Tuesday, December 26, 2006

How Do You Get Out of Teaching?

That is a question most people who are in Japan for more than a year or so want to know. I have been here for over 7, so all of my previous work experience/training/education except for teaching English as a foreign language, has little value. (Insurance industry, law enforcement). In fact, the reason most do this job is because that is about all you can get. (Even a veteran Berlitz instructor admitted this to me when I worked there, "Who would want this job (in the States), nobody would take it." Now apparently he forgot that there are people who are interested in TESOL and do it even in the States and elsewhere, but naturally that is a different beast that what we generally do in Japan.

As far as educational opportunities, there are several foreign universities which offer course here. Unfortunately, the majority of those course are TESOL related. No thanks, no more education in that field.

I think, as I have for a few years, that one will have to have his/her own business (non-English-teaching related) or get lucky and be hired as a local hire by a foreign company. Tough, but not entirely impossible if you are in the right place at the right time, know the right people, and have the right skills. I'd settle for Starbucks, as unlike most teaching jobs, it has a future. The basic job is simple and you probably lean most of what you need to learn after a month or two. Just like teaching English here. But at least I like coffee.

I started studying Chinese, even though I know to become at all proficient in a thrid language will require tons of effort, time, and MONEY. Private Chinese teachers aren't easy to find in Tokyo. I guess I could go to say, Berlitz and pay triple for something I don't want. Especially if they were forced to use the old direct method. (You know, train ya like a dog with B.F. Skinner behaviorism.) Even if I can gain intermediate level, there are plenty of Chinese who are fluent in Japanese and English. So perhaps I'll just be wasting time and money.

There are plenty of certificate one could study to test for in Japan, but even if you were to pass, how many companies would hire a westerner? You could likely rule out any government job. I couldn't try these as my Japanese ability is not high enough.

McDonald occasionally looks attractive. I have never worked there, but I was in an eikaiwa (Ber something) chain school for 2 years.....

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