Saturday, April 18, 2009

10 questions

Hello All -

I get tons of email at my YouTube page - most of it from JET applicants or people interested in living in Japan.

I do my best to answer as much of it as I can, but I do get asked the same question a lot by people who haven't looked thru all my videos. And I understand, since I have a lot of videos to look thru! :)

I got the email below a few days ago from a student in high school - much of my mail comes from eager high school students trying to plan out their future, a future that many of them hopes will include a job in Japan.

So have a look at Sydney's 10 questions and my 10 answers below.



My name is Sydney and I am a high school student who is interested in teaching English in Japan in the future. I'm working on a career portfolio project in my English class and I was hoping that I could interview you for the "Ask an Expert" portion. If you are busy and don't have the time to answer these questions, please let me know as soon as possible. Also, I'm very sorry if one of these questions were already answered in one of your videos. My boyfriend recently informed me of your videos on YouTube and I was in a hurry to write you this message. However, I will be watching more of your videos. :) Ah, so sorry about the length of this message. Now for the questions:

1. What do you like most about your job?

2. How did you become interested in your career?

3. Briefly describe some of your job responsibilities.

4. Describe the education and/or training required.

5. Approximately how many hours do you work a week?

6. What is the approximate salary range in your area?

7. What do you like least about your job?

8. Does your job come with any benefits?

9. Do you get along with your co-workers/boss/etc.?

10. How long have you had your job?

Thanks for your time!

- Sydney

Hi Sydney -

Well, seeing as we're both from San Diego, I'd be happy to answer your questions.

Glad you're enjoying my vids - please subscribe when you have time.

1 - The best part of my job is helping my students - not only to learn English, but to learn about America and to help them be comfortable speaking to a foreigner.

2 - Before I found out about the JET Programme, I was in college (at UCSD) and studying with the goal of becoming a high school history teacher. So I was already interesting in teaching, and when I found out about JET I decided to try teaching in Japan.

3 - I'm an ALT, which means Assistant Language Teacher. Even though I'm an assistant, I still have to do many of the same things the regular teacher does - teach lessons, prepare lessons, grade papers, go with the students to school events, help with English speech contests, etc.

4 - To be a JET, you have to have a college degree - a BA or BS. You don't have to have a degree in education, but it helps to have had some teaching or youth volunteer experience when you apply.

5 - 35 to 40.

6 - JETs make 3,600,000 yen per year. With the current exchange rate at around 100yen = $1 - that's about $36,000 per year.

7 - After a few years of being an assistant, you do start to want to run your own classes and make more of the decisions about what to study and how to study it. And being an assistant also means that you have to be asked to join classes by the main Japanese teacher of English, so some days you are very busy and other days you are not busy.

8 - Yes, being a JET includes good benefits - excellent health care in the Japanese National system, 20 paid vacation days per year and subsidized rent for my apartment.

9 - Well, that's a tricky question here since there is a language barrier for many JETs who don't speak Japanese well. But I do get along with most of my fellow English teachers very well, and I wish I spoke better Japanese so I could get to know my other co-workers better.

10 - JET is a one-year contract, but you can renew up to five years maximum. I am in my fifth year, so my job ends this July.

Hope that was helpful.

Jason H.

No comments: