What are we going to be doing in Japan? We won’t be teaching in the public school system. MIL is a private school offering classes in English as a foreign language to students of all ages. The emphasis is on practical application and conversation skills. MIL has 2 main schools with 4 classrooms each and 8 branch schools with 2 or 3 classrooms each. These are housed in office buildings and are all located adjacent to train lines. We will not teach at the same location every day nor will we necessarily both teach at the same location on any particular day.
We’ll be teaching during the afternoons and evenings. Early afternoon classes will be made up of preschool children, housewives or retired people. The very youngest children attend class with their mothers. Later in the afternoon we’ll teach the older children and teens who come to MIL after their regular school day is over. In the evenings we’ll teach adult classes. Classes tend to be small and some high school students and business people choose to take private lessons so we will also have some of those.
We’ll be teaching 5 days a week but not necessarily Monday to Friday. Teachers at MIL generally have Sunday and one other weekday off though we may have to work occasional Sundays. We’ve been told to expect one common day off but the second one may not be the same for both of us.
Our first few days in Japan will be orientation and will include the opportunity to observe some classes in action. We’ll begin teaching on approximately March 1 and will be signing a one year contract. Depending on the school’s needs and the teacher’s performance, there is often opportunity to renew for another year but we’re not looking that far ahead just yet!