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High school teachers: which college major was best for you?
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 1218
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most people don't relish the prospect of standing up in front of a classroom and teaching without any sort of training or preparation. It's quite a daunting proposition for most. So yes, it's generally better to do some sort of training first, regardless of whether it's an actual requirement for the job.
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Cappuccino



Joined: 01 Jun 2016
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good idea!
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 803
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cappuccino wrote:


The student has told me he wants to teach English at the high school level in Japan long-term.


So, you're now this person's teacher? Congratulations on the promotion!

You have now been told the exact same thing over and over by everyone posting to this thread. As a fellow educator, surely you now understand the issues involved...yes?

That said, as a fellow educator, I must say that I'm surprised you did not have this student write to this board directly. This student is what, a senior in high school? A first-year university student? What a missed opportunity for learning and personal growth! At that age, with the Internet available to them, students should no longer be relying on their teachers to research their life paths for them...yes?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11430
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've referred to this individual as your student. If that's the case, what is he currently studying? Also, if he claims his long-term goal is to teach TESOL, then why not pursue a degree related to education/teaching or English?
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Cappuccino



Joined: 01 Jun 2016
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
You've referred to this individual as your student. If that's the case, what is he currently studying? Also, if he claims his long-term goal is to teach TESOL, then why not pursue a degree related to education/teaching or English?


He is an Undeclared Major (which is quite common among freshmen college students in America nowadays). Yes, one idea is for him to get a degree in teaching High School English. But I must say, high schools in America are not very good. I am not sure I could recommend him to try to get through student teaching in an American high school! But it is worth at least suggesting such an idea.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11430
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alternately, he can contact one of the local nonprofit organizations that provides ESL and literacy classes to newcomers and refugees. There's always a need for part-time volunteer teaching assistants and tutors who can commit to X number of weeks/months. It's how I and many others got our first taste of teaching ESL. Plus, he'd be under the guidance of a seasoned classroom teacher. It offers him a chance to see if teaching is a viable, long term interest.

BTW, I suggest you encourage him to register as a Cafe member so that he can post his own questions and become more proactive in scoping out his career interests.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 803
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cappuccino wrote:
nomad soul wrote:
You've referred to this individual as your student. If that's the case, what is he currently studying? Also, if he claims his long-term goal is to teach TESOL, then why not pursue a degree related to education/teaching or English?


He is an Undeclared Major (which is quite common among freshmen college students in America nowadays). Yes, one idea is for him to get a degree in teaching High School English. But I must say, high schools in America are not very good. I am not sure I could recommend him to try to get through student teaching in an American high school! But it is worth at least suggesting such an idea.


As a former associate professor at a US university, I must say that I find the whole scenario increasingly farfetched. The idea of a 1st-year college student asking me not just for advice but to research his/her life path would be weird. That I, or any of my former colleagues would then do so to such an extent is....um, sure dude.
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Cappuccino



Joined: 01 Jun 2016
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

taikibansei wrote:
I must say that I'm surprised you did not have this student write to this board directly


Right, he should have, but the reality is that many college students in America don't have the maturity to independently research and plan out these things. You would be surprised how many college students in America have no life plan at all. This student does, but right now his entire life plan is just go to Japan and teach in a high school. That’s it. Period. No, unfortunately, a LOT of college students in America need help working on a life plan.

taikibansei wrote:
At that age, with the Internet available to them, students should no longer be relying on their teachers to research their life paths for them...yes?


Yes, that is the ideal, but unfortunately, that is just not the reality with many college students in America. I agree he needs to learn to search for these things on the Internet, I'm just not in a hurry to get him to do that. I am not in a hurry to get him to be more mature.

taikibansei wrote:
As a former associate professor at a US university, I must say that I find the whole scenario increasingly farfetched. The idea of a 1st-year college student asking me not just for advice but to research his/her life path would be weird.


Welcome to the painful reality of providing career counseling services at a university in America.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 803
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:


BTW, I suggest you encourage him to register as a Cafe member so that he can post his own questions and become more proactive in scoping out his career interests.


I suggested the same thing above. Note how Cappuccino did not respond to that post. I'm starting to wonder if this is just the latest manifestation of the board troll....
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Cappuccino



Joined: 01 Jun 2016
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
...he can contact one of the local nonprofit organizations that provides ESL and literacy classes to newcomers and refugees. There's always a need for part-time volunteer teaching assistants and tutors who can commit to X number of weeks/months. It's how I and many others got our first taste of teaching ESL. Plus, he'd be under the guidance of a seasoned classroom teacher. It offers him a chance to see if teaching is a viable, long term interest.


Good idea. I also did volunteer teaching in America before I went to Japan.

nomad soul wrote:
BTW, I suggest you encourage him to register as a Cafe member so that he can post his own questions and become more proactive in scoping out his career interests.


Thanks for the suggestion.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 803
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cappuccino, with respect, but as a faculty member at a US university, you have numerous other advisees (possibly to include graduate students), plus classes to teach, plus research and publishing requirements, plus committee and other administrative work to do. Accordingly, you should not be wasting time researching career choices for one student on Internet discussion boards. Also, surely your institution has faculty in TESOL/Linguistics/Education, yes? They would all know (or know how to research effectively) the ALT hiring situation in Japan. Accordingly, the simplest solution would be to advise this student of yours to, you know, walk down the hall to your extremely knowledgeable colleagues...and ask.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 803
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cappuccino wrote:

Good idea. I also did volunteer teaching in America before I went to Japan.


Um, so, you've taught in Japan before--as either an eikaiwa instructor or an ALT--yet are now asking about how to become an ALT in Japan?

Time for me to sign off this thread....
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 1218
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

taikibansei wrote:
Cappuccino wrote:

Good idea. I also did volunteer teaching in America before I went to Japan.


Um, so, you've taught in Japan before--as either an eikaiwa instructor or an ALT--yet are now asking about how to become an ALT in Japan?

Time for me to sign off this thread....


Indeed, and someone offering university level career counseling who doesn't know about specializations or minors? None of this rings true.
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Cappuccino



Joined: 01 Jun 2016
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry to have bothered both of you with my attempts to gather information for my student.

I came looking for information and I got the information I was looking for. I want to thank everyone for their help.
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timothypfox



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 492

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry about the major. For a first time job, an interesting major may make a resume look interesting. My major was a BA in Dance with no TEFL license. This was several years ago and so adding on a TEFL certificate might help with the job market, as would some Japanese related activity. The why Japan question will come up somewhere in any job application and should include some high brow interest or reason rather than manga or anime. For example, does your friend study Japanese martial arts or language?

Your friend's first job will likely be dispatch work which may include high school, junior high school, or elementary school. It may even include work at university. But remember, in all cases, a dispatch job means you are working for the dispatch company - and not the school. It is kind of like semi-full-time work through an American or Canadian temp agency.

Other first time employment jobs include working directly for a language school.

Also, the JET program is the best way to get into better work in Japan and possibly into long term high school teaching work if that is what your friend is interested in. This is a competitive program, however, and has many applicants.

If you are considering long term, some time later in the future, your friend might opt for returning home and doing an TESOL Masters and certifying and teaching in public school. This kind of background would set your friend up for a longer term or permanent direct hire at a private junior or senior high school in Japan.

taikibansei, vitriol might discourage a teenager from directly posting here. Also, members here are well qualified to answer these questions.
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