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Thread: Doing JET with no teaching experience

  1. #1

    Default Doing JET with no teaching experience

    What's it like? I TA'd for an acting class before, so I've just done super bare bones stuff. I know we get orientations, I'm just wondering how long it takes to kinda get in the groove of teaching, prepping lessons, etc. (provided you're not a tape recorder in ALL your classes :P).

  2. #2
    Senior Member ambrosse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    Trial, error, research, and observation.
    Last edited by ambrosse; April 9th, 2015 at 11:51.

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    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    If you're asked to prepare every aspect of your class it may take a long time. If you're a human tape recorder it'll take one lesson and you'll be good.

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    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    Quote Originally Posted by weepinbell View Post
    What's it like?
    I can't say from personal experience, but every situation is different.

    If you are good at prepping, improvising or just rolling with the punches then you are gonna do just fine.

    I would imagine that with acting experience you are good at a few of those things.

  5. #5
    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    Yeah, even as someone who went through years of teacher training shennanigans and has had actual experience as a classroom teacher.... it' still taking a lot for me to figure out how I'm going to approach things. I guess the only real advantage I have is that I'm pretty comfortable with the idea of having to lead a bunch of hellions on journey where they hopefully learn something.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    Frigga please.
    RIP Virgil of 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Gross. I hate people and their sexy times.

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    Professional Fun Killer hypatia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    II have some experiences with "teaching" (tutoring, plus leading small groups/training seminars), but no experience with this kind of teaching. It took me until about October to start feeling comfortable, but blah, blah, blah ESID. I have a lot of schools, so I have a notebook where I keep track of what lesson/grade I'm teaching at what school and on what day, and what I'm preparing for the next week. It helps me keep everything straight, and it also lets me keep track of what lessons work and what lessons tank. Since I rotate between so many schools I'm not there with enough consistency to actually teach new material. My JTEs mainly utilize me for review of material that's already been taught with games and activities (with the occasional tape recorder bit when the students are working on one of the dialogues)

    But seriously, try to get as much info from your pred as possible as to what you can expect. Also, ask them to to email/leave you any of the teaching materials/worksheets/activities that they've accumulated, because there's no reason you should have to recreate everything from scratch (like I'm having to do). I'm looking forward to year two mostly so I don't have to deal with that feeling of trying to pull something out of my ass every week. It will be nice to be able to pull from previous activities/materials. http://www.englipedia.net/ will be your best friend.

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    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    My case is completely different too (ESID, yo) I have few schools and I'm given the freedom to develop my own mini curriculum of sorts. I guess it can range anywhere from the tape recorder gig to that. Be flexible, and you'll do fine I'm sure.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    Frigga please.
    RIP Virgil of 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Gross. I hate people and their sexy times.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    Having no teaching experience may be a plus sometimes. :P

    Refer to books, manuals for activity ideas. There are a few PDFs on the official website. The JET Programme--Official Homepage of The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme

    Your elementary schools might also have activity manuals written in Japanese. Some of them are pretty good actually.

  9. #9
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    Quote Originally Posted by soh View Post
    Having no teaching experience may be a plus sometimes. :P
    word

    One of the best ALTs I ever knew had zero teaching experience and quickly discovered, once he was here, that he positively despised teaching.

    ALTing is definitely about a lot more than teaching. This dude was one of the most beloved ALTs the town had ever hosted; they're still using his name to refer to his successor's successor. Don't stress.
    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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    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    He was great at it but he hated it? I guess I kind of get that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    Frigga please.
    RIP Virgil of 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Gross. I hate people and their sexy times.

  11. #11
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    Yeah. I actually use him as an example when I've been tasked with giving presentations about ALTing; I think it's important for JETs to understand that they can still be an effective, beneficial part of their students' academic careers, even if they hate teaching/ALTing, hate kids, hate Japan, etc. (This dude actually loved Japan, in more ways than one. He's the only guy I know who managed to bag two JTEs during his short stay.)
    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.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Lorenzo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    Can you be a little more specific as to why he was so loved/good at his job, even though he hated teaching and had no experience?

  13. #13
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    just turn up sober and in something vaguely more professional looking than beach shorts and a van halen t-shirt and you'll already be in the top 10% of JETs
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  14. #14
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorenzo View Post
    Can you be a little more specific as to why he was so loved/good at his job, even though he hated teaching and had no experience?
    90% just his natural personality. I f*ckin' loved the guy, even though he spilled booze all over my car and was kindof an arse. He was also very outgoing around the school in general; he coached the boys basketball club and taught them a little east-coast rap. He was very expressive and flamboyant, but also aloof and carefree. He was one of the two male JETs I'd have been willing to try being gay with, but since we're both straight, we settled for getting trashed-arse drunk together on a semi-regular basis.

    I guess if someone was looking to be like him I'd say avoid the internet as much as possible and spend time hanging out with people as much as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    just turn up sober and in something vaguely more professional looking than beach shorts and a van halen t-shirt and you'll already be in the top 10% of JETs
    This is unfortunately true.
    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.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Originally Posted by Ini
    just turn up sober and in something vaguely more professional looking than beach shorts and a van halen t-shirt and you'll already be in the top 10% of JETs


    This is unfortunately true.
    For the newbies, this is sarcasm. Can confirm that the vast majority of JETs are professional and appropriately dressed. There's always the outlier, but by no means is that the standard.

    As for teaching experience, I think you're fine without any. To me the most important thing you can do is connect with your students on a personal level. They may not remember passive voice or how to properly pronounce "March" but they'll remember you and their feelings towards you. As long as you're outgoing and friendly you'll leave a lasting positive impression.

  16. #16
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    Quote Originally Posted by JET ProgramCoordinator SF View Post
    As long as you're outgoing and friendly you'll leave a lasting positive impression.
    100% true. You can change lives.
    車庫 B1F

  17. #17

    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    Thanks guys. I'm not really anymore nervous about teaching specifically than I am moving to another country where I basically don't speak the language lol. I'm gonna be lost no matter what, so whatever, but hopefully I'm in a situation where my pred leaves me SOMEthing to work off of with lessons. If not, good to know there are plenty of resources, and if all else fails, I'll just try to charm them with my bright and shining personality (possibly to a classroom full of children staring at me blankly, tbd...)....

  18. #18
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    You're ready.
    車庫 B1F

  19. #19

    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    Personally I prefer the "summer camp counselor" type over the "teacher" type for the JET Program. Because you are an Assistant, and not the main teacher, you're going to be using more people skills than teaching pedagogy. If you're asked to read off vocabulary words or do rote pronunciation practice with the kids, if you have a good attitude about it and see it as a chance to connect with the kids, it's not so bad. I always tried to do things to make them laugh or think of the class as fun, something that they're not dreading going to.

    Sometimes though you are the main teacher, especially in elementary school. Even then, though, I don't think that having taught in America would completely prepare you for teaching in Japan. One of the JETs that went over with me was a high school teacher in Ohio. He loved teaching and connecting with his kids back in Ohio. The problem he encountered was he couldn't speak Japanese and thus couldn't connect with his kids like he could back in America. He was able to entertain them with his funny drawings and diagrams on the board and general attitude, but he often lamented how he wish he could really speak to them. I think this barrier hits teachers in America who don't speak Japanese the hardest. They're better equipped for crowd control and overall classroom management, yes, but having a teaching background doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be better at motivating students; it takes warmth and friendliness for that to happen. In that regard, I encourage my JETs to think of themselves not only as instructors and motivators, but also as big brothers / big sisters. You'll usually be closer in age to the kids than you are the main homeroom teachers. These kids are really looking up to you as role models.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Doing JET with no teaching experience

    Quote Originally Posted by BifCarbet View Post
    100% true. You can change lives.
    Going in with the attitude of "I can / will change lives" is quite possibly the worst, most patronising thing you can do as a JET.

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