Archive for November 2011

To Teach or not To Teach   1 comment

Yes, this was the question.

My first “teaching” job was back in 1987. I had just landed in Japan for the first time and decided to take the train from Kuwana, where I was living with a host family, to Nagoya. A friend had told me of the Nagoya International Center where there was a noticeboard for available jobs. I found a few and made a phone call to the first on my list. I was wearing jeans, jumpers and a coat (it was winter). They said to come in straight away for an interview.

Oooo! So inappropriately dressed and ready for questions to answer in my broken Japanese, three gentleman, who were dressed appropriately, told me in English to give a self introduction in English. WOW! This was difficult! I did, and then they gave me the job. Just like that! S’pose the fact that I was Caucasian and a native English speaker with a working-holiday viza was justifiable for them to hire me. I was teaching English conversation to office workers who worked for a medical supply company in Yokkaichi and Tsu cities 3 times a week.

It was that easy. All you had to do back in 1987 was to BE a big whitey round-eyed Caucasian whose native language was English and you landed a job! Sadly, this is still the case with a lot of native English speaking “teachers” in Japan even now. Back then I had no idea whether this teaching thing was my thing. I enjoyed it, but was it for me? In those days all you had to do was walk in a remote suburbian area, which was where I was living, in Kuwana where there were NOT very many Aussies and people would approach you. T’was a bit scary, but one of the neighbours came to my house and talked to my frend’s mother about having me teach them English. Cash in hand, once a week. I accepted, and then the word spread like wildfire and by the end of my 3rd month I was also teaching 3 groups of Japanese housewives English in thier houses and getting paid cash in hand. Not bad. I didn’t realize at the time that this lady who approached my house would be the person who was able to set up my one year job teaching in 1989!

Truly, it’s not what you know but WHO you know that mattered.

Thus I was packing my bags to return to Japan in 1989 to work in an English juku. And I still had NO teaching certificate or qualifications. hmmmm.


Posted November 20, 2011 by marycinta in Teaching Tales

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