View Poll Results: How many schools do/did you teach in

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    4 10.26%
  • 2-3

    19 48.72%
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    6 15.38%
  • 5-7

    2 5.13%
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Thread: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

  1. #21
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    Quote Originally Posted by BifCarbet View Post
    He had travel days during the week, for which he was paid, and was put up in ryokans or hotels.
    That sounds pretty cool, like a traveling salesman.

  2. #22
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    Yeah and one of my favorite things to do in Japan is drive around the countryside. Hokk is particularly beautiful. I'd probably take that placement if I was gonna be an ALT again.
    車庫 B1F

  3. #23

    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    Thanks BifCarbet. That's really useful info. I asked that question thinking possibly x placement has x schools so anyone placed there would know.

    I understand having 8 schools more than likely reduces workload if anything. Repetition, repetition, repetition! I am teaching at the moment doing more or less the same lesson several times each week for different conversation classes so it saves me a lot on preparation time for sure. So, I know what that's like.

    Quote Originally Posted by BifCarbet View Post
    Another reason is that your pool of potentially cool/hot teachers increases.


    Thanks for the information Greyjoy. I didn't mean for a second becoming best friends with students. I work part-time in a secondary school, so I know what early teens can be like!

    @Nostos, 38 sounds crazy!

  4. #24

    Default Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    1 jhs 3 elementary and 1 eikaiwa. I teach about 16-18 classes a week plus beginner and advance eikaiwa.

    All my schools are 5 minutes from my home except 1 elementary that's 20 minutes away by car (I go there twice a month.)
    Last edited by Jedirust; April 22nd, 2015 at 12:11.
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  5. #25

    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    Holy shit, I had no idea someone could have that many schools. My area is pretty uniform with the majority 2-3.

    I have one junior high (20 minute drive) and two elementary schools (20 and 40 minute drives) each week. One of them feeds into the junior high, so I'll see these kids forever. I bought my own car, but I am reimbursed every month for the one that's 40 minutes away.
    Last edited by Aqua; April 22nd, 2015 at 13:29.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    The poll makes no sense b/c the numbers overlap. I have 7 schools now, but my first year, I had 9 schools. So I put 7+ since the average number of my schools was more than 7.

    I teach at ES and JHS now. My 1st year, I had 9 schools because I had a special needs school, which went from 1st grade to high school. Be aware that many special needs schools exist in Japan too. I was surprised when I got one. The experience was quite unique.

    My city also has high school ALTs, where they only have 1 or 2 schools. If 2, one school is their main school, and the other is one they visit only sometimes.

    Overall, the average number of schools in my city is about 6 or 7 schools.

    The JHS’s are in clusters with ES’s. So for me, I have 3 elementary schools connected to 1 JHS and 2 elementary schools connected to 1 JHS. That makes 7 schools total for me. When an ES is connected to a JHS, most of those ES students will go to that JHS. I’ve taught students for almost 3 years now, who went from ES to JHS.
    Last edited by richief_611; April 22nd, 2015 at 15:02.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    Richief, sorry about that. I should have done it like 1, 2-3, 4-6, 7+ or something. It was too late to edit it after the first person answered. Thanks for your info!

  8. #28

    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    I had 11 ES when I first started. My second year that switched to 5 ES and 1 JHS for the majority of my time. Towards the very end of my 3rd year I had 5 JHS.

    I thought I had a lot, but there was another JET in the northern part of my prefecture who had something like 18-22 schools he went to. I'm sure as the number of ES JETs steadily increase over the years we'll see less JETs like me who had a massive amount of ES and start to see more ES JETs going to ~3-4 schools on a regular basis.

  9. #29

    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    Woah, that is a lot. When I worked for a language school I had about 20 lessons at different locations, but never got paid for traveling and the lessons barely overlapped in terms of material. This sounds at least more manageable. Does your travel time count as work? I hope I get elementary schools!

  10. #30
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    I have just two schools now, one JHS and one elementary. Almost everyone in my area is based at just one JHS or HS and occasionally visit elementary schools nearby. I really like this system since my schools have all been great and I'm treated like a regular member of the faculty. But it can be awful if you end up based at a school with JTEs who never want to bring you to class. I know of at least one school where the ALT is basically a perpetual desk-warmer. (That may sound ideal for some people, but it becomes pretty mind-numbing in reality.)

  11. #31

    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    Singinglupines - Haha no, travel time isn't factored into work. Most of my schools though were within a 20 minute drive from my apartment. I only had one that was a 45 minute drive away but I only went there once a month.

    Ebi's right, there are pros and cons to both types of ALTs. Single-school ALTs get to know the students and staff really well and really become part of the family...but if you don't get along with the teachers or school environment, you're outta luck. One-shot ALTs may never get to learn all the names of the students and teachers and never feel like you're part of the school, especially when you have a LOT of schools - but then you also don't have to worry about schools and JTEs that you don't particularly like, and the kids are always super stoked to see you because they've been waiting for two weeks for their fun English time. I definitely miss going to schools and having all the kids excitedly run up to you - your ego never really fully deflates from that

  12. #32

    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    That makes sense. But then do you only stay at one location for that day or switch around?

  13. #33
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    I sometimes had to change schools at lunch. The two schools were 20 minutes apart by car.
    車庫 B1F

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    Quote Originally Posted by elmaldito View Post
    I wonder did the people who have many schools write on their application that they have a driving license?
    I wrote that I have a driver's license, but I'm not allowed to drive to any of my schools (I have 8).

    Quote Originally Posted by elmaldito View Post
    Do you know if you have much control where you go: elementary, senior high school etc? Just wondering if people who say they'd prefer senior high school on their application form for example actually get put there or is it a bit like the placements?
    No, I requested elementary and I have a degree in elementary but I have mostly high school and have only visited an elementary twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by singinglupines View Post
    Does your travel time count as work?
    My travel time counts as work. I'm never commuting to a school unless it's during working hours (except for my base school and another school I visit once a month with a crazy long commute). I also get reimbursed for bus/train fare as I'm not allowed to drive to any of my schools. My commutes range from 30 mins to two hours one way.
    Last edited by Libellule; April 28th, 2015 at 11:21.

  15. #35

    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    ^ As Libellule's post shows, ESID all around. Whether or not your travel time factors into your job depends on where you're placed - If you're taking a ferry to work because you live on an island, your travel time might be factored in. I think I could say that for most cases travel time isn't factored in, though.

    Also, it's not unheard of, like in Libellule's case, to be prohibited from driving to work. I've also heard of BoEs prohibiting their ALTs from owning cars, but I don't really know if they can actually do that. And age range isn't determined by your driver's license or previous history or anything - I'm pretty sure Tokyo just has to match your traits with the requirements set by the COs. That's it. If a CO says that they need someone with a DL, and you have a DL, then you're eligible to be placed there; if you don't have a DL, then you're not. It's probably the case that because ES and JHS ALTs have to travel to multiple schools, one or more of those schools will be far away, so the CO will require a JET with a DL. That means that if you have a DL the chance of you being placed at an ES / JHS may be slightly higher, but in no way guaranteed.

    I think it's really important for new JETs to understand what the JET Program actually does logistically. All the JET Program really does is play the middle man between connecting you with a local Japanese government office. We also guarantee certain contract points, such as your salary, insurance, and travel costs, and we do a lot of community development, but that's about it. Asking what's standard for JETs is like asking what's standard for American teachers - like, ALL teachers, in the entirety of America. Japan is an entire nation and we're working in nearly every part of it. Teachers working in Chicago are going to have a vastly different experience than teachers working in Idaho. So for all new folk, just remember that when you hear our stories, these are only anecdotes, not things set in stone. To get the best idea of life on the program you should hear from as many alumni as possible and then use all those different stories to find patterns and construct an image for yourself.

  16. #36
    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    Quote Originally Posted by JET ProgramCoordinator SF View Post
    Asking what's standard for JETs is like asking what's standard for American teachers - like, ALL teachers, in the entirety of America. Japan is an entire nation and we're working in nearly every part of it. Teachers working in Chicago are going to have a vastly different experience than teachers working in Idaho. So for all new folk, just remember that when you hear our stories, these are only anecdotes, not things set in stone. To get the best idea of life on the program you should hear from as many alumni as possible and then use all those different stories to find patterns and construct an image for yourself.
    This is so true. When reflecting on my experience with US public schools I have to always consider if it was a Texas thing, or if it was as small as a district thing. I only worked for one district so it's sometimes hard for me to tell how much of it is experienced across the state. Sometimes there are procedures or quirks unique to the school.

    Every BOE is going to have different requirements and restrictions - there is no way to guess how you might end up.

    After talking with several other ALTs that are in my area, I've determined that many of the quirks of my experience here are restricted to my school. It just goes to show why ESID is such a popular phrase! It's really hard to predict anything, and you'll just have to know that you need to be flexible.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    My pred started out with five ES and two JHS. Then there were school combinations and she left/I arrived with four ES (~30, 50, 120, and 170人) and one JHS (~200).

    Last year my schools combined again to give me one JHS and one ES, except my BoE figured that was too little and gave me one other ES from a different ALT.

    So now, one JHS (~200) and two ES (~320 and 170). I have fewer schools but more students than the average ALT in my city, which is rural and very spread out.

  18. #38
    Senior Member JestersJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    got to Japan last week Thursday. I teach in one school, approx 16 classes a week (3 classes a day except one day)
    I teach Senior high school, but there's a second ALT in my school who does junior. and we're actually getting a third junior ALT in late may. Approx 1000 students in my school
    Last edited by JestersJ; May 2nd, 2015 at 10:42.

  19. #39
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    Quote Originally Posted by captainseery View Post
    My pred started out with five ES and two JHS. Then there were school combinations and she left/I arrived with four ES (~30, 50, 120, and 170人) and one JHS (~200).

    Last year my schools combined again to give me one JHS and one ES, except my BoE figured that was too little and gave me one other ES from a different ALT.

    So now, one JHS (~200) and two ES (~320 and 170). I have fewer schools but more students than the average ALT in my city, which is rural and very spread out.
    Combining schools seems to be pretty common. The smallest school I ever taught at was about 90 students and they recently merged with a nearby school.

    On the flip side, on the opposite side of my city there has been a big boom in housing developments so they just opened a new elementary school since the three elementary schools already in the area couldn't handle the influx of new students. Rumor has it the JHS will be splitting soon too since they also have about 1,000 kids (and only one ALT).

  20. #40

    Default Re: Current/former JETs: How many schools do/did you teach in?

    Senior HS ALT here! I typically visit 3 different HS a week, which are my usual schools. It's really nice because I work at different kinds of schools, so I get to work with both focused, college-bound students as well as more fun-loving, agricultural students.

    However, I also have several "one-shot," schools that I visit a few different times a year. I'd say I visit those schools at most about 6 different times a year. Some of these are high schools waaaaay out in the boonies, while a few of them are schools for special needs students. Some of the schools require that I teach a variety of age-groups, so if you are a Prefectural ALT, you may not only work with the older students.

    I also know other High School ALTs who only work at one school, or who visit other satellite schools on a semi-regular basis.

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