Supporting your career in English teaching
in the Japanese school system

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School career in Japan

Private / Public school Team Teaching / Solo Teaching Direct / Dispatch Own Subject / OC (Oral Communication)
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Team Teaching / Solo Teaching

Team Teaching

All of us have different ideas of what “team teaching” means. One extreme is the stereotypical “Assistant Language Teacher” role who simply reads from the textbook given to them while the Japanese teacher conducts the entire lesson. The other extreme of “team teaching” is a situation where the Native teacher plans, conducts and grades the lesson with minimal participation from the Japanese teacher. Of course in between these extremes there are varying roles in the classroom of both the Native and Japanese teacher.

Team teaching can be great for those who like to share planning or classroom management responsibility but who still want to influence the class. The involvement of the Japanese teacher can also help communication between you and the students, as well as help link your classes to their regular English classes.

A lot of team teaching positions can be found at public schools so before deciding if you are interested in team teaching or not, why not have a look at the public / private school section?

Sharing ideas can be one of the benefits of team teaching but if you are the kind of person who likes to run the whole show “solo teaching” could be the answer.

Be warned though, if you are the kind of person who only does what you are told to do…maybe school life isn’t for you after all!

Solo Teaching

If taking the lead role in the classroom is your goal then solo teaching is definitely for you. Solo teaching involves you taking responsibility for the entire class, from planning, conducting and creating and grading tests and assessments for students. Solo teaching does not necessarily mean that you are the only native English teacher in the school, often it is necessary to coordinate with your fellow Native teachers and the Japanese teachers to make the best possible English course.

Solo teaching often involves creating and implementing a suitable curriculum and learning strategy for your classes. Classroom management and discipline will also be completely up to you, with classes of up to 40 students this can be a challenge. In terms of planning, of course it is not a case of turning up to school and deciding in the 5 minutes before class what you are going to teach. Daily, semester and yearly plans are part of being a solo teacher. Some of you might be aware but of course your responsibilities will not finish with the end of class bell. In fact it is common for teachers to be asked to prepare or check school entrance exams (if the school is a private school) or even participate in afterschool activities, have a look at the FAQ page for more details.

Another thing to keep in mind is discussed a little more in the private school section but even solo teachers are required to “fit in” with the school philosophy or way of running things.

Teachers with their own “classroom philosophy” are particular welcome for solo teaching positions and schools often strongly favour teachers with school experience in their home countries.

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9 minutes from Nakano Station (Chuo/Tozai lines) South Exit

1 Chome-62-10 Nakano,
Nakano-ku, Tōkyō

Enter the Tokyo Community School building, call on the intercom telephone at the orange door.

Office hours : 09:00-18:00
Regular Holiday : Saturday/Sunday

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