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What:

I work for the Koriyama board of education as a Native Teacher, NT. I get paid more, less rent, more vacation time, and the biggest incentive is more classes and more responsibility.

Why:

Because I love to teach, and about all I can really teach is English. Japanese kids are so cute and really enjoy learning English when it's fun. I make it fun and the kids make me happy. I taught, well taught is not the right word, I was in the JET Programme for 3 years and did more wasteful sitting than teaching. I felt the JET programme was more interested in forcing me to accept Japanese culture, than about internationalization. So I found a program that was more about teaching.

I have a teaching license now. I am the only one in the classroom. I make the lesson plans and teach the class. I make English bulletin boards in my spare time. After school I help with various clubs and activities. I am a part of the school, not just the token foreigner to ask stupid questions and treat like a puppet or a child.

Where:

Although the school is named Konan E-JHS, it is located in Miyo town. It's just below the 5th biggest lake in Japan, Fukushima prefecture's own Inawashiro lake. The town has one traffic light and a small convenience store that closes at 9pm. There are probably about 1,000 people living in the town as it's mainly rice farmers.

How:

First I let the person in charge know I was interested in January of 2005. Then in April I was told to create a resume in Japanese. That was an adventure, you can read about it here (soon). Then in late May I was told the interview would be the Friday of June that I would be in the US for a week. So they were moved to the following Monday. There were 4 people applying for 4 jobs. After the interviews we were given a mound of paperwork to fill out. We were told we would find out in about a week. A month later, we were told we got the job and the onslaught of paperwork continued. Finally around July 21st, I was taken to my new school and apartment.

When:

Since August 2005.

 

Ryan McDonald 2005, for information about using images or text please click here.