Originally Posted by Sangetsu
If you are simply coming to Japan for a year or two to experience the culture, one school will be as good as another. There are many different schools in Japan, but they all offer pretty much the same thing as far as working hours and pay are concerned. If you are coming to Japan to teach English as a profession, you need to get your head examined.
Thanks for the advice Sangetsu, and thanks also everyone else who's posted.
I'm actually now a qualified EFL teacher so I'm looking for something other than an ALT position if I can get it, and I'm looking at other countries as well as Japan, although with my background Japan would be preferable as I can then kill two birds with one stone by working again on my Japanese language skills in an immersive location. I'm not looking for a long-term career abroad as an English teacher, but I AM looking for experience in the field in order to progress into other prospects. I've lived in Japan before, so this isn't really about mucking about just to be able to spend a year away from home. One school may be as good as another on paper in terms of pay and hours, but often the reality is more varied, so that's what I'm trying to find out. Doing my research, so to speak.
I've been offered an interview by the Shane English School company, which I plan to accept. They're a bit more professional than JET or the Eikawas that seem to be knocking about, and they seem to offer training opportunities with recognizable qualifications too, which if true would be a massive bonus. They've certainly been a lot more forthcoming than Interac with information.
However, does anyone know anything about them, anyone who's worked there, what they thought, what kind of thing they're looking for in candidates? I've got a fairly good idea from the things I've got here, but as it's all sent by them, I figure it's worth finding out what they might not be saying.