It’s your friendly neighbourhood Gaijin here, coming with an update from the JET Programme! So, I’ve been here for about a year and 3 months now. Wow does time pass. At this point it is where I am seriously beginning my job hunting. Whether that be going into Master’s Studies in Japan or Canada, or working in Japan or Canada, it has to begin now. I don’t think I’m planning on leaving the JET Programme for another year, but when it comes to job hunting the earlier you start is always the better (wisdom taught by life).
Now that I’ve lived in Japan there are so many decisions that come into place when talking about moving back to Canada. There are many benefits such as: being able to see my family more frequently, being reunited with my Canadian friends and actually buying a huge bowl of pho at an affordable price. On the other hand, the disadvantages may be: leaving all of my Japanese friends behind, not having the ability to use my Japanese for work as readily and stopping the journey which I am currently on and quite enjoy.
Working on the JET Programme for a year has really begun to be very enjoyable and I am starting to love my job to the fullest. I have started understanding my students’ way of thinking, personalities and even tastes in music. I understand the cirricullum and lessons, so that I can contribute to my lessons in different ways and add my personal touches to the lesson if time permits. The JTEs each have their own teaching style so when different teachers instruct different grades, it’s a refreshing way to see each new level being taught. Since I only have a limited amount time as an ALT, I look forward to the Sports and Culture festivals which take place in the Fall. The ALT position also has an impeccable amount of vacation time available for a Japanese Part-Time worker, I don’t think many jobs in Japan have such benefits. It’s a shame I have to leave the JET Programme, but like people say “JET is not a career.” Hopefully, this experience will help to open doors in the future though.
Now one of my goals is to finally pass the JLPT N2. I was pretty good at studying for tests when I was a kid, but I guess as I get older it becomes a little harder. The amount of grammar and reading that is needed is quite high and speaking ability means 0 when it comes to your final score. I really envy those Japanese-Canadian kids who put a lot of effort into their Japanese when they were young and received N1 by the end of High School (Looking at you, Len). Nonetheless, I have to try my hardest whether it be jobs, tests, planning or just day to day job duties. Fight ON!