in my wallet. I think somebody mentioned getting a stack of 2sen notes, though.

  18. #38
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    Never spend 2k notes, everyone will think you're crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Old Snow wouldn't have said that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    You are like the secret boss battle they only advertised back when the game was being developed.

  19. #39
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    I'd put it in your wallet/carry-on so you can keep it on your person. Theft is pretty rare here, but it'd really suck to have all your money taken.

  20. #40
    Constant Fu*kup sharpinthefang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not so obvious advice for new ALTs

    Quote Originally Posted by SomePeopleJustSaySnow View Post
    Never spend 2k notes, everyone will think you're crazy.
    Humm, the only notes my travel agent gave me were 2k and 5k ones...
    Accepted with Interac on 13th May 2014
    Upgraded with JET on 7th October 2014...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_Simmons View Post
    shit, i've realize that i picked the wrong time to reply directly the thread's original question...

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