Japanese Ministry of Education (thru JET Program)

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3.7 7 reviews

7 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Depends, depends, depends.

    Assistant Language Teacher (Former Employee) Nagaoka, Niigata (Japan)

    Pros--Good salary
    --Good cultural experience
    --Good way to travel and see East Asia

    Cons--Depending on your situation, the system can be a bit disorganized
    --Some JETs are stretched pretty thin (I worked at four schools with four classes a day)

    Advice to Senior ManagementBetter communication between schools

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    It was good I guess

    ALT (Former Employee) Tsukuba (Japan)

    ProsThe salary is good. The people are great. It was a good time for me.

    ConsNo room to advance. Japan is expensive. Mt BOE was very passive aggressive.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe clear about what our schools want.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    An opportunity for rapid professional and personal growth.

    Assistant Language Teacher (Current Employee) Takaoka, Toyama (Japan)

    ProsIt's the opportunity to develop professionally while at the same time have every context from your life removed and replaced by something new, which is to say it is an opportunity to develop in every aspect of your life simultaneously.

    ConsCultural issues and poor communication/different communication standards can lead to workplace issues that take entirely too long to resolve. ALTs are not always respected by other members of the staff.

    Advice to Senior ManagementALTs are both under- and over-utilized because the contract does not specify what the job role is to sufficient degree. I've been required to act as a full teacher, but am treated like an assistant, and the contracting organization has said to me and others that the interpretation is up to the schools. More clarity may assist this difficult situation.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    the JET program is a mixed bag. Some people get great postings, and some do not. It just depends.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Ōmiya, Saitama (Japan)

    ProsGreat pay for little work, relatively. There is a lot of time to explore the country and region, as well as time to work on the Japanese language in a real life working environment.

    ConsIt can get really boring really fast, especially in the summer months. The work can be rewarding, but it is easy to fall into a routine that becomes not very fulfilling as time goes by.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI don't think this will change anything. The Japanese have their set ways of doing things and no foreign advice is going to change this.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Overall I had a very positive experience with the JET Programme, largely due to realistic expectations.

    Assistant Language Teacher (Former Employee) Hiroshima, Hiroshima (Japan)

    ProsExcellent pay, benefits and time off. Ability to travel extensively throughout Japan and Southeast Asia. Wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in a foreign language and culture. Great support system.

    ConsWork is often boring or under-valued. Too much down time. You may experience a sense of isolation if placed in the countryside and you're not prepared for it. Little opportunity for professional advancement. Little in the way of training -- definitely sink or swim.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe whole concept of "team teaching" must be revamped so that Japanese Teachers of English are more involved in the lesson planning process.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Wonderful 'Starter' Position - Little Room for Advancement

    Assistant Language Teacher (Former Employee)

    ProsWith the JET Programme, you'll get fairly decently subsidized housing (larger or smaller, better or worse depending on how close you live to a large city), as well as paid sick leave (though you'll need a doctor's note to get it). I lived in a small town on a small island in Japan, and I loved my experience. I was able to make friends there and pursue some of my musical interests. I also had a smaller number of students and was able to build upon what was learned each week. Every visit wasn't just a "Hi, it's the guest English teacher" experience: I was their teacher, and they learned new things from me each session. (Whether they remembered or not was another story.)

    ConsVery little opportunity for advancement. If you're excellent at Japanese reading, writing and speaking, you're a sure shot for becoming a Coordinator of International Relations (which works more in a city branch translating documents and organizing cultural community events). But even if your a top-notch Assistant Language Teacher, you don't get much of a perk for doing your job well, save for a pat on the back here and there.

    Also, each BOE is so varied and the teachers you work with at each school have such different backgrounds, it's hard to find your place in the classroom (or even the school) sometimes. Depending on your JTE (Japanese Teacher of English), you may or may not be used as more than a human tape recorder in the classroom. I was blessed enough to have one teacher who worked wonderfully with me, loved English, and wanted me to make activities for classes. Even if he made the activities or had a class or reading practice, I played a very active role.

    This job isn't for the faint of heart. If you're prone to homesickness and you're over here alone with very little (or none) of the language under your belt, you'd better find a way to center yourself quickly. No one will be coddling you. Make sure you speak up at work as well and let your teachers know what you'd like to present or participate in - otherwise, you may not feel as if you do much of anything in a workday.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you want to keep veteran ALTs longer, try to give them some kind of benefits. It's a bit frustrating knowing that you have more knowledge and experience than a newer ALT, yet your pay still remains the same.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Great program

    Assistant Language Teacher (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat benefits
    Great pay for this state in my career
    Lots of time off
    Low workload

    ConsNot very challenging work
    No opportunities for advancement / raises
    Can get boring at times
    Workplace can be lonely at times

    Advice to Senior ManagementProvide positive feedback for your ALTs. They would really appreciate knowing they are doing a job. Often I do not know if my performance is satisfactory or not.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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