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Is AEON a cult?
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marley'sghost



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TokyoLiz wrote:

IME, dispatched workers, foreign or not, don't have stimulating jobs and are held at arm's length. There are a number of former dispatch teachers where I work, science and math teachers, who expressed the same thing to me.

The job I have now is challenging, and there are problems, but it's a chance to keep learning how to do my job better.

Nights says he's repeating what he did the previous year. Me, too. But with different kids, and it's gratifying to see them grow and improve their English.

What's wrong with doing that for the next few decades? If you find that's not enough for you, you are in the wrong career.

Corrected typos.


Agree totally. I like the "arm's length" aspect actually. Keeps people out of my hair, I can teach how I want. Take the gyomu itaku for what it's worth. Took some time to get to that point. In the old days, I'd get stuck "human CD-playing" and what not. But once the JTEs saw that I could run the class and not run it into the ground, I slowly took over more and more of the lesson. Do pretty much the whole thing now. The JTE more assists me when it's my show.

And yeah, no problem doing what you did last year if it works. No need to re-invent the wheel every lesson. It's new for the kids and if it gets them making language, it's all good.

@Mitsui- sorry you have a psycho boss and about the wife's health. Hang in there and take care of the family for now. Some days you got to just say, "Hey, a jobs a job." and take care of what's important.
In the past, when I had micro-mangager JTEs, I'd start breaking free by saying, "Hey sensei. I have a good idea for a quick 5 minute warm-up activity. Mind if I try it next lesson?" After a couple weeks of fun warm-up, I'd say, "Hey sensei, I have an idea for next week's lesson. We can ......." . Just a bit at a time.
Discipline.....yeah, wish I could help you there. Be nice if there was detention or something in this country. You know direct, logical, clear consequences for actions.......crazy......
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arm's length does not work here as there is gossip and backstabbing.
It feels like 1946.

We do the teaching but some JETs do nothing: sit, stand, or speak Japanese.
When students speak Japanese they do not try to speak English to me.

The plan is fixed and we have almost no flexibility.
It is teaching for dummies.

No academic probation. It depends on the JET - most teachers are not strict.

Micromanaging is an issue, as is passive-aggressive behavior.

I have been called a gaijin in class and my wife was called a nanpa by a teacher.
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JRJohn



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 175

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:21 am    Post subject: Micromanagement? Reply with quote

I get your point. It is pretty extreme. But is it not the case that what Aeon is doing can also be described as micromanagement? Micromanagement is when the company or school you work for tries to organise and control every minute of your working time. I remember working in a school in Spain that was micromanaged. For example, not only did I have to prepare lesson detailed plans, saved and checked by the boss but I had to record everything I did in 3 or 4 detailed, specific ways, including attendance, tests and so on. There were meetings, meetings, meetings. Even the Halloween party was micromanaged. Yet I still did not get a sense of clear direction from the top about the most important thing which was the Trinity Exams. It was all little stuff.
Is that how Aeon works? If they micromanage everything, then it could be counterproductive, leading to lower success and higher stress among staff than one might expect.
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1547
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way Aeon operates is much like any Japanese company - you come in early, have a meeting/ pep talk/ taiso session before the work day starts, and you stay after your working hours to clean up.

My guy works in a manufacturing business. He meets his coworkers about an hour before their actual working day begins, and stays a few hours after the office closes to clean up and plan the next day, or train rookies.

Aeon's method is nonsense, but I told you that before.
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Lamarr



Joined: 27 Sep 2010
Posts: 190

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not known any eikaiwa to micromanage in the way you describe. It would cost them too much time and money. Like I've explained in my posts, their main (or only) concern is making as much profit as possible. They wouldn't go to the trouble of having all lesson plans, lesson reports etc. documented and vetted to the nth degree. That would waste too much time that would be better spent maximizing the number of lessons they can shovel into your schedule, so that customers get through their lesson points as quickly as possible, then they can apply their sales tactics to fleece more money off them.

Micromanagement would mess all that up. And besides, it isn't necessary, when you consider (as again I've explained) that eikaiwa simply require you to turn up on time, dress smart, smile and be genki, and not commit any faux-pas. Teaching doesn't come into it.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure about that.
What about Interac?


Last edited by mitsui on Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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marley'sghost



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Better clarify, we've left the cult of Aeon back there a few pages ago. We've been talking ALT/Private schools for a bit. This thread has been well and properly commandeered. Don't worry, there are still two other threads devote to the topic......

The micromanagement we are talking about as it exists in the public/private schools is where the ALTs are kept on a tight leash as far as input, responsibility, teaching duties, general freedom to create, adapt and teach in useful ways.

@Mitsui- not quite following "How about Interac?" what? Maybe just missing it due to undercaffeination. (that should be a word!)
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It can even happen as a direct hire as well.

No, I thought at Interac that lessons there were put into blocks, say 5 parts
that are 5-15 minutes long.
That is a way of micromanaging as there is no freedom to teach as you like in class. And that way any young person can do the job, in theory.

If it isn't Interac it was another eikaiwa.
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marley'sghost



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
It can even happen as a direct hire as well.

No, I thought at Interac that lessons there were put into blocks, say 5 parts
that are 5-15 minutes long.
That is a way of micromanaging as there is no freedom to teach as you like in class. And that way any young person can do the job, in theory.

If it isn't Interac it was another eikaiwa.


Got it. I think what you're talking about are situations where the "gyomu itaku" contract is taken to the letter.
There are two sorts of contracts in the dispatch world. One is "hakken" it's your standard "dispatch" contract. Interac sends the school a teacher, the school can use the teacher as they see fit within the terms of the contract. Done deal. These contracts are stinky because they only last 9 months. There has to be a 3-month "cooling off" period, or the school would end up being legally stuck with having to hire the ALT permanently after a few years. 3 month unpaid spring vacation....yeah...... Not real conductive to getting good people to stick around.

The other way to get around hiring the ALT permanently is by using a "gyomu itaku" or "service" contract. In these contracts the school has to tell the dispatch agency everything. They are not supposed to change the ALTs schedule, lesson plan, anything. Any direction they want to give the ALT has to be sent to the agency, who the writes it into the teacher's work order. Just like if the ALT was there to test the security system or paint the halls.
Utterly impossible. But in the early days when they first started trying to implement this system, in some schools they'd break the lessons into sections. So the ALT/JTE would have distinct, discreet tasks that didn't overlap.
I'm working on a gyomu itaku now. What it amounts to is I get a class schedule every couple of weeks, sometimes a page number to teach, or a topic. But other than that, I'm pretty well left to my own devices. I'll ask the teachers what the students have covered and then tell them what we'll do during my lesson and how they'll help me. I'm probably not supposed to do that, but to hell with it. Same as if I were here to fix the plumbing, I'd ask someone, "Where's the leak?" The company does not have the manpower (or I should say part-time office lady power) to actually keep track of all the details.

And I should add Interac is not an eikaiwa. Different animals.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I have a contract with my school only.
But the wording is sneaky. There is a mention of extra duties,
but of course were not mentioned in the interview.
More and more work is expected every year.
I think in that way it is not surprising teachers come and go
and younger teachers get hired.

Dispatch is different and something I would not recommend.
The interview I had last year was nasty.
"Why should we hire you?" - the assumption that foreigners
are just lazy and are all the same.
How people put up with it...well there is nothing else better they can find.
Things are getting worse.

I will go back to the USA since pay and conditions will be better.
It will be nice to not be a foreigner anymore.
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1547
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gyomu itaku contracts are the tool of dispatch companies, and interfere with (read T-bone) language education. What a waste of tax payer money. I pay taxes, too.
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kpjf



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 385

PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:

I will go back to the USA since pay and conditions will be better.
It will be nice to not be a foreigner anymore.


I'm sure you'd still find something to complain about Wink
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 252

PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marley'sghost wrote:
Better clarify, we've left the cult of Aeon back there a few pages ago. We've been talking ALT/Private schools for a bit. This thread has been well and properly commandeered. Don't worry, there are still two other threads devote to the topic......

The micromanagement we are talking about as it exists in the public/private schools is where the ALTs are kept on a tight leash as far as input, responsibility, teaching duties, general freedom to create, adapt and teach in useful ways.

@Mitsui- not quite following "How about Interac?" what? Maybe just missing it due to undercaffeination. (that should be a word!)


Marley's Ghost, I don’t object to you to “commandeering” this thread. If you want to change the subject, that’s your right.

In a way, I also consider it a compliment that you are compelled to commander the conversation.

But I am put off by you telling everyone else on the thread about what they should be doing.

If someone wants to talk about something, why are you telling them where to put the post?

Who do you think you are? What gives you the right to tell people what to write and what not to write? Who put you in charge of the forum?

Nobody has come forward from ESL Cafe and said, “You can’t say this.” So why do you feel comfortable telling others what to say or not say, what to post or not post?

The irony of course is that by “commandering” this thread, you are giving oxygen to my argument. What is it about this topic requires for you to "commander" this thread?

What I write is provocative, so many long-time Japan expats feel as if their own decisions are being questioned. But that’s the price to be paid if people are informed about how they are going to be “molded”. (Again, this thread is not for experienced people in Japan, but for new people who need to know what is in store for them.)

I don’t call Aeon a cult because they believe in space aliens or dress weirdly or have bizarre religious practices. I call them a cult because they are dedicated to making sure that every employee undergoes behavior modification, while being completely and pathologically unwilling to state these intentions in a direct and upfront manner.

Don’t believe me? Contact Aeon. Go to a group interview. Ask them what will be asked of them once they get to Japan. They won’t tell you, by the way. They only want people who consent to be led on issues that transcend methodology. People need to know BEFORE signing a contract. That’s what makes this thread so important.
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kpjf



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 385

PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But I am put off by you telling everyone else on the thread about what they should be doing.

If someone wants to talk about something, why are you telling them where to put the post?

Who do you think you are? What gives you the right to tell people what to write and what not to write? Who put you in charge of the forum?


Where's the "groan" icon?
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 252

PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kpjf wrote:
Quote:
But I am put off by you telling everyone else on the thread about what they should be doing.

If someone wants to talk about something, why are you telling them where to put the post?

Who do you think you are? What gives you the right to tell people what to write and what not to write? Who put you in charge of the forum?


Where's the "groan" icon?


Who cares what the groan icon is? Just speak your mind. You can act superior to your heart's content.

Just don't seek to control others as a way of life. That is what Aeon does. That is not and will not happen in this forum.
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