One of the most important things to understand about the JET Program is that you don’t get to choose your placement. You can request your top three picks, but ultimately it is up to the program to decide where you will go and which school(s) you will work at. Rural or urban, elementary or high… Read More 10 Things to Know About Being Placed in a Tokyo Private School on the JET Program
The Japanese school year ends in March and begins in April, which means that it’s graduation season. I recently attended my school’s junior and senior high school graduation ceremonies, and I was surprised by how serious they were. I guess I really shouldn’t have been all that surprised – every Japanese school ceremony I’ve attended… Read More Why So Serious? Japanese Graduation Ceremonies
Last week, it was my school’s choir competition. Choir competitions are a big deal at schools in Japan, and almost all schools, public and private, host them annually. The students prepare and practice for months, and on the day of, classes are canceled, parents come to show their support, and the students show off all… Read More Choir Competition and Individuality in Japanese and American Schools
I finished my first semester as an English teacher in Japan! All in all, I’d say it went pretty well. I work at a private, all-girls, sports-focused middle school, which let me tell you, is not an easy group to teach, and I felt a bit thrown into the deep end at first. With no… Read More Tales from the Classroom: My First Semester as an English Teacher in Japan
A couple weeks ago, I experienced my first enkai, as well as an unexpected trip to the top of Tokyo Skytree. An enkai is a Japanese work party, and is a pretty big deal in Japanese work culture. I had heard so much about enkais at orientation and from other JETs, so I was eager… Read More My First Enkai, and an Unexpected Trip up the World’s Tallest Tower
A coupe weekends ago, I was able to experience Bunkasai at my school! Bunkasai, or School Festivals are a big deal in schools in Japan, from elementary to university. Bunkasai is an open-campus day, to show off the school to families and to the community, and to showcase the students’ achievements. All of the students… Read More Bunkasai! (School Festival)
Last week it was the first day of school! Only this time around, I’m a teacher, not a student. My “First Day” I went in on Wednesday expecting my first real day of work. While I have thoroughly enjoyed having all of this time off, I was really excited to start working. With nothing but… Read More The First Day(s) of School!