After constantly annoying this person with requests for an interview and making numerous threats to their well-being and safety, My TEFL Journey has finally secured another interview with an English teacher based in Japan. Read on!
If you’d like to be interviewed for My TEFL Journey, just drop me an email or leave a comment below.
Where are you working and in what capacity?
I’ve been employed as an Assistant English Teacher (AET) through the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme since July 2008 and have worked solely in Senior High Schools during this time.
How long have you been working in TEFL?
I’m a newbie; just nine months.
What got you into TEFL?
Excellent question! I guess the answer’s two-fold. I’ve always been interested in travel and adventure. I went on my first adventure as a three year old; escaping from the local nursery and meandering a couple of hundred meters through some major intersections on my way home, much to the surprise of my mother who consequently went berserk at the nursery staff who didn’t realise I was missing. Since then my legs have wandered as far as my wallet will take me.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language facilitates this passion but does so by providing a job I truly enjoy; a job I get a real buzz from, where I’m not just selling my time in exchange for money but making a meaningful contribution to my students’ education. Sounds almost idealistic, but it’s a million times more rewarding that the corporate jobs I’ve done since graduation. And I’ve been lucky enough to work in some fairly academic schools where the students have a keen interest and high aptitude for learning English.
How did you get your first TEFL job?
Bought a good laser printer and told lots of lies! LOL! That’s a joke by the way. I found out pretty quickly that sarcasm gets disastrously lost in translation! It was actually a fairly lengthy and time-consuming process. I completed a one year contract with a nameless (soulless) organisation in the summer of 2007, packed my bags and toured Europe for three months. Got ‘home’, sat the ‘Bar Exam’ at the Fiddlers Arm and worked as a carefree, respectable bartender until the JET process was completed – almost a full year from preparing the application to getting on the plane.
What are the highs and lows of your job?
Ok, the “highs” (in no particular order):
- Doing a job I love
- Getting paid to live in Japan
- Meeting interesting people everyday
- Experiencing life in an amazing culture
- Working with some great students and teachers
- Having a base to visit Asia
- Eating some seriously different cuisine
- Actually living in a country that has four distinct seasons as opposed to just “grey”: the mono-season of the UK!
- Basically, everyday is an adventure.
Now, the “lows”: There is really only one – living in an apartment that is smaller than a hobbit-sized shoe box and cooking meals-for-one in a kitchen where you could simultaneously surf the internet, have a shower and do your laundry!
Oh, and never really knowing what is going on around you; imagine being reborn in an adult’s body and you’ll get the idea.
Oh, I don’t know. I’ll play it by ear, I guess. For now, though, I’m happy where I am!