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Should I risk it?

 
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cubiam



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:17 am    Post subject: Should I risk it? Reply with quote

Hello

I possess a working holiday visa for a year in japan. I need to enter japan before june 5th. I'm English, have a MA and just 6 months tutoring experience.

I have been working as a private tutor in Shanghai, a very easy job with a nice boss, though the pay isn't great 1,000 pounds a month, rent and living is fairly cheap. It is barely working. I just follow him around mon to fri 9 to 5 and read him a book, when he has a spare moment in-between meetings. I never have to worry about work. But i don't meet many people so I have grown kinda bored of Shanghai

I should say, i cannot bet on myself, sometimes i suffer from nerves, the thought of public speaking back in the west, really worried me which affected my performance talking in front of the class. But as an ALT, i would like to think i could do this job? I have long since been fascinated with japan, writing my dissertation on japanese filmmakers.

My housing contract has come to an end in Shanghai. Should i risk moving to Japan for a month, and trying my luck looking for a job? Or stay in this cushy, (even though i have to drink the chinese liquor and go to bad restaurants) but unchallenging job in Shanghai and holiday instead Japan at the end of this month, sign up for a 3 month extended contract in Shanghai, then think about coming over again in june before my whv is up? There will be fewer job offers for an ALT in June?

I can go back to my old job in Shanghai, but not commiting myself to a 3 month contract would mean losing my cool flat, i live with a crazy but pretty girl. If i sign up for a 3 month contract, my trip to Japan at the end of the month would be a mere reconnaissance mission

Any advice i really appreciate


Last edited by cubiam on Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:27 am; edited 4 times in total
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 1116
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:33 am    Post subject: Re: Should I risk it? Reply with quote

cubiam wrote:
Should i risk moving to Japan for a month, and trying my luck looking for a job? Or stay in this cushy, (even though i have to drink the chinese liquor and go to bad restaurants) but unchallenging job in Shanghai and holiday instead Japan at the end of this month, sign up for a 3 month extended contract in Shanghai, then think about coming over again in june before my whv is up?
That depends on what you want to do with your life. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time, and so on?

If your job is cushy, and you see your future in English teaching, why not invest your spare time and energy in gaining some English teaching qualifications?
Quote:
There will be fewer job offers for an ALT in June?
Very few. ALTs are hired to start work at the beginning of the school year, which is April. The only ALT jobs available are to replace ALTs that suddenly quit.
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cubiam



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see. Can a job as an ALT be quite stressful? I have never really considered a career as an English teacher mainly due to bad public speaking skills.
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Vince



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 553
Location: U.S.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cubiam wrote:
I see. Can a job as an ALT be quite stressful? I have never really considered a career as an English teacher mainly due to bad public speaking skills.

Any job can be stressful. ALT work itself usually isn't stressful, but you never know who your coworkers will be.
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cubiam



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right. Should someone who has a track record of poor public speaking, consider a job as an ALT? Speaking infront of a class who doesn't even speak my language really worries me, when it really shouldn't. I don't know if i'm cut out for it, pathetic as it may seem, haha. I'm effective on a one to one or a class size of 4 to 5 but to have 30 kids plus the Japanese teacher all starring at me, trying to make out what I am saying, hmm I can't guarantee I won't start shaking like a crack fiend
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 1116
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cubiam wrote:
Right. Should someone who has a track record of poor public speaking, consider a job as an ALT? Speaking infront of a class who doesn't even speak my language really worries me, when it really shouldn't. I don't know if i'm cut out for it, pathetic as it may seem, haha. I'm effective on a one to one or a class size of 4 to 5 but to have 30 kids plus the Japanese teacher all starring at me, trying to make out what I am saying, hmm I can't guarantee I won't start shaking like a crack fiend
It looks like you've already talked yourself out of it.

Either fix your problem, or don't become an ALT.
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cubiam



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. I have a habit of doing that. As most dispatch companies sponsor a visa for ALT positions, I will holiday in Japan this year and go back to my one to one follower job in Shanghai, and maybe apply next year if I feel more confident about the job. Mama be so proud!! An ideal set up would be doing a full time one to one job in Japan but I think those jobs are very rare
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Speaking infront of a class who doesn't even speak my language really worries me
Realize that ALTs in Japan can have any of a number of experiences in the classroom. Some do little more than read and repeat stuff. Others are told by the Japanese teacher (JTE) practically to run the class. I'm sure that latter thing would really stress you out.

You will have to overcome your fear of public speaking in ANY setting as a teacher. Ease your way into it, IF POSSIBLE, but there are no guarantees that it will be possible in Japan.

With eikaiwa, your class sizes are much smaller, but you are the sole teacher/instructor. Consider whether that would be better. Sometimes you are handed a format not to deviate from, while other times you might be allowed freedom to do whatever you want.

Now to end of March is prime hiring time here. Either get here quickly, or mull things over so as not to rush in unprepared for another year.
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stumptowny



Joined: 29 May 2011
Posts: 310

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you are serious about working and living in japan, you would look for work now. your message is scattered and thus your true intent. you have some thinking to do on your own. girls here are pretty but not crazy. they are supremely boring and self centered. pick your poison..

public speaking stress usually arises from speaking in a situation where your peers know what you are saying and mean. aka. colleagues. if you can't be a tape recorder for clueless, automatons (japanese students), don't do any job anywhere with any "public" speaking.. it's a classroom, not a state of the union address
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To add to stumptowny's message, you must realize that any language teacher must find ways to talk to a minimum and to maximize the talking time of the students (or reading or writing time, depending on the course). So public speaking is not a good choice of (my) words. You should NOT be lecturing for lengthy periods of time in an EFL environment.

That doesn't mean you can't have fears of being in front of a classroom of 30-40 kids. Been there, done that, am doing it now (with uni students).
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chica88



Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to be very afraid the get up and speak in public.
It even made it hard to me to get through my teacher evaluation period.
It was not some little thing I just got over right away.
But, if you want to teach you got to do it.
Now I talk in front of all kinds of people and it does not phase me.

If I were you, I would get in front of a class as soon as you can and start teaching.
The only way you get over it is by forcing yourself to do it over and over.
Thats my 2 cents.
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thomthom



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 124

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel for you, Cubiam. Public speaking was always and still is my greatest fear (apart from lung cancer or great white sharks, but those are not currently pressing issues). When I first went to Seoul I was anxious as hell and very visibly nervous in my initial classes, especially when being observed by a co-teacher. But I pushed on through it for the sake of being in a new and exciting country. Fortunately my first job was very laid-back and I was only expected to act as a games-master for seldom more than 10 students.

My second position was much more professional, however. Classes were often monitored and on four occasions we had a 'Student-Parent Conference', in which I had to speak for 10 minutes in front of about 30 confused Korean mothers. I'm certain I would have come across as very nervous, but fortunately the majority of students at that school loved me for how much fun we had in the actual lessons.

I think you've just got to get on the bottom rung of the public speaking ladder and work your way up. I myself am starting an ALT job soon and I think it will be more challenging in terms of public speaking despite the shorter hours. As far as I've been informed, on your first day as an ALT it's commonly expected that you stand up in assembly and introduce yourself to the entire student-parent body! If I find that I'm expected to speak in front of more than 100 people on a regular basis I might find a commercial job..!
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OneJoelFifty



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 463

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your job sounds awesome. How about we arrange some kind of swap deal for a few months.
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