Original post date: 26 May 2015
“I’m only going to teach for a year, while I look for something else to support my visa…”
I’ve heard these words from a bunch of English teachers here in Japan, I even said them myself as I settled to my first few months on the job. I had no teaching experience, any my degree in design wasn’t going to do me much good (so I thought), but I met the requirements, I had a degree, and I was willing to give it my best shot. I’m now in my fifth year of working as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher), and it’s been an interesting time so far.
I’ve gotten a bit of criticism from “Non-ALT” expats living in Japan, as this job is seen as a haven for anything goes slacker-types who just want to prop up their working visas. And although in many instances I feel like that is true, I also think that there’s a lot to be gained from the experience. Like with anything, you have to put in the effort if you want to create value in something.
I’ve learned quite a bit over the past few years, so here’s a list of the top ten that come to mind.