A typical day would include arriving (just before) I am required. Greeting staff in Japanese and setting up my desk at the school for the day. I may then have a few lessons which were planned in advance and would involve english teaching activities and lessons. I would mark any work asked of me or placed on my desk. I would then be avalible for English questions from teachers or students. Cleaning with teachers and students normally would take place after lunch for 15-20 minutes each day. Teaching at the Technical high school required me to be fun and engaging for I would be mostly in charge of the classes where students were less interested and able at Englsih. Teaching at the academic high school would invole following textbook lessons planned by the main teacher.
I learned many skills including how to communicate through strong cultural and language barriers. I accomplished the ability to master and remember completely different customs I was not used to in my own country. I learned to be flexible when more classes were asked of me without being planned or when classes were cancelled or changed. I became resilient with moments of feeling very different in a place where I was the only visible foreigner.
I was managed by a supervisor who spoke English, but mostly I managed myself and time effectvely without anyone involved. The Kyoto sensei and head office worker managed the teachers salaries and over saw the office activity.
Co-workers in my office were often busy but ge
良い点half of my rent and all travel was covered by the prefecture.
悪い点extra hours in weekends and after school for cultural events
As they say in JET, "Every Situation Is Different", AKA "ESID", so I can't say that my experience would be the same as anyone else's. I also am aware that certain benefits as well as the salary have been reduced compared to how they were when I was in the program, so it may not be as good as it once was. However, in general, I really loved this job. My town's Board of Ed took great care of me and helped me do everything that I needed to get situated in my town - provided a rent-free apartment which had dishes and futons and everything I needed, arranged delivery of kerosene for my heater in the winter, helped me get set up with a bank account, helped me get my hanko (name stamp) for official documents, provided taxi rides to my farthest schools, and lots of other things. I was always invited to staff parties at my schools and Board of Ed. I was invited to festivals and school events. I was made to feel very welcome by my town while I lived there. It was a small town and I was the only JET placed there, so I really appreciated the support. Not every JET will have rent-free housing, but thanks to that benefit I was able to pay off a huge dent in my student debt and I am really grateful to this day.
良い点free housing, free transportation, great work culture
悪い点isolating, difficult to have social life in the countryside
The JET Programme is a competitive program allowing individuals to teach & live in Japan. Great for those interested in teaching, language learning, & cultural exchange, but it's a serious commitment requiring hard work, patience and adaptability. Overall, an excellent opportunity for personal growth, as it forces you to adapt to a different country, language, and culture. Good opportunity to learn about Japanese culture and contribute to English language education.
If you don't speak Japanese or don't intend on learning it, JET will be hard and I wouldn't recommend it. Keep in mind that this is a full-time job, not a vacation.
Working in a Japanese school gives you the full view of what it is like to be a civil servant in Japan. It's incredibly inspiring to see the commitment that gets put in by your coworkers at the school. It's impossible to summarize briefly what I've learnt but I would say that confidence with public speaking, the ability to organise my thoughts clearly, and the experience of being a leader of a group.
悪い点You cannot stay in the job more than 5 years, no chance of advancement
Every situation is different but mine was wonderful.
JET placements are like a lottery, but you can end up really lucky. My school and co-workers were wonderful and it ended up being the experience of a lifetime. If you're interested in living in Japan for a short time, I highly recommend taking a chance and applying.