Thoughts on ALT work

A forum for discussing life after eikaiwa.
Forum rules
The basic forum rules are here :wink: . Refer to the BBCode Guide for information on using BBCode tags, plus this post about additional tags for embedding video.

Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby AmishChief » Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:25 am

Already half-way into my contract as an ALT so I thought I'd post on how it's working out.

Pretty good, I think. Like has been said by so many posters here before, this is a far better way to experience Japan instead of the eikaiwa bubble. Honestly, I'd still recommend the JET program (for not only culture/language exposure, but also salary and benefits.) The dispatch ALT market is bottoming out so fast that salary and benefits are pretty dismal, as well as "job security."

The one thing that keeps me going is the chance to improve my Japanese, and honestly it is the number one benefit of this job. I don't get as much study time as work as I'd like, but just being in the school and being around the kids has provided lots of exposure to the language every day.

It's a pity the system is so trashed, thanks to the constant bidding wars and threat of being fired for little transgressions, those are arguably what make me not care about the work. That being said, in almost all other aspects, I enjoy my job far more now than I did in eikaiwa. One thing that has been difficult for me has been planning lessons and activities, as I was not an education major in the States and the experience in eikaiwa, while helpful, doesn't translate well. That being said, I have no plans to stay in teaching for the rest of my life either, so if this position serves as a springboard, so be it.

Long story short: Better than eikaiwa, but only if you know exactly what you want out of the experience.
User avatar
AmishChief
Hopeless Drone
Hopeless Drone
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:26 am
Location: Nagoya

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby behan » Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:50 pm

AmishChief wrote:The one thing that keeps me going is the chance to improve my Japanese, and honestly it is the number one benefit of this job. I don't get as much study time as work as I'd like, but just being in the school and being around the kids has provided lots of exposure to the language every day.


I envy you. They hardly let me speak a word of Japanese at my school. The teachers get angry if I do and the kids laugh at me.
behan
Hopeless Drone
Hopeless Drone
 
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:36 pm

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby Wage Slave » Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:56 pm

Behan, I am really sorry to hear that. It is downright offensive and I honestly think that you have been very unlucky. I have worked in around 10 different schools now and haven't encountered a trace this idiocy. On the contrary the kids and teachers have been wonderfully supportive and patient with me. I would get my transfer request in now and consider finding a new job in April if they aren't going to play ball. The school needs to know that if they behave like that, no-one will want to work for them.
Don't hesitate to spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar. You'll get credit for saving the ha'penny and someone else will get the blame for losing the ship.
User avatar
Wage Slave
Shockproof shit detector
Shockproof shit detector
 
Posts: 3434
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:42 pm
Location: In Front of the Thing with Lots of Buttons

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby behan » Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:11 pm

Not only do the English teachers expect me to be their free eikaiwa partner outside of class, a lot of teachers in the teachers' room expect the same.

I really really really want to get out of this school. I have been looking for a while but haven't found any other ALT jobs in the area.
behan
Hopeless Drone
Hopeless Drone
 
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:36 pm

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby indoctrin8 » Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:48 pm

ah cmon mate. the jobs a fukn doddle.
2-3 lessons a day. rest of the time u
can sleep, study, do a crossword, read
a book or whatever.

ALT is not bad. pity the wage is shit, tho.
indoctrin8
 

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby The Black Knight » Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:36 pm

Behan.

I used to work at a really shitty school but what I did was get a yellow pages (or whatever it is in Japan), find the location of EVERY little English school in the local area and plot it out on a map (I used my wife to help me of course – you just need to find a Japanese mate to help you with it)

From going round to all these schools I managed to find a great little position – now I have the keys to the place, and I just teach however I want all day!!! I always take the piss out of the kids in Japanese and its great fun!! (in fact my wife ended up joining me as a teacher assistant this year and we have taken the school from 45 students to 80 students in the course of 8 months!!)

With regards to the ALT positions, I’d much rather be in control of the lessons myself than work with another teacher. It’s so much more creative this way, and you can effect teach yourself how to teach.

I'd rather work for 250,000 a month and have total freedom to teach how I want, than work for 300,000 a month and be a teaching assistant. But that’s just me - other people might want the extra 50,000 YEN!!

(I’m out here because I love teaching, not because of the money)

And why is it whenever I try and upload a picture I always get a write protection error.
The Black Knight
Fresh & Minty
Fresh & Minty
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:07 pm

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby behan » Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:22 pm

indoctrin8 wrote:ah cmon mate. the jobs a fukn doddle.
2-3 lessons a day. rest of the time u
can sleep, study, do a crossword, read
a book or whatever.

ALT is not bad. pity the wage is shit, tho.


My first year in the school I felt bad if I wasn't preparing in my free time but now I am starting to use the free time more for myself. The principal is a bit anal and will sometimes sly come by my desk to see what I am up to. The teacher I teach with also expects me to prepare a lot of teaching materials since I made so many last year. Now I am just re-touching the old ones and using them again.
Hopefully I will be able to stop caring what they think about me and use all the free time looking for a new job, studying Japanese, etc.

But I agree with you, it is an easy job.
behan
Hopeless Drone
Hopeless Drone
 
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:36 pm

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby gomen » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:49 pm

My feelings about the job really differ depending on the school, but ultimately i've lucked out with the one great school, and really can't continue this sham of a job any longer than my current ocntract stipulates, i want to really teach.

When at my favourite school, I love the job and fool myself into thinking the whole gig isn't so bad. I am treated like everyone else, never ignored (but never hassled either) and was made to feel welcome from the very start. i'm given responsibility and my japanese speaking ability is valued, not mocked or ignored. in fact, some of the teachers use is as an example to the students. great school. however, the other schools different, class load is very light, which is good for a bit to have a rest, but it really gets monotonous, and i feel like i'm invisible.... there are days when I have no classes, and after lessons are planned, a book is read, internet surfed, text messages sent.... honestly, there's only so much 'nothing' you can do at work, i'd much rather be doing this in my pjs at home! they apparently used to send the JET home, but won't because i'm dispatch. arrrrgh, anyone with advice on subtly persuading them? 8)

Behan, that totally sucks about them treating you that way. that's completely rude and offensive. they sound like total bumpkins, so it may not be effective, but perhaps you could try just replying to them in japanese? who cares if they're talking at you in english, you're not obligated to speak it back to them. my schools aren't anything as bad as yours, but i've stamped out that 'free eikaiwa lesson' thing quite well by doing this.
gomen
Frustrated Realist
Frustrated Realist
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:40 pm

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby behan » Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:26 pm

I am getting better at shutting the leeches down but they are still a hassle. I'll chat to the kids all day in English. That's fine. I don't want to be forced to be the non-English teachers' eikaiwa pet, but what even gets me more is not that they force me to do it but their attitude that I am like a slave.

I guess I don't deserve a lot of sympathy but getting it out here is cathartic. Thanks for whoever listens(reads). :)
behan
Hopeless Drone
Hopeless Drone
 
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:36 pm

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby AmishChief » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:30 pm

I have one week left until winter vacation, and I have to admit that the only things that would convince me to stay in this contract for next year would be visa renewal (potential 3 year) and a completion bonus. That's about it...the salary is pretty low, though truth be told other ALT positions have similar if not lower pay and less vacation. I know there are a lot of other posters that have better ALT gigs with Shakai Hoken, salaries above the old eikaiwa norm, and whatnot, but those are all word-of-mouth things. As are most jobs here, for that matter.

Truth be told, I will not go back to eikaiwa for a higher wage because I'm in this position almost solely for the Japanese benefit. With 2-kyuu possibly under my belt now, that should open up more options, but by no means is it a guarantee. Guess it's time to start job hunting again!
User avatar
AmishChief
Hopeless Drone
Hopeless Drone
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:26 am
Location: Nagoya

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby Boogaloo » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:25 pm

indoctrin8 wrote:ah cmon mate. the jobs a fukn doddle.
2-3 lessons a day. rest of the time u
can sleep, study, do a crossword, read
a book or whatever.

ALT is not bad. pity the wage is shit, tho.


2-3 lessons a day? How about elementary school then? 6 lessons a day, full-on, kids screaming and shouting and you're under pressure to do classes that the kids enjoy and the teachers like...forced to eat your cold lunch (dished out 30 mins before end of 4th period and then sitting on a desk while 40 kids slop out their prision rations) with the kids in the classroom day in, day out (or else!) and the expectation to spend morning break and lunch time playing with the kids or word gets back to your company that you are not doing enough. Did I mention having to clean at some schools too? And all for a salary that is getting lower and lower and lower every year.

The kyushock is definitely the worst bit though. Man do they get nasty if you even hint at getting out of it. Sorry I spoke! :rant:
Boogaloo
Fresh & Minty
Fresh & Minty
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:20 pm

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby lordCONAN » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:31 pm

Wow, wicked thread revival.

I dig the 給食, although I don't get to eat it every day. I don't know where you're ALTing, but elementary schools where I am is a cake walk. Some of my co-workers complain about not having enough work/responsibility, and I can't help but question what the fuck is wrong with the people. I just hope my company get the contract for another year ...
lordCONAN
Eikaiwa Hero
Eikaiwa Hero
 
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 8:45 am

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby amarok » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:13 pm

My elementary school ALT job is just like Boogaloo's. Full day of classes that I have to plan and make everything for and teach by myself while HRTs sit around grading papers (when I'm lucky. When I'm not lucky, they don't even show up for class and it's just me and the kids.) Have to eat god awful school lunch with the kids at the schools' requests, but they never remember. I sit waiting with my cold lunch in the teacher's room until some out of breath kid comes running in to get me 2 minutes before lunch is over, and by the time I get to the class I'm supposed to eat with, they're already done eating and I have to try to shove the slop in my face in about 30 seconds flat because lunch is finished and they're already cleaning up. Have no planning time, let alone free time, no materials at the schools, no help, and I have to run around mingling with the kids during breaks/cleaning in addition to classes. I am busy busy busy from the minute I walk in the door until I leave, and there's no "assistant" part in my job when I'm the one doing everything related to all things English in my schools...

People who have ALT jobs that have a lot of free time/not a lot of responsibility are living a beautiful dream from my perspective.
amarok
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:53 am

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby lordCONAN » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:04 am

Well I guess living the dream was too good to last. My company failed to win the contract this coming year, which means I'm now out of the job with a visa expiring April 1st.

Got an interviewed lined up for tomorrow, hopefully it should go ok ....
lordCONAN
Eikaiwa Hero
Eikaiwa Hero
 
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 8:45 am

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby steki47 » Wed May 02, 2012 8:02 pm

lordCONAN wrote:Well I guess living the dream was too good to last. My company failed to win the contract this coming year, which means I'm now out of the job with a visa expiring April 1st.

Got an interviewed lined up for tomorrow, hopefully it should go ok ....


Good news? I just started my second year at the same school. I know this 3-year contract finishes March 2013 so I have to wait to find out when, where or even if I will be with this company after that.

This job is dirt easy. Delightfully mindless.
User avatar
steki47
Cassandra
Cassandra
 
Posts: 2945
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:12 am
Location: BFE Inaka

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby lordCONAN » Wed May 02, 2012 9:16 pm

Yeah, I got offered the job on the spot.

Direct hire at a private school. Only teacher in the classroom, just rocking it.

Unfortunately I have a pretty heavy schedule, but to make up for it I get an extra 6man a month, plus bi-annual bonuses like a regular job. I'm just rolling in cash now ...
lordCONAN
Eikaiwa Hero
Eikaiwa Hero
 
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 8:45 am

Re: Thoughts on ALT work

Unread postby bostonaussie » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:41 am

amarok wrote:My elementary school ALT job is just like Boogaloo's. Full day of classes that I have to plan and make everything for and teach by myself while HRTs sit around grading papers (when I'm lucky. When I'm not lucky, they don't even show up for class and it's just me and the kids.)


Fuck mate, you ought to come to Korea then and have the teachers sleep, do their nails, or text message in class ! Then again, ALT work is what it is. Best bet is to just milk it for all you can and take the best opportunities that result from it.
bostonaussie
Jaded Veteran
Jaded Veteran
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:06 am


Return to Out of Eikaiwa

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest