10 Ways to make teaching English in Japan easier

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Looking for teaching jobs in Japan? Here are the top ten effective tips on how to go about looking for the jobs and the best way to cope with different challenges.

1. Let your CV speak for you

Since you won’t be making a physical appearance you should make sure your CV represents you and your abilities fully, in other words, your CV should communicate why you are the best for job. Make sure your CV is updated including a resume with an attached passport size photograph.

2. Keep your options open

Even though the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program is well known for its practice of recruiting non-Japanese individuals to teach English in Japan for at least a year, keep in mind that that there are also other schools in Japan that offer great working environments and good salaries; for instance, Interac, ECC and Aeon just to mention a few. Plus, there are a number of private English conversation schools, although small, which are always looking for English teachers. These schools only require you to teach for only a couple of hours and can therefore help you make money even on your off-days. Such teaching jobs are often advertised online or on the Japan Times newspaper.

3. Maintain a polished and professional look

Before going to Japan, ensure you invest on a number of suits mainly because you will need to wear them for your interview and also during your work days. Since morality is greatly upheld in Japanese companies, they prefer their English teachers to be modestly and smartly dressed.

4. Keep time

Japanese professionals do not tolerate lateness. Therefore you might want to leave you residential premises early enough to figure out which train to board and still reach the school early enough to have 15 minutes of preparing for the lesson. As is already quite clear, you will need to leave your home extra early until you get familiar with your environs and can easily commute without getting lost.

5. Mind your behaviour

The Japanese regard honesty and integrity is very important attributes both in the line of work and personal relations. Always keep in mind when relating to your managers and colleagues.

6. Keep your lessons interesting and fun

Teaching jobs are not all about work, try to incorporate some humor and interesting discussion in to your lessons to get the students to open up. Keep in mind that the students will be asked to evaluate your lessons, so be sure to make your lessons memorable if not unforgettable.

7. Save

As an English teacher, you will receive a substancial amount as your salary, try to save a small percentage of it, say 10%. You’ll be surprised just how helpful your savings can be especially when you do not have close family and friends around to loan from.

8. Look for free or subsidized housing

With real estate agents asking for guarantor and upfront fees among other things, getting free rent from your employer can save you a lot on costs.

9. Necessary paperwork

Getting teaching jobs in Japan is as easy as having a university degree on any subject plus/or a certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).

10. Practice makes perfect

Before getting a teaching job in Japan you might want to get some practice by teaching foreigners in your own country. For instance, relatives of Japanese expatriates are always looking for private lessons. This will help you polish up your skills and get a feel of what teaching a real foreigner feels like.

About the Author:

Daniel is a passionate blogger and has been working for many years as an English teacher in Japan.

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