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A question for the oldbies....

 
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peter andre



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 5
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 11:32 pm    Post subject: A question for the oldbies.... Reply with quote

Hey there all you experienced hands out there,
I'm coming to Japan and am going to use a big school to help me get my bearings/ give me an income while I get them.... but I would really like to know which of the bigger schools (that hire from the UK/ abroad) YOU would choose to teach with....
All your biased opinions taken with thanks, I've read the journal and know all places have their good and bad. I'm just interested in what the professionals would choose....
(By the way I'm most interested in teaching in rural areas... but maybe the "unholy trinity" et al can't offer that...)

Looking forward to any replys/ thinks,
With thanks,
Peter
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter,

What exactly are your goals and background? It's rather hard to offer any opinions without knowing something about you other than the following quote:

Quote:
I'm coming to Japan and am going to use a big school to help me get my bearings/ give me an income while I get them


By background, I'm talking about work experience, education, and general lifestyle. And, why are you interested in rural areas?
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peter andre



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 5
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey there Glenski (and everyone else out there in the ether...),
Sorry, I mentioned a bit about myself in my last post concerning getting jobs in a university (but didn't refer to that last post...) but, anyway, to recap:
I'm not a keen party goer - prefering more measured pursuits. interested in integrating myself in a community (rather than hanging around one) I'm not keen on big cities because personally I think big cities dehumanise people in a way (bold statement I know, but to expand this idea would make it a much longer post), homogenise them...
Hmmm.... I shouldn't have gone into rehtoric... basically having lived in London, Dublin, Galway, and some much smaller places I just prefer the atmosphere and people in a more rural setting. I feel I get more out of those environments

But that's me. The post was just asking yourself (and any of the other experienced teachers in/ formerly in Japan) that have first or second hand knowledge of Aeon, Nova, ECC, Geos, Shane etc (the schools that hire from abroad) what school would YOU choose to come to if you had to pick one??? I've read about the schools in the journal and therefore have a good 'idea' about them, but I'm interested in the views of the balanced minority of experienced posters who frequent this site.
I regret putting in the thing about wanting to live in rural japan in the first post because it's irrelevant really, I will have to look for somewhere rural to move to and accept the placement I choose in the big chain school...
But, anyway, that was the question... What school would you choose? Why would you? (no need for exhaustive replies) I'm just curious because there are a few posters here on the board with such an awareness, such as yourself Glenski, who's opinion and decisions I would respect and might help me sort through things in my head... I'm interested as to how you would lpick the best of the bad bunch...?
Thank you for every reply, I know it takes time but your effort is very much acknowledged and appreciated,
'spect,
Peter

P.S. DON'T FEEL THAT I'LL TAKE YOUR VIEW AS GOSPEL AND TURN UP IN A YEAR BLAMING YOU FOR RUINING MY LIFE! I'M AWARE THAT NO-ONE CAN MAKE A DECISION FOR ME, I'm just interested in what decisions you would make....
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that recap, Peter. Of course, you didn't list your educational background or your goals in teaching. Or is it that your goals are unrelated to teaching (as they are with some people), and you just want to live in Japan?

It's STILL hard to give advice because you haven't described these things.

However, ECC and AEON seem to have the fewest complaints on the forums, so either of those would be my first choices. From other web sites (notably www.teachinginjapan.com), you can find a lot of discussion about the big 4 eikaiwas. Basically, if those are all you are comparing, it comes down to how much rent you want to pay, how much vacation time you'll get, and how well the school representatives have responded to your queries.

I don't know your background or career goals, but if you are truly looking for rural life, you might even want to consider JET. It's not for me, but the majority of their locations are in less than urban settings. For discussions by current JETs, check out www.bigdaikon.com. Be prepared for a lot of immaturity though. Just my opinion.
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peter andre



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 5
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorry glenski, I'm not giving you much information at all really,
I was just interested about what teachers who are more experienced with Japan (and the bigger teaching organisations) would choose for themselves.....

As to my goals, how can they not be related to teaching if I want to be a teacher? But I must admit, my first concerns are with surviving, and surviving with as much dignaty and meaning as possible. Those are my criteria for a place to teach, if any.... relating to the students can only ever be an immediate and fluid thing.

I am very thankful for your time and can understand you wanting to get to know my motives and desires before you give an answer, but, really, it's as simple as a one word answer... Who would YOU choose to work for while you got your bearings in Japan?

Thanks again,
Peter
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Sherri



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 748
Location: The Big Island, Hawaii

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter
I don't know how helpful this is, but I wouldn't and didn't come over with a big school. I did look into the possibility but in the end I decided that I prefered the "freedom" (and expense) of coming over by myself and looking around here. I had never been to Japan and I didn't speak any Japanese but I did do a lot of research. I was VERY POOR for the first 3 months--that was the main disadvantage. Advantages were that I could find my own place not tied to my employer and had privacy. I met potential employers face to face, talked to people already working here, looked at the school facilities and decided where to work based on that. I am not saying that this is the best thing to do, it is what worked for me and my personality. I hope you find the way that suits yours.
Sherri
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, Peter, I see that I misunderstood some of your messages. Forgive me, but I frequent a lot of forums, as you probably know, and not everyone who enters a teaching forum is interested in teaching.

Bottom line in my opinion is this:
Younger teachers would probably benefit most from ECC or AEON, or even from JET.
Older teachers like myself would probably have a better time avoiding JET and just going with ECC or AEON. However, we older teachers (I'm 46) are bound to have different lifestyles and living circumstances than the younger ones. Families, for one. More sedate lives (on average). Concerns about long range finances (retirement, for one). Peace of mind, which centers a lot around just how much (or little) one travels around the city to do private lessons. The older you get, the fewer jobs you piece together to make the same (or slightly higher) salary.
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Shonai Ben



Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Posts: 585
Location: on the floor

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter:
I originally came to Japan with a small school in northern Japan & lived in a small city.I personally enjoyed the "rural" lifestyle and the laidback attitudes of the people there.
I have never worked for any of the big schools but talking to fellow teachers and from what I have read I would avoid Nova,Gaba and Shane.
Actually Nova offered me a job but I turned it down.Geos is probably soso and Aeon is generally good.I have a friend working at Aeon and he is very happy.
Knowing what I know now,I would choose Aeon.However to be quite honest,I would not go back to an eikaiwa full time now.I do a part-time gig
at an eikaiwa and teach private classes.This is something you may want to consider once you get well established in Japan,after a year or two.
I hope this helps.Enjoy your stay in Japan!
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