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Help Towards More Culturally Responsive Classroom Management
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japanology wrote:
Wow - this is great feedback and discussion.


Agreed.

Quote:
I couldn't agree more. Sometimes getting at a good picture of what we're working with is the best starting point to change. Thanks for this Kionon.


I think we all agree you have more of a "right" to be frustrated than I do, that being said, I think your experience is directly related to mine. I think the ALT system's flaws are bleeding into your experiences, despite the fact the school you teach at is in your home country and you are certified. Both things which shouldn't, in my opinion, allow such bleeding to occur.

I also hope that ALTs or, especially, ALT-wannabes read through this and other threads and realise that there are serious flaws in the ALT system and that some of us are really trying to get beyond those flaws. It would be helpful if ALTs and ALT wannabes did not view ALT work as a vacation or as a temporary position. Even from the ALTs who have responded so far in this thread, there is disagreement amongst us concerning the TA vs. AT issue. I'm not sure how to solve this disagreement.

In my wildest hopes and dreams, it would be my policy that one would not become an ALT unless they at the very least thought teaching was a viable career path. This is probably asking too much by far.

Quote:
OK fine - but what irks me is - if they need me then why don't the Japanese Influencers help a brotha out with this. The approach seems highly apathetic though and even, shall I dare say, somewhat proud of this. If so, this hurts me and it hurts learning.


Glenski and I seem to disagree that non-Japanese are unable to maintain Japanese classroom management. At the core, I even question the idea of a unique Japanese classroom management (the same as I question a unique Japanese bodily constitution requiring non-Japanese doctors to have special courses to practice in Japan). If your Japanese colleagues are intentionally undermining you, this is when you need to go your administration. You're a licensed teacher. You do not have to put up with that behavior. You have far more recourse than I do.

Quote:
"Mr. Westerner English teacher said this to us and then he did that and then this and after we were like that"

... and then the Homeroom teacher twists up his face in disgust or in a way that confirms their culturally confused perceptions.

This is total rapport killer for us - and this, I'm afraid, is what may be happening. Therefore - lack of student respect and good classroom management for us. Can I prove it? No. Are my instincts ringing ... somewhat.


This is that Japanese essentialism at work at again. I think it is damaging to students who live in an increasingly globalised world. I don't think it is unreasonable to suggest that if your own classroom directives are being undercut by the Japanese HRT, you will see a decrease in authority and ability to manage your classroom. Students need to learn that in your classroom the rules are different. The reason isn't important. That you are a teacher, and each teacher has a unique style, is enough. The J-HRTs should be backing you up on this.

Quote:
Let's not forget the research study I referenced a few posts back that indicated the double language discrepancy that seems highly intentional in regards to ALTs job descriptions. In English, it was "Assistant Language Teacher" but in Japanese, it was "Assistant TO Language Teacher". Others have shared your confusion Kionon.


Not only haven't forgotten it, I've referenced it quite a bit. I'm overqualified to be just an assistant to a language teacher. This is not a position I aspire to have. I didn't spend the time and money earning my undergraduate (and now graduate) degree to be a TA. If it had been marketed to me as such, I would not have pursued the position, and my life would be very different. I wonder where I'd be now...

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Glenski also wrote:
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Think about it. It's not the students who perceive that teachers with J education should be disciplining them.

Quote:
Please will you elaborate on this?


Yes, please.

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However, I am beginning to entertain the idea that I can't do the "Shame system" - I can't speak Japanese. And therefore, I might just end up, I don't know, scaring the student, and then, the student relates the trauma, so to speak, to English learning - and freezes up on it, therefore affecting future motivation. It can be a delicate issue.


Eh, I've never had a student not bounce back from a couple of well placed sentences of angry Japanese. I don't think it's that difficult to do.

I do think your lack of any Japanese ability is a significant factor here. I've been told for years about ALT positions, especially from the JETs I know, about positions where Japanese is entirely verboten. I just can't even imagine being even minimally effective without the use of Japanese. I don't get it.
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Tsian



Joined: 10 Jan 2012
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kionon: What I meant is that once you had the required courses for the license, you don't necessarily need to complete the rest of your courses to get a degree -- thus you only need to finish around 60 credits.

Many of the correspondence courses also offer night and distant "classroom" courses which would probably also be easier than pure text courses.

I was thinking aloud, but I meant that if someone cannot smoothly do the teacher meetings and staff meetings / integrated activities and what not (学級活動・班活動) then it would be realistically hard to become a teacher.

as an aside, I think positions where Japanese is verboten come about where the Japanese teachers themselves are a actively engaged in using English during instruction and so the students are actually able to (and do) respond to instructions in English. In such a circumstance, it is quite possible to have a class where minimal to no J is used, and that what is used is said by the JTE.

Conversely, the ALT might be used only to model conversation and provide an example of native pronunciation and sentence formation.

Of course, I can't really imagine a situation where the ALT speaks no J while on school grounds -- but then again there are plenty of ALTs with limited to no J ability, so I suppose it isn't that uncommon.
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tsian wrote:
Kionon: What I meant is that once you had the required courses for the license, you don't necessarily need to complete the rest of your courses to get a degree -- thus you only need to finish around 60 credits.


Oh. Well, yes. However sixty hours is basically two years. You might as well finish the degree, but no, I suppose you don't have to. I thought you were suggesting I somehow withdraw in the middle of the coursework. Which, of course, would make no sense.

Quote:
Many of the correspondence courses also offer night and distant "classroom" courses which would probably also be easier than pure text courses.


Yes, and I am trying to find one. You sound like you have this information. Do you mind PMing me that information? It would be helpful.

Quote:
I was thinking aloud, but I meant that if someone cannot smoothly do the teacher meetings and staff meetings / integrated activities and what not (学級活動・班活動) then it would be realistically hard to become a teacher.


I concur with this, and I never said it was easy or would be easy. "Nothing worth doing is ever easy." Millions of people move to new countries every year and many work hard at their chosen professions. When I say "streamlined" I don't mean that ALTs should be given teaching credentials like they were candy. In fact, I think if faced with the ultimatum of "get a license or stop working in the school system" many ALTs would leave. I'm okay with this. There are plenty of credentialed, unencumbered (no significant other, no children) English teachers in Texas right now who have no job prospects and would jump at the chance to come to Japan and work hard to learn the language and take the education courses we discussed. During my graduate work there were a number of soon-to-be teachers who asked me about how they could get a position in Japan because the Texas market is so poor.

Imagine the kind of quality instructors Japan could attract to its English language programs if it made concerted effort to do so.

Quote:
as an aside, I think positions where Japanese is verboten come about where the Japanese teachers themselves are a actively engaged in using English during instruction and so the students are actually able to (and do) respond to instructions in English. In such a circumstance, it is quite possible to have a class where minimal to no J is used, and that what is used is said by the JTE.


Possible, yes. I've even seen it twice myself. However, I don't think this is common. Most explanations of English construction and pronunciation require Japanese. I often have to use analogies and I say とか and 例えば a lot. If there isn't a reason for me to use Japanese, there probably isn't a reason for the JTE to use Japanese either, and vice versa.

Quote:
Conversely, the ALT might be used only to model conversation and provide an example of native pronunciation and sentence formation.


A CD can do that. This is precisely the kind of ALT usage I oppose. Now, if there is quite a bit of flexibility in how the conversation goes, I can see the value in this. I used to give tests where I would subtly alter my phrasing but convey the same information, and I would expect the students, after a certain amount of lessons, to be able to keep up. A CD can't do that. However, I'm not sure how many ALTs within the current system can do it either, especially the lessons presupposed by that kind of conversation flexibility.

Quote:
Of course, I can't really imagine a situation where the ALT speaks no J while on school grounds -- but then again there are plenty of ALTs with limited to no J ability, so I suppose it isn't that uncommon.


Which also irks me to no end. I've been studying Japanese in some capacity since I was in high school. It was nearly useless in the classroom when I came to Japan, but outside of the classroom? I could order food, I could ask directions, I could read very basic signs, etc. All the stuff you would expect after exposure to beginning Japanese (although I never took a class, it was all by myself, as stated, my formal foreign language instruction was in French, eight years of French). I do credit it with providing me the formal grammatical framework in which to shove lots and lots of vocabulary, including English teaching vocabulary, into an already understood structure (and I make a ton of childish mistakes, because I still learn languages the way children do- keep using a rule as widely as possible until someone corrects, but people still understand you).

I know exactly what it was like to have zero knowledge of a language in a classroom. When I was in Korea, that is precisely the situation I was in, and it was one among several reasons my position in Korea was truly intolerable. The stealing from me and the drunken rages of my bosses, of course, quite a bit more so. I may complain about ALT issues because I really do care, but I'll take an ALT position over my previous position in Korea in an instant. I will never go back to Korea as anything other than a tourist again.
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Tsian



Joined: 10 Jan 2012
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think agree with most of the points you have brought up. Though I would say that many language teachers would argue that you don't need to use someone's native language at all when teaching a target language. It may be harder or take more time, but it is certainly possible to teach in an immersion L2-only setting.

I certainly agree with you that it isn't the way I'd like to see ALTs used, but it is certainly one way in which they are used. While flexible conversations are certainly ideal, it is something that probably needs to be more fully integrated into the coursework as a whole, and would require significant changes to the entrance exam system.
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tsian wrote:
I think agree with most of the points you have brought up. Though I would say that many language teachers would argue that you don't need to use someone's native language at all when teaching a target language. It may be harder or take more time, but it is certainly possible to teach in an immersion L2-only setting.


Oh, I absolutely agree with this. However, it requires an entirely different classroom setting than you will find in secondary education in either the United States or in Japan. Immersion classes are great, but they require a certain mindset. In my experience, which I full admit is limited, with immersion environments, I was dealing with either small children still capable of learning by exposure vs. explanation, or with adults who really, really put in the effort.

Quote:
I certainly agree with you that it isn't the way I'd like to see ALTs used, but it is certainly one way in which they are used. While flexible conversations are certainly ideal, it is something that probably needs to be more fully integrated into the coursework as a whole, and would require significant changes to the entrance exam system.


I'm not following why that is the case. I have no problem working with students on passing entrance exams, while still informing my students that entrance exam English is going to be useless in true communication settings. Hell, the SAT and the GRE are no different, in my mind I learned a lot of crap to enter undergraduate, and then learned a lot of crap to get into graduate school, and I've promptly forgotten wide swaths of that crap because it was absolutely useless...

I think doing both are possible, but it requires both students and teachers to put in hours of effort. I'm not opposed to working late to do it, and I know the students who really care are also not opposed to this, given my many hours of eiken instruction...
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Tsian



Joined: 10 Jan 2012
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I meant is that I think it is fair to say that the current education system is largely now focused on preparing students for entrance exams, especially in the realm of language education.

While I would much prefer (and the Japanese government ostensibly wants) to focus on creating students who can use English, I don't think this is at all practical as long as entrance exams remain in their current form. It's perfectly understandable that teachers teach to the exam, given the great impact that exam currently has on a student's future.

(And, of course, is no doubt tied to the issue of having English teachers who can actually speak English)
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tsian,
thanks for that clarification about corporal punishment. Despite what we may both have witnessed, I still say that there is no official policy of it. I have seen teachers grappling through doorways and onto the floor with HS kids, but they were not around the next year.

Kionon,
You misunderstand so much of what I wrote that I should facetiously ask if you are American. Wink

Are you in charge of discipline now? No. You just think you are because you get put in that position sometimes, because you have certain morals, and because you have a teaching license from the US. I believe it is not only not the norm, it is outright illegal. Can I ask that you stop talking like it is standard, please?

How bad your Japanese is, is how you have described it. Having a hard time with a kid's parents should show that such a person should have little right to be using the same L1 to discipline kids, regardless of some strong one-word interjections. And, it doesn't take much to explain English grammar, so don't make it sound like it is.

What I do to change the ALT situation is not the issue here, and most of the ALTs in my area would punch me if I told them to improve. Not only have they been here as long or longer than me, but most are studying for the top JLPT tests. As for them being involved in their schools, they try hard, and despite some measure of their success, I am surprised that you have not realized the limitations. BOEs are monster prehistoric bureaucracies.

I am NOT saying foreigners are UNABLE to maintain classroom management. Yes, many probably most cannot deal with the language properly, so THOSE certainly cannot maintain. What I am really saying is that it is not even your responsibility by law or employment to do it, no matter how well you think you can or whether you feel your exceptional solo teaching situations warrant it.

As for students realizing you have no power, again you missed my point. To address yours, however, about ichinensei, I will just say this: they are faster learners than you might think!

And, no, I do not say that foreigners cannot find a place in the system.
1) It takes more time than you have spent in it.
2) You are already in a place in J society. It just happens to be one you seem to be fighting without really understanding it.

Please stop waving your teaching license around, too, as if it supersedes your role as a mere ALT. Why haven't you gotten a job in an international school with it? You're an ALT, and despite some lucky circumstances, it is not the norm AFAIK. Get used to it. Japan is not going to change significantly in that area in your lifetimes.

FWIW,
This dialogue has reached its limit with my patience, so I'm bowing out. I would ask that you don't bring up my name with third-person responses in my absence. You have seen my posts and grasped only part of them, so I ask for respect on that.
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski,

I'm very surprised by this response. First, because this is mere discourse, and there is no reason to take it so seriously. And second, because when I say I respect you for your experience, knowledge, and helpfulness, I mean it. I see no reason why we shouldn't have a rigorous debate and still remain friends. For your years of help, I probably owe you quite a few beers, and I'll be happy to pay up any time you want me to.

There's no need to bow out of the discussion, your views are valuable. They are more valuable than mine on most topics.

Glenski wrote:
Are you in charge of discipline now? No. You just think you are because you get put in that position sometimes, because you have certain morals, and because you have a teaching license from the US. I believe it is not only not the norm, it is outright illegal. Can I ask that you stop talking like it is standard, please?


As much as I may have misunderstood you, I think you've misunderstood me. I can only address what is standard for me. I've tried my best to be clear that my situations have been my situations, norm or not, legal or not. The fact that this conversation is even possible means the flaws I describe are real.

Quote:
How bad your Japanese is, is how you have described it. Having a hard time with a kid's parents should show that such a person should have little right to be using the same L1 to discipline kids, regardless of some strong one-word interjections. And, it doesn't take much to explain English grammar, so don't make it sound like it is.


So, let me get this straight. If something is easy for me, I'm lying, and if something is difficult for me, I shouldn't be doing it. This is how I read what you just said. Likewise, you were one who made it sound as though explanation of English grammar in Japanese was so difficult it must be beyond my ability to do. Now it's easy, so even if I can do it, it's no big deal?

Quote:
What I do to change the ALT situation is not the issue here, and most of the ALTs in my area would punch me if I told them to improve. Not only have they been here as long or longer than me, but most are studying for the top JLPT tests. As for them being involved in their schools, they try hard, and despite some measure of their success, I am surprised that you have not realized the limitations. BOEs are monster prehistoric bureaucracies.


Again, realising the limitations and accepting them are actually two very different things. I don't know why we can't seem to agree that one can go day to day doing what they are asked and yet still push here and there for changes. They're not mutually exclusive. I do both. If I pushed as much as you seem to think I do, wouldn't I have been fired a long time ago?

Quote:
I am NOT saying foreigners are UNABLE to maintain classroom management. Yes, many probably most cannot deal with the language properly, so THOSE certainly cannot maintain. What I am really saying is that it is not even your responsibility by law or employment to do it, no matter how well you think you can or whether you feel your exceptional solo teaching situations warrant it.


If this is true, then I should never be put into that position. Period. The fact is I am, and since the reality is that I am, what am I supposed to do about it? Pick up the phone and call my employer and say, "I'm being placed in a position that would require me to have classroom management skills. Please make it stop." I'm fairly certain I'd be laughed at. I also, bluntly put, don't want to make that call.

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As for students realizing you have no power, again you missed my point.


Which is what exactly?

Quote:
1) It takes more time than you have spent in it.


Agreed. However, I think I've given adequate evidence I am spending a significant amount of time and effort working on it.

Quote:
2) You are already in a place in J society. It just happens to be one you seem to be fighting without really understanding it.


I'm sorry, but I don't recognise what position you mean. If you mean the TA understanding of ALT, then I do not accept that as my role and I never will.

Quote:
Please stop waving your teaching license around, too, as if it supersedes your role as a mere ALT. Why haven't you gotten a job in an international school with it? You're an ALT, and despite some lucky circumstances, it is not the norm AFAIK. Get used to it. Japan is not going to change significantly in that area in your lifetimes.


I've been very clear that I do not have a teaching certification/license. I have never claimed to have one. I have claimed to have gone through education courses, adolescent psychology, pedagogy, student teaching, and hell, I even took the PRAXIS exam, which is a required component of qualifying for certification in Texas.

I've explained how easy it would be for me to finish that process. I've explained why I have not done so. The first reason is because there is no such thing as a US teaching license. There are state certifications with varying standards, and most states do not have reciprocal agreements, meaning if I finished my certification, it would be a Texas certification, and it would not be good in say... North Dakota or Georgia, etc. The second reason, because I looked at finishing it mere months ago was because Japan doesn't care.

I have no interest in teaching in an international school. I swear, I say, "I want to teach English in the Japanese school system" and people think I'm insane. Maybe I am. But it's my effort and money to blow.

Quote:
This dialogue has reached its limit with my patience, so I'm bowing out. I would ask that you don't bring up my name with third-person responses in my absence. You have seen my posts and grasped only part of them, so I ask for respect on that.


Absolutely, it was never my intent to speak for you. You have my sincere apologies, and I will not mention you in one of my posts again unless directly addressing you.
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Japanology



Joined: 17 May 2012
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought I'd chime back in...

Just gonna try to steer the thread back into focus.

I appreciate the teacher licensing issues in Japan though and the ALT job roles and misconceptions. It is related to my issues. It's just sounds like such an uphill battle when your label, as a ALT in Japan can and will always be associated with "you're here as a guest" or "you're not in your country" so nobody is asking you to try and change anything. Kinda like your in "someone else's house" sorta thing so "mind yo bidness". Not a whole lot you can do with these conceptions. And in a sense - these conception are valid.

I wouldn't be nearly as motivated to explore this issue if I was in Japan. Not saying that I don't feel for those feeling a little oppressed over there though.

A few things unique to my scene though is what has me so motivated in looking into the issue towards the possibility of developing a culturally responsive classroom management program for my "International"
Japanese students.

Again, I'm not in Japan.

My specific Ethnographic case-study at my school avoids this dilemma of the “ English teacher as guest” and therefore the guest has no business affecting Japanese culture sorta thing. My school is a Nihonjingakkō - also called an International Japanese School.

It is a full day school outside of Japan for native speakers of Japanese. It is an expatriate school, designed for children whose parents are working on diplomatic, business, or educational mission overseas and have plans to go back to Japan.

The schools offer exactly the same curriculum used in public elementary and middle schools in Japan, so when the students go back to Japan, they will not fall behind in the class. My school accepts Japanese citizens only.

It is run by the Ministry of Education and Science and receives funding from the Japanese government. Every school has teachers transferred from Japan on a 2 to 3 year assignment. They hire English and other local language instructors, administrative assistants, gardeners, janitors and security guards.

There are 85 of these schools worldwide and all of these schools provide English classes in the primary education and JH.

My efforts are aiming to address these 85 schools. Not so much as the ones in Japan.

Therefore, being outside Japan, I feel they are equally responsible for cross-cultural relations and the flexibilites and understandings that go with this – just as much as the foreign language teachers are.

This location outside Japan, I feel, allows me to avoid the “you’re a guest in our country” identity. I’m not in “their house”. It should be OK for me to reflect on my teaching and learning in a critical way. Their system is not above foreign criticism anymore. My work visa is non-Japanese just like theirs. My director of employment is non-Japanese just like theirs. We are all bound by non-Japanese employment law. In a sense- we are all foreigners at this school. And - I often feel that I shouldn't be oppressed by classroom management policies that target the Non-Japanese ethnicity. This is why I use the anology of restrictive classroom management policies that only target, let's say, the teachers of African ethnic backgrounds in my native country. It is simply inappropriate.

However, many would argue that the attitude of the Japanese staff assumes that we are in Japan. Does this “attitude” trickle down to affecting classroom management for the English language teachers? A part of my research will reflect on this. The literature suggests that Classroom Management is ultimately being shaped by adults. This was also my “hunch” when going into this research project.

The interesting part is - my exploration started with "Towards Culturally Responsive Classroom Management. The use of highly "Engaging activites" and gettin some "fuzzy dice" was part of the early suggested resolve - but the more I explore - the issue has now evolved in " Towards Responsive Cross-Cultural Relations in the International Education Community".

This is everyone's opportunity to grow! Not just the English Westerners. And maybe even less so for us, as we have grown up in mixed ethnic and cultural communities our whole lives. Cross-Cultural trust isn't as big an issue for us as it for old world countries. Funny thing is though - the majority at my school, it often seems, tries to make it our opportunity to grow, because of just that - they are the majority at my particular school.

This was the original direction of this thread but it was harder to put into words then than it is now. Thank you everyone who has participated in this thread and help me articulate the issue in a way I can work with.
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in large part to blame for having the topic wander. I was really trying to be relevant.

My reasoning, and I think you've hit on this, Japanology, is that you are dealing with a "in this school, this is Japan" mentality. I think perceptions of you, and the undercutting of your authority, are directly related to how non-Japanese are perceived in Japan. The fact that your school is one of the 85 government supported Japanese schools worldwide means I think it is safe to say, your Japanese colleagues are viewing the schools as however many square meters of sovereign Japanese soil where all the rules they are used to playing by will be enforced. When the students return to Japan, they will encounter ALTs who (as this thread has established) are given very little authority and responsibility primarily because they do not have proper education, training, or a teaching license. If the students learn to treat you like an equal to your Japanese peers, this suggests that foreigners in Japanese schools can be (and should be!) treated like proper teachers. This is contrary to the "way things are."

Unconsciously, you are a threat to the "way things are done."
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Japanology



Joined: 17 May 2012
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries Kionon. Your input was relevant. I asked what it was like for you guys over there in Japan and you explained the scene out very articulately. I needed the comparison for a full picture.Thanks for that.

And yes, it very much seems the Japanese staff is exporting their "in Japan" mindsets to my school and it does help understand things. So your input was relevant there as well.

I wonder though - do you really think that if you had the Japanese teaching license that it would change things in regards to our topic. Look at my expereince - we all have have licenses and we are not even in Japan, and it hasn't changed much from what you and others have described.

It would resolve the politics over there somewhat - but a whole other set of politics would just likely take it's place. So in a way , this thread has informed that issue as well. I know , it seems, you have invested alot of time into the idea of this teaching license over there but reflect on my scene and it will inform your quest more I hope. I would suggest being careful about how much more time and energy you would put into this. And if you left Japan - how bridgeable would it even be abroad? Just something to think about.


Last edited by Japanology on Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japanology wrote:
My school is a Nihonjingakkō - also called an International Japanese School.

It is a full day school outside of Japan for native speakers of Japanese. It is an expatriate school, designed for children whose parents are working on diplomatic, business, or educational mission overseas and have plans to go back to Japan.

The schools offer exactly the same curriculum used in public elementary and middle schools in Japan, so when the students go back to Japan, they will not fall behind in the class. My school accepts Japanese citizens only.


Quote:
I often feel that I shouldn't be oppressed by classroom management policies that target the Non-Japanese ethnicity...

However, many would argue that the attitude of the Japanese staff assumes that we are in Japan. Does this “attitude” trickle down to affecting classroom management for the English language teachers?
I do not understand why you can't see the contradiction in these two quotes.
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Japanology



Joined: 17 May 2012
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Responsibilties towards Cross-cultural politeness, sensitivites, considerations, policies, analysis, appropriateness, awareness, training -now becomes an important issue though Glenski.

All foreigners/expats/travellers/organizations abroad should be responsible for these.

I can't understand why you can't see this.


Last edited by Japanology on Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japanology wrote:
I wonder though - do you really think that if you had the Japanese teaching license that it would change things in regards to our topic. Look at my expereince - we all have have licenses and we are not even in Japan, and it hasn't changed much from what you and others have described.


I'd say that since your license is not a Japanese teaching license, the perception of your license is the same as my Texas certification would be (had I, or if I, finished it). Essentially not counted.

Do I really think that when I have the Japanese teaching license how I am perceived will change? Yes. How much, how soon, and in what ways are the real questions. There are private schools and public BoEs (as I've pointed out) which will hire non-Japanese with Japanese teaching licenses. Is it a small percentage? Yes. However, the last estimates I saw suggested something like only two non-Japanese per prefecture with Japanese teaching licenses. It's not like there's a whole lot of competition. Besides, someone has to be first. There's no way to normalise behavior without pioneering individuals.

Quote:
It would resolve the politics over there somewhat - but a whole other set of politics would just likely take it's place. So in a way , this thread has informed that issue as well. I know , it seems, you have invested alot of time into the idea of this teaching license over there but reflect on my scene and it will inform your quest more I hope. I would suggest being careful about how much more time and energy you would put into this.


Correct me if I am wrong, (and that isn't just a phrase, I mean seriously tell me if I am understanding you incorrectly) but that sounds like you don't think I've already spent a considerable time considering the pros and cons of my chosen course. I've spent years coming to this decision. I cannot imagine it won't provide some benefit even if it doesn't provide me with what I think I will. At the very least, even if I am ALT, there will be no legal ambiguity about whether or not I can solo teach. I will have a license.

People climb Mt. Everest just to say they did. Some people build cars from the ground up. I'm going to get my Japanese teaching license. Who is anyone to say I can't?

Quote:
And if you left Japan - how bridgeable would it even be abroad? Just something to think about.


I'm not going to leave Japan unless something drastic happens, in which case I really wouldn't care about whether or not my Japanese teaching license would be valuable outside of Japan (and I am under no illusions that it would be). If some major trauma happens (I'm thinking of something involving my parents, because I can't imagine much else), I'd take the three months and finish my Texas certification and substitute until a position opened up (like my best friend's wife, who was a JET, did in Austin).
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Japanology



Joined: 17 May 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see your points Kionon. Your right. Keep truckin and you'll get it I'm sure.

My suggestions did underestimate the amount of time you have carefully considered this venture. Best of luck with this.
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