With that said, I’d like to discuss another aspect of teaching English in Japan – namely, some of the companies that hire the teachers. As most of you probably know, the wage case against NOVA and it’s obviously corrupt president, Nozomu Sahashi, was dropped.
Kamen Hanya wrote: Sahashi deserves punishment to the full extent of the law. Too bad for the crusty NOVA people who didn’t get paid, but I have to say is what goes around comes around. There’s an old saying that probably originated in Japan “…stand by a river long enough and you’ll see the bodies of your enemies floating by.” This situation has rendered quite a few visible corpses I’ve seen. I don’t feel the LEAST bit SORRY for ANY of them. Besides, all the rinky dink “eikaiwas” in the Kansai area have proven to be the best sympathizers.
- Having one textbook used in all the schools (for the most part).
- Pre-set lesson plans.
- Other foreigners to speak to during your downtime.
- Mostly adult classes resulting in less stress.
- A ready supply of poor gaijin to take your shifts if you were sick, hungover or just plain didn’t feel like dealing with it.
- Being treated like a child (especially by managers with no managerial experience who were often children themselves).
- Not being allowed to speak Japanese to students.
- Coming all the way to Japan to experience the culture, then spending 8 hours a day in what I like to call the “gaijin cocoon.“
- Having to sit in the same tiny teacher’s room with the same annoying people day, after day, after day.
- No paid summer vacation.
- …a teacher broke his finger on the station platform on the way to work, sent a photo from his keitai to his friends at work and his managers of his finger bent backwards at an impossible angle, called in sick and went to the hospital…only to discover that he had still been docked some of his pay.
- …they made it seem like the NOVA-affiliated insurance policy was the ONLY policy available to foreigners in Japan – which cost substantially more than National Insurance for the first year (which was how long most teachers stayed anyway – and NOVA knew this.
- …payroll decided that even though teachers were not paid extra money for coming in early, they would deduct money from one of the teacher’s salary because she was on paid vacation (lucky for her she noticed it on her paycheck, was a lawyer and scared them off)
- …I was paying 72,000YEN a month to live in a tiny three-bedroom sty…with 2 other people…an hour and a half from work.
Basically, I’m pimped out to whatever school finds me attractive, the Board of Education (BOE) gives all the money to daddy, then I’m given a very, very small amount from this money, slapped in the face and put back out on the corner tired and sleepy.
- Some like all the free time it affords them.
- Some like to be able to work at other places. when they’re not working for the company.
- Some find working with kids rewarding.
I love living in the Country of Tokyo. I’m thinking about getting a re-entry permit so I can visit the country of Kyoto.
Japanese Teacher: “Here’s the lesson plan.”
Gaijin Teacher: “What’s this?”Japanese Teacher: “It’s the book from your company. They said that all the teachers should be familiar with the lessons in this book.”Gaijin Teacher: (flipping through the book) “I’ve never done nor seen this lesson before in my life.”
Japanese Teacher: (looking disappointed, frustrated and surprised all at the same time) “Oh!”
Maybe my days here are more numbered than I thought!
Black Tokyo Monogatari: Teaching English in Japan