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life after teaching EFL, what will you do? 
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
Post life after teaching EFL, what will you do?
Many people are in and out in the EFL teaching world. I'm probably a lifer (as the plan currently stands,) but I was wondering where/what everyone plans on heading back to?

How have your experiences changed you/your plans if at all?

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Mon May 08, 2006 11:31 pm
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 12:21 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Alberta, Canada
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hhmmm, that is a tough question.
I know I do not want to stay in Japan forever but I would really like to teach in a few other countries. And possibly when I am finished teaching and traveling, I would like to teach in an Elementary school back in Canada.

Currently I am teaching part-time at Jr high schools in my city but I am finding it very frustrating because it is so different and most of the student have no interest in learning English at all! :( That has changed my mind about staying in Japan and continuing to teach here.


Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:13 am
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Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:14 am
Posts: 75
Location: Nago, Okinawa, Japan
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Erinjk,
I understand your frustration. In the beginning, I was turned off by the lack of enthusiam from the students and I feel that the school infrastructure and JTEs have a lot to do with it. I am like Mark - probably a "Lifer" but I do hope to take some time off and teach in another country.


Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:14 am
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 12:21 pm
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Location: Alberta, Canada
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When I first started in Japan, I really liked it. The conversation school I was at was a great starting school and I stayed there for 2 1/2yrs...but now working with the Jr High students at these schools it's just really difficult and alot of the times I don't feel very welcome, which I knew might happen as some of my friends felt that way, but it's still hard!.

You say, "in the beginning..." do you not think the same anymore?


Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:33 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
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The JHS system in Japan is very very deep and hard to understand. I'm in my seventh year of teaching in the JHS system and I still don't really get it but you shouldn't take the response from the students to mean anything about their attitude toward you or learning. In my experience, JHS is more about becoming a family, enjoying that time and working together than it is about learning. Just look at the hours of the school day and the number of hours of actual core instruction.

Japan has come to rely upon the juku (after school schools) and the ability of students to study outside of class. Also, the concept of what learning english should be has been warped. It's really hard to get students to be anything but passive learners. Luckily, now, I just do it a couple of morning a week but it has really been a nice 'know thy enemy' experience.

Well, that may sound a bit negative, but it's not. Once you can start to get a hold of what's going on, you can then work on trying to change ideas and perceptions from within instead of trying to tackle them head on. I don't think much will change any time soon but it's a lot easier to help when you know what's wrong.

I'm sure I'm still ignorant about a lot of things but more and more things are starting to make sense.

I'd love to get out of here and go teach in Europe, but I'm in too deep now. :mrgreen:

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Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:49 pm
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:36 pm
Posts: 386
Location: Tohoku Japan
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I teach mostly Elementary and kindergarten with one day only a week teaching JHS and I have found the younger the better for;

1 ease of teaching
2 fun
3 satisfaction

.... and I hadn't really been a kids teacher before either!

but then I am in a real rural place so even my JHS kids are pretty good

but back to the topic ... I have a Japanese wife and love living in Japan so can't imagine doing anything else? (plus I speak good Japanese)


Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:03 pm
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Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:14 am
Posts: 75
Location: Nago, Okinawa, Japan
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I used the phrase "in the beginning..." to explain some of my past expectations. I learned that in the Japanese culture, it may not be suitable to expect that your ideas will be accepted or welcomed in a timely manner. I learned that patience is necessary in dealing with school or federal employees. I just try to create a positive and receptive environment. Many kids want to understand but get frustrated and give up. I find that when I take time with them, they really get into it. Good luck and stay positive!

Cesar


Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:26 pm
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