It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and since I found this on a fellow JET’s blog, I thought I’d answer them and see if there are any further changes when I actually leave the programme 😉
Prefecture Placement: Kobe City
Prefecture Requests: Suburb, no specific requests
Teaching Experience: Listed on my application – one-on-one tutoring, class tutoring at a tuition centre, baby ballet
Not listed on my application – CELTA
Number of Schools and age: current – 1 senior high school (15-18 year olds)
previous – 1 junior high school and 1 connecting elementary school (7-15 year olds)
School Level: current – highly academic with an international programme
previous – relatively high due to their location in an affluent residential area with concerned parents
Average number of classes a day: current – 4
previous – 3 to 4 in JHS, 3 to 6 in ES
Closest JET to you distance wise: too close for comfort
Best part of the job: watching the students tackle a difficult project and the satisfaction they get on completing it
Worst part of the job: office politics
Best part of living in Japan: being able to find cheap, fitting clothes at Honeys for all my work and casual needs, affordable domestic travelling, nomihoudai enkai…the list is long.
Worst part of living in Japan: being mistaken for a Japanese and getting disapproving looks for non-Japanese-like behaviour. well excuse me.
also, living too close to a very loud and annoying neighbour. i can hear EVERYTHING going on next door.
Favourite memory so far: omg where do I start? swimming with dolphins in Ishikawa, feeding penguins in Nagasaki, snow walls selfies at the Tateyama Alpine Route, riding the Tama-den in Wakayama, chasing waterfalls in Izu…
also, listening to my 5th graders sing ‘Hello, Goodbye’ with gusto.
Hardest time so far: working with teachers who refused flatly to let me have some say in making classes more interactive and fun.
What do you miss most about home: being with family. we have always been close, but living away from them means that I’m no longer in tune with their experience, inside jokes and private language.
What would you miss the most about Japan if you left tomorrow: living alone in a convenient and accessible area, my best buddies, being able to jump in a train and end up on the other side of the country hours later.
What’s one thing you wish you’d brought with you to Japan: nothing, really. the first couple of years I really missed Singaporean food and tried to replicate them, but now I’m happy eating my home-cooked stuff. also, I have everything I need.
What’s something/things you brought that you wish you didn’t: nothing, also. I’ve made full use of everything I brought.
Tip for living in Japan: knowing Japanese makes a huge difference. also, as Asian foreigners, we’ll always be treated differently.
Tip for being a JET: make the best of your placement, but know when it’s time to leave.
if you get one of those placements where you’re actually asked to work, put all your heart into it.
teaching ESL is not the same as teaching English.
the biggest culture shock may come from interacting with your fellow JETs, not with the Japanese people.