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Thread: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

  1. #1

    Default Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    Hi all,


    Just registered here! I am looking for some help if anyone can.


    I was just wondering has anyone had any experience of doing the JET programme (for x amount of years) and then being able to progress in getting work in a private high school as an English teacher in Japan (rather than being an ALT i.e. assistant)?


    I will have an MA in TESOL very soon, and am going to train to be a licensed teacher in September in the UK (in Spanish and French), so have been considering doing JET after that (i.e. applying in October 2014 for July 2015 start) to get my foot in the door so to speak. Maybe I could build contacts/experience in Japan in order to eventually get a job in a private high school after some experience (I say private because as far as I know you´re not allowed to be the sole teacher in public high schools unless you have a Japanese certificate). Does anyone think this plan is feasible…or a bad plan? I had thought my MA and teaching license and then subsequent experience in Japan might be useful in obtaining a job like that. I'm not interested in Eikaiwas or anything like that, just in case anyone recommends them.


    Of course there is the option of international schools for licensed teachers, but supposedly for many you need a few years in your home country and I'd prefer to leave the UK as soon as possible, so don't want to stick around teaching in secondary schools in the UK for a few years.




    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Constant Fu*kup sharpinthefang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    As far as i am aware, the only way you can become a 'proper' teacher in a school (and not a language school) is to be born Japanese. Sorry.
    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...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    Quote Originally Posted by sharpinthefang View Post
    As far as i am aware, the only way you can become a 'proper' teacher in a school (and not a language school) is to be born Japanese. Sorry.
    I don't think you can say "as far as I know" if you're making a random guess based on nothing.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    Quote Originally Posted by sharpinthefang View Post
    As far as i am aware, the only way you can become a 'proper' teacher in a school (and not a language school) is to be born Japanese. Sorry.
    Thanks for the reply, but with all due respect that's not accurate. There are non-Japanese teachers teaching in private high schools as the sole teacher in the classroom. I heard for public school jobs you need a Japanese certificate which would rule out a lot of people, thus I'm asking about private high schools

    Cheers

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    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    The biggest issue with using JET is that their hiring schedule won't work for you to transition "smoothly" to an April start and, for the job you want, it will be an April start.
    I would recommend applying for international schools in Japan from your home country. It is possible and they do exist. Another way to get your foot in the door is to apply for an international nursery school and then switch when you're able.
    Just go to Gaijin pot and look around. You're really off season right now but in the next couple months April jobs will be up. In fact my job will be available haha.

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    Constant Fu*kup sharpinthefang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    I don't think you can say "as far as I know" if you're making a random guess based on nothing.
    i mean as far as i know in the research that i have done previous. I have never found any evidence to the contrary, but others might have. Therefore i am leaving the possibility open to finding the counter opinion. I am not admitting to knowing everything there is to know about the subject at hand.
    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...

  7. #7
    ゴミ箱の女王 tobio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    Your best bet is to look into international schools such as ASIJ.

    "To be eligible for placement on the regular salary scale, teachers must hold a college degree, preferably in the field they will teach. Successful candidates usually have at least five years of teaching experience. Willingness and ability to supervise co-curricular activities are important attributes for teachers. Please be aware of this required assignment since it usually involves a substantial commitment of time after school and on weekends."

    I'm not sure if the teaching experience can include the experience you get from JET - but when i contacted them they were happy to give me information about working for them. They even offered me a tour of the school.
    Last edited by tobio; August 11th, 2014 at 22:25.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    Quote Originally Posted by AVN View Post
    The biggest issue with using JET is that their hiring schedule won't work for you to transition "smoothly" to an April start and, for the job you want, it will be an April start.
    I would recommend applying for international schools in Japan from your home country. It is possible and they do exist. Another way to get your foot in the door is to apply for an international nursery school and then switch when you're able.

    Thanks, that is something to consider about JET not coinciding with the start dates!

    Just go to Gaijin pot and look around. You're really off season right now but in the next couple months April jobs will be up. In fact my job will be available haha
    Like I have mentioned I'm doing a PGCE soon, I'm just planning in advance and may decide to stick around in UK for 1 year to have some post-PGCE experience (depending on how bad/good the PGCE is!) and then look for jobs.


    The problem applying to "proper" international schools is that I won't have enough home country experience. I'm led to believe you really need a good few years' experience, but I guess I can try next year and see.




    Quote Originally Posted by tobio View Post
    Your best bet is to look into international schools such as ASIJ.

    "To be eligible for placement on the regular salary scale, teachers must hold a college degree, preferably in the field they will teach. Successful candidates usually have at least five years of teaching experience. Willingness and ability to supervise co-curricular activities are important attributes for teachers. Please be aware of this required assignment since it usually involves a substantial commitment of time after school and on weekends."

    I'm not sure if the teaching experience can include the experience you get from JET - but when i contacted them they were happy to give me information about working for them. They even offered me a tour of the school.

    Thanks for the input, but I am sure that JET experience would not cover such a prestigious international school. Plus they'd probably be looking a lot of home experience and/or international school experience.

    I've just looked at their salary and after that am 100% sure they'd not consider JET experience. Look at the base salary:

    ¥6,840,000 a year + ¥1,730,000 housing allowance a year.

    That's some salary, isn't it?

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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    There was a JET near me who is now working at a private international school in Tokyo. She found that she was--despite holding a masters'--considered to be completely unqualified for most jobs in the field. She managed to score her position because it was at a relatively newly-established school with teachers who possessed comparable qualifications. I believe several of them were former ALTs, actually. Because of this, the school's tuition rates were substantially lower... as was (is) her pay. Nevertheless, I suspect that in the long haul, she will manage to make it a very positive career move.

    It can be done, but adjust your expectations accordingly.
    Last edited by word; August 12th, 2014 at 01:31.
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    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.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    Thanks a lot Word. Since making this thread I've started thinking it's a bad idea. I mean, I think it's basically a big gamble, the girl you mention was in the right place at the right time I guess. What if I did 2-3 years of ALT work (through JET or somewhere else) and couldn't "progress" to a private high school as the sole teacher? Teaching for me is a career, not something I'll do for a few years then move on, so maybe if I stayed as an ALT for so long it might not look so good outside of Japan for other teaching positions; e.g. If I'm competing with people with the same amount of experience but as the actual teacher in the classroom.

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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    I should've added that she was a US state-certified teacher with a few years' experience, also.

    I think it's quite possible to spin JET well on a job application in the US. People who actually possess a realistic understanding of what ALTing entails are obviously significantly less impressed with it as resume material, but I think it's fair to say that most folks wouldn't consider it to be a mark against a candidate, either. I've certainly known former JETs who were able to talk it up quite well.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    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.

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    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    It's possible to teach by yourself at non-international schools if you manage to get a special teaching license. Don't really know about other prefectures, but mine requires at least a year working in Japan as an ALT. I'm in the process of getting one, and it seems like it just involves sending paperwork and doing an interview. I sent my paperwork about a month ago and haven't heard anything yet, so who knows.

    That said, there's no guarantee you'll be able to get a job. I only got my current job though connections I made on JET. The whole lack of children thing means schools (both public and private) aren't hiring as many people anymore. It's really hard to say what the job situation would be like in a couple of years.

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    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    In my prefecture, you can teach at a private school with a "special" license that really is just a piece of paper with no meaning. (I've met two of them and they have no prior teaching/english qualifications at all). You cannot work in the public SHS in my prefecture without being a japanese citizen, having a japanese teaching certification, and taking their qualification tests which would basically weed out anyone who isn't near fluent in Japanese itself.
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    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

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    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.

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    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    In regards to your teaching career, I wouldn't say that JET counts against you or for you on it's own. I think it's how you spin it. Most people in educational systems are looking for new/ different/ unique/ (effective vs ineffective) ways of teaching. JET will give you that, a few years to observe a very different culture, teaching methodology and school setting. Every JET, I knew that went back home to find teaching jobs had little to no trouble landing something. (Quicker than the rest of us I might add.)

    As for teaching as a non-ALT, I know two people who are doing it. One is a girl who did the ALT, went back home for 4 years (as a teacher) and then came back to Japan.
    The other guy, got his MA in applied languages while on interact (currently working on his PHD) and also is level N1 in Japanese. He is an English teacher in a university near Tokyo.
    The opportunities exist, but they aren't as easy to get as an ALT gig. Most of my gaijin friends aren't ALTs anymore. If you look, you can find them.
    Everything I have ever said was a lie, and that's the truth.

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    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    I should've added that she was a US state-certified teacher with a few years' experience, also.

    I think it's quite possible to spin JET well on a job application in the US. People who actually possess a realistic understanding of what ALTing entails are obviously significantly less impressed with it as resume material, but I think it's fair to say that most folks wouldn't consider it to be a mark against a candidate, either. I've certainly known former JETs who were able to talk it up quite well.
    You're talking about for non-teaching jobs in the US, right?

    That's interesting about the license Gizmotech/Coop52! Coop52, in your case do you have a teaching license from your home country?


    Quote Originally Posted by ihatefall View Post
    In regards to your teaching career, I wouldn't say that JET counts against you or for you on it's own. I think it's how you spin it. Most people in educational systems are looking for new/ different/ unique/ (effective vs ineffective) ways of teaching. JET will give you that, a few years to observe a very different culture, teaching methodology and school setting. Every JET, I knew that went back home to find teaching jobs had little to no trouble landing something. (Quicker than the rest of us I might add.)

    As for teaching as a non-ALT, I know two people who are doing it. One is a girl who did the ALT, went back home for 4 years (as a teacher) and then came back to Japan.
    The other guy, got his MA in applied languages while on interact (currently working on his PHD) and also is level N1 in Japanese. He is an English teacher in a university near Tokyo.
    The opportunities exist, but they aren't as easy to get as an ALT gig. Most of my gaijin friends aren't ALTs anymore. If you look, you can find them.
    I'm sure Jet can be really valuable and the things you learn on it, but if candidate x has 3 years teaching English in a high school vs me assisting teaching 3 years in Japan wouldn't you say the person with 3 years as sole teacher would be in with a better chance of getting the job? Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know. Of course JET has a lot of advantages in that you can gain a lot of insight from the Japanese teacher and how s/he teaches/plans teaching in the Japanese context but your CV will have the words assistant on it and that's my worry. I hope this doesn't sound offensive to anyone, I'm not knocking JET. I'm just thinking before it even gets to the interview stage this may not look good. If people think I'm wrong on this let me know

    Thanks. I was aware of university opportunities, but from my research before it seemed for many of them you need

    1. A high level of Japanese and
    2. Publications

    I would imagine in the case of the guy you know, apart from his N1 he'll have a publication or soon he'll have one with his PhD (?) and getting to be proficient in a language takes a long time. I had considered going down the PhD route and then try to find uni jobs but after a master's, I decided I didn't want to do a PhD - academia isn't for me . So, I don't know how realistic the chances of a uni position are, which is why I'd thought the private high school was my only viable option.

    Cheers for all the advice again everyone. Still a bit unsure, haha.
    Last edited by elmaldito; August 13th, 2014 at 02:31.

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    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    I don't have a license back home. This special license is mostly for Japanese people who have considerable working experience (eg. a wielder or carpenter getting a license to teach shop class), so no teaching licenses required.

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    Village Idiot RoflCopter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    Quote Originally Posted by elmaldito View Post
    I'm sure Jet can be really valuable and the things you learn on it, but if candidate x has 3 years teaching English in a high school vs me assisting teaching 3 years in Japan wouldn't you say the person with 3 years as sole teacher would be in with a better chance of getting the job?
    If you're looking to solely advance your career, in whatever field you're in, JET is the wrong decision. Experience, in whatever applicable field you plan on being in, is going to go a hell of a lot further on an application; but you shouldn't be going on JET solely for the teaching experience. Lets not forget that anyone with a good resume and the proper credentials will land an interview, that's where you have to shine. I landed a job right out of college, I met the MINIMUM requirements for the position, and ended up crushing people that made my resume look like a piece of toilet paper.

    The world isn't nearly as black and white as you make it sound, you're basing things on hypothetical assumptions; that's never the proper way to go about looking at a situation. The experience you gain from JET will make you far more well-rounded, even if JET does hold your hand, than most people who jump right into the grinder. You're going to teach English, in a nation that you don't know the language, across the globe, away from family, in an unfamiliar situation... You honestly can't turn that into an amazing interview? I could probably land a job, with no applicable experience, with just the above alone.

    Critical thinking and adaptability are highly-regarded traits in organizations that are worth a damn. It's unlikely that JET would hinder your opportunities in the long-run, which is really all that matters.

    Although not 100% applicable to your situation, read the thread that I started back in April.

    Worth it?

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    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    Do you mean actual equal to the Japanese teachers or just not an alt? Because both are possible but the former isn't worth the trouble.

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    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    Quote Originally Posted by RoflCopter View Post

    The world isn't nearly as black and white as you make it sound, you're basing things on hypothetical assumptions; that's never the proper way to go about looking at a situation. The experience you gain from JET will make you far more well-rounded, even if JET does hold your hand, than most people who jump right into the grinder. You're going to teach English, in a nation that you don't know the language, across the globe, away from family, in an unfamiliar situation... You honestly can't turn that into an amazing interview? I could probably land a job, with no applicable experience, with just the above alone.

    Critical thinking and adaptability are highly-regarded traits in organizations that are worth a damn. It's unlikely that JET would hinder your opportunities in the long-run, which is really all that matters.


    Worth it?
    This.

    My best friend's mother told me this long before I had ever come to Japan.
    They were looking for a new teacher for the school she was an administrator at. The applicant that they were most excited about was a guy who had spent a few years teaching in Japan 10 years earlier. They were all looking forward to hearing what he had to offer.

    In the end they didn't hire him because they said he seemed really low energy and sort spaced out during the interview. She said they had pretty much already decided on him before they had met him, he could have gotten it would a mediocre interview.

    The point is that, people are interested in these things, especially people who have never done anything like it.
    Like I said, it's all about how you spin it.
    If you play up the assistant part, than no it wouldn't look as good. However, if you play up the international experience, new perspectives, and new methodology then it will look strong than someone else's 3 years of 'normal' teaching in my opinion.

    Plus leaving a foreign teaching position after 3 years to move home seems more reasonable than just leaving a 'normal' teaching position after only 3 years. As an interviewer I would think something was up.
    Everything I have ever said was a lie, and that's the truth.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Using JET to eventually get a job in a private high school

    Thanks a lot for the advice everyone

    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    Do you mean actual equal to the Japanese teachers or just not an alt? Because both are possible but the former isn't worth the trouble.
    Yep, not an ALT. I.e. me in the class alone with the students - no J-teacher too.

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