Teaching English in Nirasaki, Japan
Report submitted on 26 August, 2014 by Ita Slattery.
Teaching English in Nirasaki, Japan:
How can teachers find teaching jobs in Nirasaki, Japan?
There are a few jobs at local primary and junior high schools in the area but the teachers are supplied by agencies in Tokyo. The senior high school teacher is JET (a foreign supply teacher as part of a government exchange program – for more see http://www.jetprogramme.org).
I am hired directly by the city hall.
The main English teaching jobs available are:
Teaching at state schools, private teaching (not through a school, agency, etc.)
What are the minimum teaching requirements?
A Bachelors degree.
What teaching requirements would you recommend?
A drivers licence is a must. Any ESL study is also a plus. But really a BA is enough.
What are the levels of payment?
The JET position is best, about 3,600,000 yen a year (approx. US$35,500)
I think the junior high schools pays about 250,000 yen a month (US$2,400).
How many teaching days a week is normal?
5 days per week.
How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
20-25 hours per week
What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
I get the same holidays as the students.
What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Nirasaki, Japan to teach English?
Try to have something lined up before you arrive or at least have some contact numbers of agencies and language schools. All this can be found on the net. Jobs can also be found on the net and set up before you arrive. Be careful though, many times it is not as good as it sounds!! Sorry to sound negative.
What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Nirasaki, Japan?
Yamanashi (the prefecture) is a beautiful place and close to Tokyo.
What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Nirasaki, Japan?
The cost of living is high and I lose about 25% of my pay due to insurance, pension and tax. It doesn’t leave me with much.
What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
A lot of people here do not consider English necessary, so there is a lot of negativism.
Living in Nirasaki, Japan:
Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Japan?
Some positions require or prefer if the teacher can speak Japanese, especially at primary level.
What is the cost of living like in Japan?
It can be expensive here, rent, food, utilities can cost up to 100,000-120,0000 yen a month (US$960 – US$1,160).
What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
Probably the school will offer you the same flat as the previous teacher.
Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Nirasaki, Japan?
Japanese people are very kind.
Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Nirasaki, Japan?
I do not like the summer heat and humidity.
What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Nirasaki, Japan to live?
Come with a friend. You can help each other out.
What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
The cool summers and decent chocolate!!
What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country (e.g. things that are difficult to get in your location)?
If you have large feet or are tall, you might want to bring some extra shoes or clothes. My son needs 28cm shoes, but are generally not available here.
What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Nirasaki, Japan?
The safety and convenience.
I am married here so it is not like I have a choice but if I was not married I would not have stayed more than 2-3 years at my current job!!!
About Me and My Work:
My Name: Ita Slattery
Students I’ve taught in Japan: Pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), junior high school (12-15 years), high school (15-18 years), adults, business.
Where I teach: I work for the local board of education and teach at two local primary schools. I also have my own private school (Ita’s English school) where I teach all ages. Teaching here for 20 years.
How I found my current jobs: Through my husband’s friend who works at the city hall.
My school facilities: Adequate – English is not a real subject as such so there is no special room, equipment or materials. I had to make everything from scratch. I also regularly bring stuff from my own private school to use at the public schools.
Teacher support at my school: None.
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