Show me an example Dear ALT's in Japan..Take the red one!! Don't sell your soul. | Chris' English School

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dear ALT's in Japan..Take the red one!! Don't sell your soul.

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After 5 years of running my own School and watching some 20 or so ALT's come and go I have come to believe there are 4 kinds of ALT's

1. Those who come here with dreams of inspiring children to study English and embrace the culture. They however end up in a School where they are told how and what to teach. Their uniqueness is crushed by the machine (the local or prefectural education board). They become bitter and decide to return home before the end of their contract because they can't stand the difference between their imagination and their new reality.

2. Those who come here with dreams of inspiring children to study English and embrace the culture. They however end up in a School where they are told how and what to teach. They find ways around the machine. They convince the machine by necessary deception via surprise lesson plans that turn out greater than their Japanese teachers expected. They change their own reality and every ALT that follows in their path. They are great. They are teachers!

3.Those who come here to enjoy Japan and study Kanji or Japanese. They speak to teachers in Japanese because they want to practice even though they are supposed to be sharing their culture and their language (English). They surf the internet during school hours for reasons that have nothing to do with class planning. They start thinking about and preparing for life after Japan before they have even left. They are bad teachers and usually not even good people. The English levels in Japan are low partly because of them. Thankfully many local Schools in Hirao,Yanai etc are contracting with local foreigners so this is becoming less of a problem.


4. The 4th type are the lucky beneficiaries of the 2nd type. They come with their dreams of teaching and luckily land in a School where another ALT showed them the possibilities of the position and the unique effect a great English teacher can have on the students and the staff. The average English scores in the School rise as a direct result of the creative ALT's efforts.

I respect the 1st type because they know their own limits and they go home. They don't bother anyone except themselves if they return home quickly.

I respect the 2nd type because it was me before I opened my own School. They take the hard road because it is the right road. They are teachers and have personal pride and consider the students above all else or....they have too much pride to fail which leads to the same good result. It's not the "means" it's the "ends"
High scores> everything else.

I loathe the 3rd type because THEY are a part of the problem and ignore it because they never really wanted to be a teacher. They wanted to travel around Japan. They use their job teaching kids like it's a "meal ticket". Go home, save money, and return to Japan using your own savings and stop being a part of the problem.

The 4th type is lucky because of the ALT that came before them. They will probably never realize how lucky they are but that's O.K.! Just be a good teacher and set the table for the one who will follow you.

I took the "Red pill" long before I came to Japan. That's why I'm a great teacher. Scores are everything and my students get em'!! If you took the "blue pill".....go home, it's O.K. This wasn't meant to be your reality ;)