I worked at Altia Central full-time (Less than a year)
Altia Central provides training and teaching materials as part of a week-long intensive training session. The Altia Central staff is helpful and supportive of their ALTs. Altia Central provides its ALTs with more than enough media and flashcards to assist with lesson planning, and entertaining a classroom of middle school or elementary school students.
Altia Central has an obligation to send you to a location based on the needs of the various boards or education in central Japan, so some rural positions are quite unappealing. Vehicles are not provided for some rural positions
Advice to Management
My advice to the management would be to spend more time assisting ALTs in rural places where public transportation is less reliable.
I applied in-person. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Altia Central.
I had 2 separate interviews which is unusual but both were sit-down interviews discussing my views on teaching children and the best ways about it and biggest problems I typically face in the Japanese school system.
The first interview was to assess my knowledge and experience of teaching in Japanese schools, my love of the culture and country, and whether I would be the type to stick around or if I was one of the ones who thought I was in Japan on vacation. It was a fairly simple interview but I had good credentials so it felt like more of a casual chit-chat in formal dress and situation.
The second interview was to assess whether or not I was the type of person who could handle the stress of the particular problem school they were throwing me at. This was a bit more unusual as most schools aren't a problem but this one had some rougher students and disciplinary problems you weren't expected to deal with but rather work around. It was a lot of worrying over nothing though and the school was fine but since there were a few troubled kids I understood that there were maybe some teachers who might not handle it as well. (Basically, it was an "are you really okay with a rough inner-city school job" but Japan's "rough" schools aren't even close to being scary. The kids were sweet, I even made friends with the scary students. It's all about temperament.)
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