Teaching in Japan is a profession many of us stagger into. Very few people who come here actually plan on being English teachers for the long haul. Indeed, the majority of foreigners who come to Japan to teach English will return home within the first three years or so. However, for some of us, something happens that changes this circumstance.
Maybe you meet the partner of your dreams, maybe you have a family. Or maybe it’s something simpler. Is it just that Japan feels safer, more welcoming and easier to live in than your home country? Do you enjoy the food, the people and the culture?
For whatever reason, a lot of assistant language teachers in Japan are here for the long haul and I’m glad to count myself among them.
Our job has been taking a bit of a pounding in the PR department recently, though. Whether it’s former ALTs who, having moved onto better things, feel compelled to talk down to those who still do it or embittered columnists who view every personal slight they’ve ever received in Japan as some sort of personal, racist attack, detractors of the English teaching industry in Japan seem to be queuing up at the moment to put get their licks in.
Admittedly, a number of dispatch companies do engage in disgraceful — and sometimes illegal — actions to try and “nickel and dime” their employees.
For the record, the last time I worked for an ALT dispatch company was in 2007. Some of them are noticeably better than others, but I believe the entire business model is fundamentally flawed and as such I’ve gone the direct hire route with every ALT job I have taken in the past 10 years.
However, even if you work for one of the suspect companies, there’s still some silver lining in those clouds, so today I’m here to speak up for my job.
Is it rocket science?
Will it ever make me a millionaire?
Of course not.
However, I love my job, and I’m not ashamed to say so. So, here are my own personal top five reasons why I think that being an ALT in Japan is awesome.
Click here to read more.
- External Link