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jasonbvr 06-19-2007 02:50 AM

Teaching in the JP 2.0
It's all about teaching English. Yokoso!

jasonbvr 06-19-2007 03:24 AM

Wheels of Steel
Transportation can be a big deal if say you don't live in the megaopolis that is Tokyo. Many places in Japan have wonderful public transit systems, but let's say you live in Gunma which has the highest number of cars per household (because there is relatively no transit system).

If you are doing the private ALT gig, look for a school that offers to provide you with one or more of these. They are rare but out there somewhere.

Aren't you just the most eco-friendly ALT in the neighborhood? Cruising around on your BaBa Cheri. Having a bicycle is a really good idea no matter where you are in Japan. You can pick up a nice granny bike for about 12,000 yen with basket, bell and lights. Mountain-style bikes run about around 20,000 Yen and you may have to purchase your headlight. (Riding a bike at night without a headlight in Japan is illegal and will get you a fine. So is drinking and riding but I have yet to meet someone who has gotten in trouble for this one.) Then there are the folding bikes which are a good idea too if you ever get the chance to bring it along on an extended sightseeing excursion.

Oh the joys of scootering in Japan, passing traffic caught at busy intersections, the cool mountain breeze of one lane roads high in the hills, and the awesome gas mileage that allows you to cruise all day for five hundred yen. Used scooters will cost somewhere around 40,000 to 80,000 yen. New ones are about 100,000 to 150,000. Please note that these are the prices of 50cc scooters. After 50cc you need a motorcycle license.

Well aren't you a high roller? Rolling around in your kei car like the pimp you know you are. Cars you can get used for as cheap as 40,000 yen. But the expenses of owning and driving one can add up fast. There is what is called Shaken which is an every other year major inspection and overhaul which will costs 50,000 and up. Gas is at about four dollars a gallon if translated into the US equivalent. Interstates (ie freeways) in Japan are virtually all toll roads which could run you a couple thousand yen for one way. Then there is tax and insurance. You have to pay for your parking space. If you have an accident both drivers pay unless you were not moving at all. One more thing, if a car is really cheap it is most likely due to the fact that the shaken will be due soon after purchase. Somtetimes your vice principal will try to give you his car because the shaken is due and otherwise he is going to have to pay a disposal fee to get rid of it. Ask the dealer when the next shaken will be if you're buying. Oh, and leasing. You can lease a brand new car for like 50,000 yen a month. Otherwise ask around if there is anyone who knows a place that leases to ALT's.

International permits for US drivers can be purchased at AAA for ten dollars. If you don't know what AAA is, you are most likely an R'tard and should not be behind the wheel. However they are only valid for one year, after which US drivers will have to face the challenge of obtaining a Japanese license.

Japan has a zero tolerance policy regarding alcohol consumption and driving. Translation: no drinking at all if you intend to drive. Also if you are the passenger of a drunk driver, you will also be fined.

Japanese licenses can be obtained by foreigners. Motorcycle licenses are more difficult to obtain. Wear a dress shirt, tie and nice shoes when you go, and don't forget to drive on the left. Google for more info.

jasonbvr 06-19-2007 03:35 AM

A regular day at my Jr. High
Removed for the fun of it.

jasonbvr 06-19-2007 04:05 AM

Excellent Q/A from the old thread. Enjoy.


Originally Posted by Maku
I just went on Nova, and was reading about the holiday time it provides. It says it gives you 10 paid holidays. Does that mean 10 days off for the year?
This means that you are given 10 days you can ask to receive as holidays. You will get some national holidays off and they should be paid for as well. There will be most likely other holidays that are unpaid around like the New Year holiday.


Originally Posted by Maku
Oh, okay, thanks.
Will it be 5, 6 or 7 days a week?
I know you can have the flexible employment, but if you don't choose to do that, how many days will you have to work per week?
By law, Japanese companies can only require workers to work for six days a week. At most schools five days is the normal work week for English teachers. The only ones doing six days are usually ALT's at private schools where the kids are in school for six days a week and those who choose to find extra work or put in overtime.


Originally Posted by Maku
Do companies like that usually provide accommodation like NOVA do?
Most if not all companies will set up your housing when you are first coming over. Sometimes you move into the place of the teacher you are replacing. I think Nova was the only one though that sets you up with roommates which could be good or bad.


Originally Posted by Maku
I'll get researching soon then.
How old are the kids that you teach?
Yochien (kindergarten) are either three to five or four to six (No ALT)
Shogakou (elementary) are six to twelve
Chugakou (Junior High) are twelve to fifteen
Koutougakou (High School) are fifteen to eighteen (public HS rarely hires non-JET ALT's, some hire only teachers with a master's degree in TESL, private schools are the best paid non-JET ALT's)
Daigakou (college) are eighteen to twenty-one (No ALT, master's required, cushiest job in all of Japan)

jasonbvr 06-19-2007 04:24 AM

ALT-JTE Relations
Removed for the fun of it.

jasonbvr 06-19-2007 04:28 AM


Hi jason, I just want to know something. What kind of degree do you need to teach English over there? Can it be basically any degree as long as your English is fluent? And also if you don't mind me asking, how old are you and what degree do you have?
You have to hold a bachelor's degree and speak English to meet the minimum requirements. A few criteria you can meet that will make getting a job teaching English easier are being a native of a country where English is the official language, choose a major like English or an area of teaching and studying Japanese helps especially if you take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test which is made by the Japanese government. You can also get a certificate in teaching English as a foreign language but all this does is really show your dedication to trying to be a good teacher.

jasonbvr 06-19-2007 04:33 AM

Cover Letter and Resume Advice
Things to emphasize when applying

Love working with kids, can adjust to living in a foreign environment, always seeking a way to improve your work and open to suggestions, considering a career in teaching English and see this opportunity as a way to begin (even if this is a lie), and serious interest in experiencing Japan, making Japanese friends and learning some of the language would all be good additions to your cover letter. Love working with kids is a big one because I would say that seventy percent of English learners are children. Of course if you are applying for a job teaching business English, this is not going to work so you want to custom tailor each letter to what you feel the employer is seeking.

Also if you are applying to an eikaiwa versus an ALT position, the letter may need to adjust as well. For an eikaiwa you will want to promote yourself as seeking to work with all levels of ability and maybe being flexible to changes in your schedule to adjust to the different needs of your students. As an ALT you want to emphasize creativity, wanting to see how kids in Japan grow up and learn, working closely with Japanese and willing to eat less than delicious Japanese food for lunch everyday. I would save the last one for the interview. Some schools have a kitchen and fix their food there, but others like mine have their food trucked in from a factory that churns out lunch for a bunch of different schools each day.


Originally Posted by pandayanyan
What sort of portfolio should I put together? Does general work experience help or would they rather just see schooling and grades/reccomendations? It wont be for awhile since im still in college but im trying to get it together fresh that way I have more time to perfect it for em when it counts.
You basically want to keep it as brief as possible while highlighting aspects of yourself or your background that make you appear like a teacher and master of the English language. Both your cover letter and resume should be no longer than a page. If you were applying for a job at a university or upper tier high school, then you may need a portfolio showing grad school credentials and any publications you have written or co-authored.

jasonbvr 06-19-2007 04:49 AM

I :rheart: Yen

This is a little bit about money. Earnings for different types of teachers and a little something on living expenses.

JET ALT's get 300,000 yen a month, private ALT’s range from 210,000 to 300,000 with average being 250,000 and eikaiwas vary a lot depending on the number of students and hours put in but for the most part starting pay for full time work should be 240,000 to 276,000.

Contract completion bonuses, most private ALT's and eikaiwa teachers, range from 50,000 to 100,000 on average for one year, but I once saw one for 600,000 on completion of two years. JET ALT's I believe have their return flight paid for and take home the money they paid into the pension program as a bonus.

Extra work taken outside your company will earn you around 2,000 to 5,000 an hour. Sometimes you can get special gigs or group lessons that earn you a flat fee like 10,000 for two or three hours. These are your average rates too for freelance teachers who give lessons legal or illegally on their own. Think of GABA who pay 2,000 to 3,000 an hour to their instructors who do one on one lessons. University and upper tier high schools pay 400,000 to 500,000 per month to start out. The best postions go to those who are published. I don't know what sort of bonus they receive, but consider that standard Japanese yearly bonuses average two months pay.

Out of your pay, unless you are freelancing illegally, comes income tax which seems to be a flat 10 percent. JET ALT's pay into the pension program which you will get back something like 60 to 70%. This usually adds up to 40,000 Yen out of your pay in taxes.

Bills- Keitai (cell phone) 5,000 to 3,000 Gas 5,000 to 3,000 Water 1,000 Electricity 5,000 to 3,000 Of course all of these are based on usage and vary a lot with the time of year.

Rent is one thing that varies on location but average small apartment is 40,000 to 55,000 a month. The closer to Tokyo the more expensive your apartment will be. Also there is key money. Sometimes you get key money back but never all of it if you go through a realtor because they have to eat just like everyone else and have fees that they charge. Some companies provide you with a housing supplement, but this is rare. Also you need to think about internet and appliances. A lot of Japanese homes and apartments are not wired for the net so be sure to ask your employer if your place will be. And try to get the minimums provided by your employer like a futon and pillow, a bike, some pots and pans, fridge, washer and a microwave or toaster oven.

A car is probably one of the most expensive things you can own in Japan. There are businesses that will lease you a vehicle if you plan on only doing a year or two. Car expenses include 1) the cost of your car 2) the gas you spend driving around 3) driving on toll roads 4) vehicle tax 5) shaken which is an inspection and repair service done every two years 6) getting rid of your car when you leave or it breaks down 7) parking (you pay like 3,000 to 5,000 a month to park at your own apartment). If you want a car and find a job that says you are going to be driving around a lot, take it because this means they will give you a car and pay for half of this stuff. To get an idea of car costs check out the infozone on jetsetjapan.com in the links I will post below.

School Related

Every now and then, you have to pay out a little bit to do your job. Here are some of the expenses of being an ALT.

Kyushoku (Lunch)-Probably one of the cheapest meals you will eat in Japan and most likely one of the worst from time to time. Price-4,000 yen a month

Enkai-Quarterly or so booze parties for the staff to get together and unwind. Why do they do this on nights when you have school the next day, I have no clue. Price-3,000 to 5,000 yen per enkai

Gifts-You go somewhere and they expect a souvenir (omiagei) or someone gets sick and they collect money.

jasonbvr 06-19-2007 04:56 AM

I :rheart: the internets!

Job Searches
O-Hayo Sensei

ALT/Living in Japan Info
Jetset Japan - Serving JET Programme Participants

Teaching Materials/Lesson Ideas
Genki English
Three Wise Monkeys "Greatest Resource for ALT's Ever!!"
Welcome to DiscoverySchool.com!
Free Clipart

jasonbvr 06-19-2007 05:00 AM

Removed for the fun of it.

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