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Teachers on leave for mental illness in Japan hit record high

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Th hours these guys are expected to put in is insane and the pay they get in return probably works out close to minimum wage when factoring in the hours. It’s like they’re expected to do the work of five different people. Well, I’m sure the government are laughing all the way to the bank with the extra wages they don’t have to pay.

7 ( +30 / -23 )

Japanese still believe that mental health doesn't exist, few years back there has been report on depression from teachers in Japan but so far nothing being done.

https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-data/h00943/

-10 ( +16 / -26 )

The workloads forced onto teachers is ridiculous. At least 50% of it has nothing to do with teaching. They are administrators and proxy parents.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Recognizing the situation as a "serious challenge," the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry will promote workstyle reform, including reducing paperwork and addressing long working hours.

The Hashimoto-led government said the same thing…in 1997.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

It's a worldwide problem..

Being a teacher school is so complicated and even dangerous..

Like public schools in good old US for example..

3 ( +13 / -10 )

The Hashimoto-led government said the same thing…in 199

That is the LDP in a nutshell........just offer lip service and do nothing for the welfare to the hardworking people of Japan.

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

It's a myth that Japanese teachers are poorly paid. Their salary steadily increases up to the age of 60.

And they get a huge bonus at retirement.

Only a third of their hours are actual teaching hours.

Reform is needed, but informed reform.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

The education model is outdated. One of the huge burdens is checking all the homework that they assign which perhaps could be done by assistants, and fewer children per family means more aggressive parents. I tried teaching out of college one year in West Philly but gave up on it as my junior high class was hard to control and they feel entitled to mock the teacher. Lost any motivation I had for it. Private schools might be better???

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Commenting on mental illness in Japan seems to be a somewhat of a taboo to some but I recollect an instance here when I was relatively new to the country.

In the middle of the day, sitting peacefully on a stooped train, from the adjacent carriage entered a young man in his twenties who proceeded to terrify the women sitting by pressing his body against them.

He then proceeded to climb up and insert himself into the overhead luggage rack.

To date it has been one of the strangest acts that I have ever seen in Japan.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

The biggest toll on mental health must come from the knowledge you are psychologically and emotionally mutilating the students on behalf of the regime, instead of helping them reach their highest potential.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

My wife´s friend is married to a school teacher and from what I hear teachers in Japan are not that different from prison guards living in the building complex inside the prison.

I mean, they can´t afford to stay away for 2 full days, every saturday the husband is at school again doing some sort of activity, we tried inviting them just so times to short trips on sundays until we finally figured out. Too tired to leave the house in their only day-off which is quite sad especially for the kid.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I tried teaching out of college one year in West Philly but gave up on it as my junior high class was hard to control and they feel entitled to mock the teacher. Lost any motivation I had for it. Private schools might be better???

Nope, you could simply have moved out of Philadelphia.

https://www.amren.com/blog/2024/01/memories-of-a-girl-from-texas/

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Apologies, wrong link

https://www.amren.com/blog/2024/01/i-became-a-race-realist-studying-and-working-as-a-contractor/

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

2 year old data on mental health? Let’s deal with this issue in a timely manner now shall we. Perhaps let teachers teach and parents take responsibility for their own children.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Very much like hospitals & their workers, lots of ongoing stress in schools, as NOBODY believes suddenly everything's OK and It's ONLY the FLU. Yeah right!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's a myth that Japanese teachers are poorly paid. Their salary steadily increases up to the age of 60.

And they get a huge bonus at retirement.

Only a third of their hours are actual teaching hours.

Reform is needed, but informed reform.

Spoken like a true non-teacher.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

knows_more_about_Japan_than_u_doToday 03:30 pm JST

Let's be clear - it's the same as the office culture in Japan; it's not about proactively working long hours for the school or company it's about sacrificing your life time for the school or company.

Working for over twenty years for Japanese companies, I can tell you it depends both of the type of company and workers. Many workers do put long hours when necessary, but they do not sacrify their life. When they have something to do, they leave early the office. Times have changed, and the new generation is not obedient anymore as it used too.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The whole education system in Japan needs to be scrapped and rewritten. It doesn't work. After ten years of "English" few Japanese could have even a rudimentary conversation. They can't even write an essay in Japanese. Juku (cramming schools) wouldn't be needed if schools gave a real education.

Education should give young people the knowledge and skills they need in life. This patently doesn't.

And teachers have so many reports to write and other admin that they don't have time for the students.

And if they suffer from some kind of mental illness, gawd help them. The psychiatric "profession" is just as useless.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Teachers In Japan are ere not teachers , they are Parents, Grandparents, Great grandparent, Guardians, babysitters, advisors, mediators, care givers, and worked to DEATH.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

リッチ

Let’s deal with this issue in a timely manner now shall we. Perhaps let teachers teach and parents take responsibility for their own children.

yes. Absolutely! And how has that affected kids in the USA and the UK? They are so much better than Japanese kids. Not!

Theres a lot to appreciate about Japanese teachers. Maybe too much pressure to teach to the high school test and the uni tests.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Useless crying and complaining about issues most other people face too. A company manager also has tons of administrative rules and laws to follow, people in agriculture also have to care 24/7 about the plants or animals, nurses and doctors about their patients, delivery drivers about their trucks and the goods they transport, convenience store owners about customers and refilled shelves and so on and on for most professional people on this endless list anywhere. Imagine they would also all throw everything aside due to some overwork or mental health problems. There would be complete economical stillstand within a few hours. And putting it on the education system itself? Maybe it's not perfect, admitted, but it works well as even the improved PISA test results prove. And that's what only counts in this profession, that the kids learn something and get the basics for their future. That's the purpose, not the wellbeing and pampering of teaching staff.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

First, it's not "mental illness" that is causing teachers to take extended leave and/or quit -- it's stress and extreme dislike for the job. That is not mental illness.

Second, there are three reasons why so many teachers are leaving/taking said extended leave:

1) inadequate funding: Japan is one of the worst when it comes to government funding in education, and it shows. They need to put more money into it and pay teachers more, give them more paid leave, and stop expecting them to also do the job of janitor and coach on top of all the incredible overtime they do already.

2) inadequate/poor training: As with so many things here, the emphasis is on rote memory testing. Want to be a teacher? Well, get your undergrad and then go to teacher's college, which is almost an entire year on campus studying ALL subjects (not just the one you want to teach), and also a mere TWO-WEEK practicum, which is one week observation and one week practice teaching. They have no time to actually get a feel for classroom management or what the kids are like, nor the kids them. So, you're just sending someone off the street into a combat zone with no combat training, only a test under their belt on subject material. After the kids become themselves and any honeymoon has worn off, the teachers realize they can't handle the practical element of the classroom.

3) the insane workload, lack of responsibility of administration and the BOE, and the things mentioned in #1. I have friends who work in education and more than one has come up to me and asked me to tutor them in English in my free time because, "I was chosen to teach English in my school but I can't speak it and don't know it!" Turns out they had written somewhere on their resumes that they had studied English at some point in their lives, and the school needs an English teacher, so the admin just slaps those two things together. Oh, and they need a basketball coach too, so you get that as well.

4) no disciplining. Did I say three reasons? Well, there's this, too. While corporal punishment should never be a thing, once it went out the window here not that long ago, nothing was changed to compensate. If kids run around and trash the classroom, the teacher has to spend that entire class trying to deal with that one student. Can't throw them out, the school can't suspend them, no expulsions, etc. And all the while that they cannot teach they are still expected to adhere to a "universal curriculum" and its timing, which leads to many teachers just telling the kids to ask their juku schools to cover what they could not.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Among them, 119 were punished for offenses against students, with 42 teachers having sexual intercourse with a student

Wow! I wonder what the punishment was...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here is a real concept for Japanese teachers stop making them work during the summer school holidays and let them have a total of 4 to 5 weeks off to recharge their batteries and the winter vacation, too. The teachers need to real holidays, they really do not exist and so their stress builds up and the end up not coping well and the students, too. A simple change may find a real solution for all the teachers who are overworked and underpaid.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Among them, 119 were punished for offenses against students, with 42 teachers having sexual intercourse with a student, followed by 32 punished for molestation and 21 for peeping or voyeurism

Umm, are you still trying to make us feel sorry for teachers? This part could have been omitted in such a case.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Personally, if I were in charge of education, I would limit max working hours to 8 (teachers and students). Friday mornings or afternoons can be dedicated to sports competitions or practises, and club competitions.

Sample schedule:

Monday - Thursday

1) homeroom: 8:30 - 9:00

2) science: 9:10 - 10:00

3) history: 10:10 - 11:00

4) lunch: 11:00 - 12:00

5) literature: 12:10 - 13:00

6) maths: 13:10 - 14:00

7) PE: 14:10 - 15:00

8) elective/club: 15:10 - 16:00

Nobody stays after. Teachers would get a class period to make lessons or confer with team.

Friday

Sports/club competitions or festival days: 9:00 - 13:00

I'd like to see all workplaces have these hours. What are your thoughts?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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