Today I officially accepted the position I was offered. I’m very, very excited to see things coming together in great, great ways. Here’s the info regarding what I’ll be up to for at least the next year of my life:
I’m going to be teaching at a school operated by American Language School Japan in West Tokyo. It’s a franchise owned and operated by a family. In my research about the company, I’ve been really surprised; I cannot find anything negative about this particular business. Forums and discussion groups are littered with less-than-positive rants and stories about many other English-teaching gigs across Japan, but I feel very good about both my placement and the people I’ve been coordinating with.
I’ll teach from about 3 PM to 8 or 9 PM Tuesday through Fridays. ALS will secure a place for me to live, provide my visa sponsorship, and spend two weeks training me before I begin. They offer a very generous 5 weeks of paid vacation each year (in addition to national holidays where applicable); 2 weeks in summer, 2 weeks in winter, and a week in spring. My class sizes will consist of no more than 6 bodies, and each class will be up to 50 minutes, once a week. I’ll teach a wide range of ages and abilities, which will require some flexibility on my part.
I’ve never done anything like this before; the teaching I’ve done in the past has been in super-informal situations with language partners and friends. I’m looking forward to gaining some new skills, meeting new people, and helping out where I can. There’s some other opportunities I’m looking forward to exploring in my time outside of the classroom; increasing my fluency in Japanese, further familiarizing myself with the culture, and in general enjoying being back in Tokyo. I’m feeling very, very positive about it all.
I come back in less than a month – I start training in Chiba on the 15th of February, but anticipate arriving a few days before that to accommodate jet lag, and also to give me some time to run a few errands before I get busy with work. I’m looking at flying in on the 10th or the 11th. I stay for free at ALS’s place in Funabashi during my first week of training, but think I may make a day (or weekend?) trip into Tokyo depending on how much I need to take care of and how many people I want to harass. After that initial week, I’ll head to my new place in Tokyo (West of Shinjuku) for a week of observing the current teacher and taking notes.
I’ve got a lot to do in the next 25 days or so, but I’m really looking forward to being busy again. The last two months have dragged by, but little landmarks have kept me going. A few days ago I got this very important document in the mail:
At long last! I have this piece of paper that gives people the impression I have some semblance of intelligence! I promise to use my powers for good. Mostly.
I’ll have a video up in the next couple of days on YouTube with this all of this information as well as with some video of shenanigans from the land of rocks and trees over the last couple months.
I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has been so, so supportive despite my absence from Japan. All of the emails, comments, skype conversations, and phone calls have meant a lot. I’m still surprised with every new subscription on YouTube that I see, since I haven’t posted anything even remotely Japan-related for months. I’m really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and creating Japan-related content again. I loved having every day be a learning experience and being able to share that with readers/watchers. Also, I’ll be changing my twitter user name to reflect my YouTube and blog (finally).
Thanks again for sticking with me through this hiatus. I can’t wait to get back!