If you go on Facebook Groups or Reddit forums you’ll often find people who will tell you all about how teaching salaries in Japan are capped at somewhere between ¥250,000 and ¥300,000 per month, and that “you’ll never make any more than that.” It’s often used as a thinly veiled excuse for not making more money or for leaving Japan and going home.
However, in my experience it is possible to make a lot more money teaching English when you do a few key things:
A big part of this is the type of …continue reading
Source: Memoirs of a Gaijin
Routine is what gives you control over your life, and a proper routine starts in the morning. But finding a time or opportunity to start that routine can be as difficult as sticking to it.
Climbing Mt. Fuji to watch the sunrise forces you to follow a plan. And if you can climb the tallest mountain in Japan, starting a simple morning routine shouldn’t be too hard.
“Earn the sunrise.”
Naturally, to see one man impose discipline upon everything in his life prompts well-due introspection. One year has passed since my arrival in Japan, and while many things have changed, many things appear to have stayed the same.
Ambition without direction is a ship without a captain, and this last year has seen a captain who has been inconsistent in his command.
In light of the arrival’s anniversary, I found it high time to helm my ship and guide it into port. This thought was foremost in my mind as I climbed Mt. Fuji last week to earn the sunrise on July 23rd.
My 23rd birthday.
A monumental mountain for a momentous occasion
This was a special birthday for me in a few ways. It marked my first birthday in Japan, and exactly one year since I launched this blog. And turning 23 on the 23rd made the day special in that once-in-a-lifetime sort of way.
In short, it felt momentous, and I meant to capitalize on this occasion.
Source: Memoirs of a Gaijin
When you move to a new place it can be hard to find new friends. It’s hard enough when you move across the country, let alone across the world. I’ve been here in Japan for about a year, and in that time I have made many friends and discoveries to enliven my time here.
But with each year comes fresh faces to Gunma, and they do not have those same connections. So last weekend, myself and some other Gunmans carried on a tradition of friendly competition to help everyone get to know each other.
The goal was the Golden Cabbage, but the prize was the friends made along the way. This is the Story of Gunma Games 2019.
Setting the Scene
Gunma Games has been an annual tradition of the Gunma Area JET Organization, or GAJET for brevity’s sake, for seven years now. GAJET is all about bringing people together to make Gunma feel like home, and I joined the 2019 staff to lend a hand in that regard.
It’s not common knowledge outside of Gunma that there exist four different regions:
*Tone & Agatsuma are combined for administrative purposes*
In addition to the executive positions, there also exist representatives for each region. I sit on the committee as Tobu’s representative, and my main purpose is to motivate my fellow Tobu-ites to attend GAJET events.
Talking Up Tobu’s Heart
Petty inter-region rivalries exist, but during Gunma Games they tend to exist at their most volatile. After all, there’s nothing better than a day of competition to stoke the flames of contention. Tobu, as the reigning champions of 2017 and 2018, was the region to beat.
Due to its size, Seibu always has players who are unable to join any games, and it’s common to see their members defect for a better chance to play. 2018’s Gunma Games …continue reading
Source: Gaijin Pot
Ah, elementary school first grade. It’s the class reserved for veteran teachers. Those harried cardigan-wearing sensei‘s who have little to no hair left and a blank look in their eyes that screams “Help!”
It’s also the class that, as a shiny new ALT, you’ll probably be assigned to despite having no experience controlling a room of what feels like a hundred 6-year-olds.
These little monsters, who just a few months ago were still regularly pooping their pants and putting everything in their mouths, are now in your classroom clinging to your legs, drooling all over your arms, and asking you the most absurd questions you’ll likely ever encounter on your ALT journey. Yup, even more than the dreaded self-intro class—an hour that pretty much sums up what it’s like to teach English in Japan.
Elementary school kids are fresh off the educational boat and, for some, it’s their very first time in a real school environment. What does that mean? Well, almost every lesson will typically follow the exact same plotline.
It goes something like this:
Scene 1: Teacher enters
This is the most foreign experience (literally) that these kids will have ever had and they won’t be able to restrain themselves from shouting out whatever thought comes into their heads. Remarks range from “GAIJIN!” all the way to “HE’S TALLER THAN MY DAD!” and even “Why did you become a FOREIGNER?”.
Scene 2: Words come out of the teacher’s mouth and are met by a din of noise
You say your name and country and let the kids freak out over it simply because it isn’t Japanese. Sometimes they assume you’re Atsugiri Jason in a bad disguise. You bask in this moment of fame by association before it gets taken from you when the …continue reading