4 Struggles of an ALT in Japan and How to Overcome Them

Source: Gaijin Pot
4 Struggles of an ALT in Japan and How to Overcome Them

In this edition of “ALT (A Little Training) for ALTs” we look at four struggles of being an ALT and how to overcome them by someone with firsthand experience in the classroom in Japanese schools.

My name is Alexander Eloi and I have been with Real Communication Solutions (RCS) for the last two years as an ALT in Saitama Prefecture. Before that I was an ALT with another dispatch company teaching junior and senior high school in Okayama Prefecture for two years. I hope my experience shows you that the most common complaints as an ALT can be dealt with — and that by going the extra mile, the position can be a truly rewarding experience.

1. Low income

The pay rate is one of the most common subjects of discussion when it comes to talking about being an ALT. To be honest though, I haven’t had a problem with it. I made ¥250,000 in my first company and now ¥230,000 in my current company. I took the latter position (and salary) in order to get closer to Tokyo — which is where I wanted to be. With deductions — rent, company car, health insurance, taxes, etc. — that money goes fast. However, in both situations I was able to do the things I wanted, pay bills back home and survive. To make up for the pay cut, I found additional part-time teaching positions in Tokyo that have given me great connections and beyond that — allowed me to make great friends. Also, RCS is constantly offering me extra work should I have the time and inclination to accept it. I still live frugally, but I can survive and still enjoy myself.

2. Overtime

In my former and current company, I was told that I wouldn’t be getting paid for staying later but that …continue reading