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Thread: Advice for an Experienced Teacher to Prepare for the 2015 Application

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    Default Advice for an Experienced Teacher to Prepare for the 2015 Application

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    Last edited by ticktockticktock; July 7th, 2016 at 13:01.

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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for an Experienced Teacher to Prepare for the 2015 Application

    Let's see.

    1 - Teaching experience: Don't worry too much about this one. Teaching experience almost certainly won't count *against* you; in fact, the opposite is far more likely. You sound like you're on the right track with your slight mention in the SoP. If I recall rightly, I included a similar statement in mine indicating that I was familiar with many aspects of the JET program (the good and the bad, not just the "yay I'm in Japan" malarkey).

    2 - You're fine. If asked, just tell 'em what you told us. Also... JET isn't looking for people who want to stay in Japan for the rest of their lives. MEXT would probably actually prefer that candidates only stay one year (BoEs tend to prefer longer-term candidates, usually). You could mention your 3-year goal if you want, but it doesn't really matter. You should focus more on how you intend to use your JET experience to enrich your career in the future.

    3 - Read a lot of the advice posted here and in the archives. There's a bunch of good stuff. I posted a pretty long one about interviewing. I might post one this year about the SoP. If you stick around here and post occasionally, most folks here do everything they can to help you out.
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    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for an Experienced Teacher to Prepare for the 2015 Application

    they accept plenty of real grown up teachers with proper qualifications each year so wouldn't worry about your "impressive credentials" intimidating them too much.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Default Re: Advice for an Experienced Teacher to Prepare for the 2015 Application

    It does seem to come down to what each individual BOE wants, so even though most want untrained, starry-eyed college grads, some schools will have a use for someone with actual experience and self awareness.

    I remember something stating that if you had to withdraw your application before the interview, you automatically get an interview granted the next year if you apply, depending upon the situation causing your withdrawal. I don't know if "couldn't leave Prague" would count, but you might contact the New York Consulate, or whoever you plan to apply through this year and ask. In any case, with your credentials and having already passed the application process once, I don't think you'd have to worry too much again this year.

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    Official JET Staff miamicoordinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for an Experienced Teacher to Prepare for the 2015 Application

    Quote Originally Posted by ticktockticktock View Post
    Hello! Long time lurker, first time poster.

    I’m planning to apply for the 2015 intake of the JET Program and I wanted to ask for some advice about my situation. I’ll try to keep things as brief as I can.

    I’m 26 years old, have 3 years of TEFL experience, and am Trinity certTESOL certified. I did two years in South Korean public schools and one year in the Czech Republic teaching freelance Business English. I’m going to Germany next week to teach Business English for the upcoming year as a way to stay involved in TEFL but the money likely won’t be good enough for me to do it for more than a year.

    I’ve known about the JET Program for many years and have spoken to quite a few current and former JETs about their experiences. Last year I applied for the first time and was offered an interview, but I had to withdraw my application before the interview because I couldn’t easily make it to NYC from Prague without putting my job at risk. I was told by the advisor that it wouldn’t hurt my future chances if I pulled out before attending the actual interview, so I did.

    I have a few concerns. First, I’m concerned that my teaching experience might be detrimental to my application. I’m very aware that my role as an “assistant teacher” might mean being relegated to a human tape recorder and that they aren’t looking for teachers who will try to revolutionize the classroom. I dealt with this same issue in Korea. I’m not pursuing JET as a way to shake up the education system; I’m more interested in the cultural exchange aspect. Teaching English is a means to that end. I’m aware that JET will come with its’ challenges but I’m ready to take on the good and the bad. All I can think to do is stress on my SoP that I am open-minded in the classroom and willing to adapt to my role as as assistant based on what the other teachers prefer. However, if anyone has advice for someone like me about this, please feel free to share it.

    A second concern I have is whether or not to address the reason why I withdrew my application last year. As I said, I was told that I withdrew early enough that it wouldn’t hurt my chances of applying, but I wonder if this is something worth mentioning in the SoP or the application itself.

    I don’t want to give the impression that I am country-hopping and won’t be a long-term candidate. I’d be very interested in giving JET at least 3 solid years since if I make it on the program, it will be the last country I’ll live in before going to grad school back home. Perhaps this is something I should mention in the SoP and/or interview as well?

    Lastly, and most importantly, if anyone has suggestions for how someone in my situation could best prepare for the application and (hopefully) interview for 2015, I’d be happy to hear them. The only idea I can think of is to keep studying Japanese (as well as I’m able to in Germany) and meeting Japanese people for language exchange groups or other social outings.

    Thoughts? Advice? Suggestions? I’m all ears. Thanks everyone!
    There is no way teaching experience is going to work against you. Like word said, this actually helps because it shows you have been able to live in other countries and teach English in the past, so the chances of you jumping ship because teaching isn't for you aren't very high. The only thing I would warn against is make sure you don't come off too smug with your experience. If you walk in there and act like you know everything there is about teaching English to people then that might not look too good.

    One thing that would concern me is your timing. You mentioned you would be going to Germany next week for a year to teach English. If you are accepted to the JET Program, you will be required to submit your passport to the Consulate in the U.S.(you cannot do it in Germany) sometime in July to process your visa. Not to mention all of the other paperwork that is required (health certificate, tax forms, FBI background check etc..) It might prove difficult to get all that done while living in Germany. There are people who apply to the JET Program every year while living in other countries(I had a guy who was living in China this year get it all done) but sending the documents back and forth was troublesome, especially because one of his documents took 6 weeks to get to me.

    Don't worry too much about the assistant teacher aspect of it. Some placements will have you making lessons plans and running the classroom, and other placements you just follow the teacher. It really varies. As long as you are flexible, that is what matters.

    No one is going to care that you withdrew your application before the interview happened. You are only in trouble if you withdraw from the program after you receive your placement information. You may get asked what happened last year, but the fact that you responsibly withdrew your application will not hurt your chances.

    I am sure others will chime in with their ideas on how to better prepare for the 2015 cycle.

    Good luck!

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    Default Re: Advice for an Experienced Teacher to Prepare for the 2015 Application

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    Last edited by ticktockticktock; July 7th, 2016 at 13:02.

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