Days 1656 - 1662
Sunday, September 30 - Saturday, October 6, 2012
Day 1656 ( Small Typhoon Jelawat / Store Information Forever )
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Went to church today and saw the pastor for the first time since April. Recently when I go there, he is in Malaysia. And When he comes back, I'm out somewhere. Heard that the church got flooded last week from the heavy rains that caused the train to derail.
A small typhoon hit Japan today. But it was gone within like 2 hours. Nothing compared to hurricanes in Jamaica. Here is the news about it... They describe it as powerful but it was a joke. Well I wouldn't go out in it but it was nothing to be afraid of. It did cause some damage in a few areas though. It was heading directly for Taiwan then turned and hit Japan instead.
Powerful typhoon makes landfall on Japan's main island
|Jelawat - "Let me hit Taiwan... |
naaah I hate stinky tofu, I'm heading for Japan"
Hitachi develops storage device of a lifetime in quartz glass
Good music lasts a long time, and now high-tech giant Hitachi says it can last even longer — a few hundred million years at least.
|Everything in history can be stored on a piece of glass ... FOREVER|
(The Pros And Cons Of Teaching English in Japan J.E.T (Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme) or Private Company)
Monday, October 1, 2012
Paid some bills today and lodged some money.
The Pros And Cons Of Teaching English in Japan J.E.T (Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme) or Private Company
I had this topic written down in my blog topics book recently when a friend of mine asked me about the pros and cons of teaching in Japan. I forgot that I had it written down. Then I remembered when someone mentioned it on facebook within our Jamaicans in Japan Group.
So here we go.
There are a number of opportunities in Japan to teach English. You can either go private or public. Of course both of them have quite a few pros and cons. Before coming to Japan, I had no interest whatsoever in Asia or Asian culture. I always enjoyed travelling though to see a different country.
My last job in Jamaica was tiring and stressful. So every Sunday I would search the newspaper for a new job. Then I saw "Teach English in Japan.." and all I needed was a degree in anything. This was November 2007 when I saw that ad. I did an interview in December, got through to work for a private company, then I was here in March 2008. I broke up with my girlfriend of almost 3 years, just to see what Japan was like. Is that crazy??? My plan was to stay for only 1 year. But things and times changed.
Oops... got carried away there.. so here they are:
I will start with the 2 main programmes (JET - Public / Interac - Private) , then briefly speak about the others afterwards. Some of them I have no direct experience with. But I have many friends who do.
Public (Through J.E.T. - Japan Exchange And Teaching Programme)
Pros and process
- Have to apply through the Japanese embassy in your country
- You will be working for the Japanese government if successful
- The pay is great and normally better than private companies
- Steady pay throughout the year
- More benefits than private companies
- Sometimes reduced apartment fees
- You will be taken care of
- You don't have to pay plane fare to Japan
- This is probably the best option of all the others
- Your job is relatively stable, not so easy to get fired even if you suck at teaching and even if the Japanese teachers hate you.
- I am not 100 % sure but I don't think persons have a choice in where they are placed
- I heard it is a difficult process to apply and actually get selected. Quite competitive
- Less freedom than private companies
- Only get 10 - 20 days leave per year
- Have to work all summer and winter even when the kids are not at school. Basically sitting down for 8 hours doing absolutely nothing, every single day.
- You are like a full time Japanese teacher, so maybe lots of work
- Relocating is either very difficult or impossible
- Contract is for a maximum of 3 - 5 years. After that you have to find another source of employment
For more information visit the website below.
First thing, be very careful when deciding to go with a private company in Japan. The most popular by far of all these private companies is ....... I may get in trouble for writing about them but hey I will edit my article if they find out about this and have a problem. Its free advertising for them and I won't write about them in a bad light, I will be very balanced and objective, just giving the pros and cons. .... has about 13 branches that all operate differently (based on the management team) and independent of each other. Some branches are more structured, organized and helpful than others. And basically if you just mind your own business and don't get in trouble, you will be fine.
Pros and Process
- Easy to apply. You can apply online or check the news paper if you are in Jamaica
- Easy to get selected, just pass a relatively easy interview and test
- The pay is ok but you get a pay cut in summer (50%), winter (75%) and spring (prorated - killer)
- Long holidays. Summer (about 5 weeks), Winter (about 2 weeks), Spring ( about 2 weeks )
- More freedom than J.E.T.
- You can get to drive a car but you will have to finance it yourself
- You kind of choose where you want to go if spaces are available.
- You can transfer from one branch to the other.
- You can stay with this company forever if you want, as long as they have a contract with the board of education. Each contract lasts for almost 1 year, renewable if you are not problematic and if you are doing a good job.
Ooh boy. Brace yourselves.
- Sometimes information they give can be very misleading and shady
- You can get fired very easily and they don't care because many people are waiting in line to work in Japan.
- Mentioned it earlier but it can't be over emphasized. Low pay in summer, winter and murder in Spring
- You have to pay your own plane fare plus fend for yourself the first 2 months which means roughly 90,000 (1 way plane fare) + approx 250,000 or more possibly less (rent and moving in to new apartment) + approx 200,000 (2 months of no pay). Luckily you can get a loan of 250,000 (maximum) from them. Figures are in yen... Do the conversion yourselves.... Lazy
In my case it was similar. Something like this :
90,000 (2 way open ticket, because my sis worked at the airport)
250,000 loan from interac (moving into new apartment)
250,000 (fend for myself for 2 months)
You won't make back this money within a year. Firstly because Japan is too expensive, secondly you have to pay off your loan, thirdly, you will still only get 60% of your pay in summer and 75% in winter. Fourthly, whatever other circumstance that may present itself.
- Some branches will help you around your new town, others will just give you a map and tell you to get to work on time.
- If you make the mistake of using .... as your guarantor for your apartment, if/when you leave the company or get fired, you have to also leave your apartment.
- Just like how we have a contract for about a year with ....., they also have a contract with the Board of Education (BOE). If the BOE doesn't re-hire ...... , then we are all either out of jobs or we have to change branches or find something else to do.
There are probably many more pros and cons of both but I can't think of any right now. For more information about ..... visit the site below.
Other Private Companies
There are many other private companies around like :
But they are all somehow similar to interac. And many say that interac is probably the best of the worst. Altia is mostly based in Nagoya, Osaka and some other country side prefectures. The pay and benefits are better than that of interac though. Some require you work 6 days a week.
Other Public Opportunities
Direct Hire to the Board of Education
Some Board of educations hire foreigners directly. A Board of education in Okayama known as the Kurashiki BOE does this. Also one in my prefecture known as the Sagamihara BOE. The pay is good and the job is very similar to that of J.E.T in every way. Only you can apply for it in Japan. This is also very competitive and very difficult to get in. The pay and benefits are good though.
Direct Hire from a School or University
This is probably the most difficult of the lot to come by and you probably will have to be really lucky, especially if you are a Jamaican. Some get it but only a few.
YMCA / Private Students / Cram Schools
These are good as part time gigs. If you decide to do this full-time, then when you decide to take a holiday or a break, then you won't get paid. But if you like to work and work a lot, there is the potential to get a whole lot of money.
Day 1658 ( Monstrous Robot Behemoth / September was the Hottest in 110 Years)
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Normal day at work today. 6 Periods of none stop lesson at my main school. Every time I even think about this, the more I want to stop.
Monstrous robotic behemoth brings anime fantasies to life
Mad inventors use inspiration to build giant working robot
It's hard to say whether technology will ever catch up with sci-fi anime and realize an era when giant robots roam the earth, but for artist Kogoro Kurata and student Wataru Yoshizaki the future can't come soon enough.
The robot could be yours for about ¥100 million, but despite the hefty price tag, its creators said there have been over 3,000 inquires, many from overseas.
Hottest September in 110 years
Day 1659 ( Desk That Charges Laptops / Illegal Down-loaders In Japan May Face Prison Term)
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
At my "We don't like English" school today only 1 teacher forgot about English class. That is a great improvement!
Computer charger desk developed
Kokuyo Furniture Co., Murata Manufacturing Co. and U.S. chip-maker Intel Corp. have developed a desk that can charge a portable computer without a power cord.
While there are no plans yet to put the desk on sale, the companies will continue to develop it for commercialization.
Illegal Downloaders in Japan Face Two Years in Prison
Day 1660 ( Late 2nd Time In 2 Years / Japan NHK Won Emmy Award for Tsunami Coverage )
Thursday, October 4, 2012
I mistakenly turned off my alarm this morning instead of putting it on snooze. Only to jump up, look at the time and see 8:20... My class begins at 8:45. I started spinning everywhere, took a quick bath, got a train then took a taxi. My first time to take a taxi to work. Luckily, the vice principal at this school is chill, so there was no problem.
I didn't eat breakfast this morning so I felt as if I was going to faint. Then after lunch I was falling asleep in the staff room. The vice principal asked if I was feeling sick. I told her only a little.
NHK is the main TV station in Japan. And they actually require that you pay a NHK bill if you own a TV. Ha. They come to our apartments every now and again but we were told to ignore them or pretend that we don't speak Japanese.
NHK wins Emmy for quake coverage
Day 1661 ( Japanese Mom Killed 2 Daughters / Toyota #10 In the World )
Friday, October 5, 2012
Had only 2 classes at my main school today because they are preparing for sports day. Its good when my schools have special events. English get neglected even more. So more free time. After that I went to YMCA to teach 2 classes.
Mom held for stabbing daughters
Toyota named 10th best brand in worldwide rankings
Toyota Motor Corp. ranks 10th in the Best Global Brands report for 2012 released by U.S. brand consultancy Interbrand, up one notch from last year.
Day 1662 ( Late Again!! / All My Birthday Presents )
Saturday, October 6, 2012
I was late for my first YMCA class this morning. Darn late 2 times in a week? This isn't good. I need to get more rest at nights and stop staying up idling.
These were all the stuff I bought myself for my birthday this year. Plus I got a key ring from my Korean friend, a poetry book from a Japanese friend and a shoes from another Japanese friend.