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Real Voices

2010/03/17

We talked to Mike, a teacher who was a dispatch teacher with Global Partners before being directly hired by his school. Read about his story here.

Q.Please tell us about your current position.
A.I am currently in my 3rd year working at a private Junior and Senior High school. I worked as a dispatch teacher for 2 years and have been hired directly since April 2009. I saw the advertisement for my position on the internet and decided to try to apply with Global Partners. The position was not just an Oral Communication teaching position, but there was also a chance to teach literature which sounded like a good opportunity. I attended the interview at the Global Partners office, then attended the school interview and was successful.

Q.Can you tell me about the difference in your duties between being a dispatch and direct teacher?
A.One of the things about working in a school in Japan is the vagueness regarding duties. One of the things I have done is try to look at the full time teachers and kind of follow their lead, as often there do not seem to be any set rules. For example, it is common for full time teachers to stay late after school, while some teachers go home at 5 or 5:30. I am usually there until at least 6:30 and sometime as late as 8 pm. Also when we have school events, such as the school festival which is held on the weekend I am expected to be at school on Saturday and Sunday, whereas the dispatch teachers usually only attend one day. In this way, many of my duties have increased in level of responsibility, even though I was helping out doing the same thing before.

New areas of responsibility include clubs and the many other administrative duties involved in teaching students. I am involved in one sports club and need to help out on the weekends now and then. On top of this I have also created an "English Circle" which is held twice a week for students interested in English and have proposed holding a speech contest at the school which is currently being considered.

Plus, I work as an assistant homeroom teacher and help with other educational activities and student advising, including attending all of the meetings that teachers need to attend.

Q.Can you give some advice for teachers considering direct hire?
A.Speaking for myself, I considered direct hire the only way to work in Japan long term, but it is hard for native teachers to be accepted in Japanese schools and receive tenure. My advice for those considering direct hire would be;
*be outgoing
*understand, or at least make an effort to understand the working environment
*if possible speak some Japanese, since with this you can show the school and other teachers that you are making a real effort and build up a good working relationship with those around you.

Q.Finally could you tell me some final thoughts about Global Partners?
A.I really think that Global Partners has a good vision to create a good environment for education in Japan. In order for things to improve for schools, teachers and students there needs to be more forward thinking, and I think direct hire may be the best way to achieve this. Most schools have no clear procedure for direct hire of native teachers, but schools need to attract and hold on to better teachers. I think direct hire is a good road to follow. I hope to see more direct hire teachers in the future and I hope that EduCareer can help promote this.

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