Lamarr wrote:I know people who've wangled better ALT gigs. One buddy of mine just does mornings but gets paid the full daily rate. Another guy I know works in a private high-school and seems to make a ton off that. They only had Bachelor's degrees too, they haven't had to do any further study or courses for it.
I guess if you're patient with it, sweat it out, get in their good books, you can start working things more in your favour.
I worked direct-hire for a private high school for a number of years. I was enrolled on SH, had ridiculous amounts of time off, pretty much walked in and out whenever I wanted to (as long as I was there for the lessons, of course), was in charge of the whole 1st grade of high school curriculum, teaching all the classes myself. I was employed as a straight-up teacher (my contract was exactly the same as the Japanese staff I sat next to everyday), not an ALT, or anything like that. I got paid about 360,000yen a month after deductions, which was relatively good compared to other gaijin teaching gigs.
The freedom to do what I wanted there, in terms of the curriculum, and also being able to come and go as I pleased was good, but I did have to do a LOT of work, and compared to the ALT joke-job I was doing before it was very full on. My tasks involved designing and teaching the whole OC1 / EE1 curriculum for the whole 1st year, co-designing the conversation and communication classes the Japanese teachers taught by themselves, dealing with all class admin for the 14 homerooms I taught, doing promotional work for the school, running the English department bunkasai, etc., festival presentations, running the yearly English play, absolutely FUCK LOADS of test making including pretty much all-night mega-meetings 5 times a year, doing parent class observations and feedback, etc etc.
It was absolutely a full proper job, and despite being able to come and go when I pleased, I spent most of my time working.
And how did I get this job?
Luck. Pure luck. My mate who I used to work with in an ALT gig, until we both got non-renewed out of the blue and thrown to the dogs, called me up one day asking me if I still lived where I did before. I said I did, and he then put me in touch with an agency who were tasked with finding a replacement for the previous foreign English teacher who was leaving on his own terms. I charmed my way through the interview, got the job, went 'fuck me this is actually a real job', then winged it for a few months until I was up to speed. Made most of it up as I went along, Googling the fuck out of 'how to make good lesson plans' etc., then after about 6 months, I was flying. Got a few pay rises, and got bonuses too, even though they were not written into my contract. Was a really good gig, but I definitely earned my money with the effort and self-development.
Working for a place like that, I soon realised I was very under-dressed (the school was pretty exclusive), so I took my first paycheck down town and got some snazzy tight fitting suits and shiny shoes. That seemed to impress them, and from there I was golden boy.
I eventually quit though, after I got sick of teaching, and had been working on my own business ventures / stock trading, with the money I had been saving from the job.
My qualifications; a 2:2 BA History, and nothing else.
MA / Phd stuff for teaching in Japan, at any level, is (in my humble opinion), a waste of money. Either don't spend the money on the qualification and just luck / network your way into a decent teaching job, or DO get the qualifications, and get the FUCK out of Japan, and put them to actual use where you will be able to get some ACTUAL money. Kidding yourself that 250,000yen a month is decent money with an MA is silly. That is 30,000 USD, which is pretty much a graduate starter wage in the US. Even with the 'decent' wage I was on, of about 360,000yen a month, that is still only about 43,000USD a year, which is still a joke for a full on teaching job with years of experience, and when you are a minority in demand.