Voices in Japan
Voices in Japan
Jun 18, 2019
Hired as a Teacher, Living like a Rockstar!
Play • 36 min

Japan imports a variety of essentials for modern living, including native English speakers to teach them the language. Some actually arrive into Narita or Haneda Airport with the proper credentials for the job, while others may only be searching for a unique adventure in a foreign land for one or two years.  What are the realities that they all end up facing on the job, and what drew Jon and our podcast hosts into staying in Japan, specifically Sapporo, for much longer than they originally intended? Listen now for a very entertaining take on the notorious career of English teaching in Japan!

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Conversation highlights:

  • Ben encounters a guy bedazzled by how long some people stay in Japan
  • The Yosakoi Soran Festival that takes place in June in Sapporo
  • The addiction to the Hokkaido lifestyle
  • Living overseas in a country like Japan is a great resume booster
  • What was Jon’s original intention for coming to Japan?
  • Why is there a stigma attached to teaching English?
  • What are the basic requirements for teaching English in Japan?
  • Ben and Jon disagree on whether the majority of English teachers enjoy their job
  • The very gratifying lifestyle that teaching English allows
  • The frustrations that experienced teachers may face when teaching English in Japan
  • Which job feels more meaningful: teaching in conversation schools or public schools?
  • Burke compares his experience on the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program to that of teaching in a large conversation school
  • Why do schools in Japan prefer to hire teachers with little experience?
  • Comparing the large conversation schools during the English boom to today
  • The negative effect of teachers with little commitment to the Job
  • A famous comic strip in Japan, Charisma Man, which humorously captures the celebrity status that foreign men often enjoy in Japan
  • How did Jon become an English teacher in the US?
  • How did Jon find teaching in the very same high school he attended as a teenager?
  • How do the attitudes of students in the US compare with their Japanese counterparts?
  • Ben explains why he enjoys being a teacher, and also the best level of students to teach
  • A video filmed by students in Japan that illustrates very well the level of respect that teachers in Japan command in their schools
  • Jon tells his own story of having to discipline a model student to ensure other students understood what type of behavior is acceptable
  • The best way to avoid the risk of losing work as a university teacher
  • Ben explains his professional background, which is completely unrelated to education 
  • The best large conversation school to work for, and some of the bizarre training programs at other conversations schools

Even though Japanese teachers definitely have struggles at work, they seem to have a much better situation than teachers overseas - more respect, better pay, and tame students.  However, if you are looking for the best avenue to enjoy a cruisy lifestyle, few careers can beat teaching English in Japan as a foreigner.  To learn about our podcasters’ and Jon’s experience, the good and the bad, and also some advice they have for people considering a career as an English teacher in Japan, listen now!



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