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46 - too old???

 
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flow



Joined: 31 Aug 2012
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:27 pm    Post subject: 46 - too old??? Reply with quote

Hi there!

I am a qualified and experienced TEFL teacher, 46 years of age, non-native (born in Sweden but did pri/sec/uni in the UK) - still possible for me to land a teaching position at a primary/secondary school in Japan?

Thanks guys!
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If those years in the UK total 12 or more, you qualify for an Instructor visa, which means you can be an ALT in a public school. You canNOT be a solo teacher there; that requires getting a Japanese teaching license by attending university courses here.

If you are licensed and have 2 years of teaching experience in Sweden (I think you meet those requirements), you can apply for international schools. I am not sure what further qualifications are needed.

Being 46 is not really a detriment.
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1348
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Japanese teaching license requires you to pass the license exam in each prefecture. None require courses at a Japanese university per se. You didn't mention anything about having teaching qualifications other than saying "qualified and experienced" for TFL, so you're probably pretty limited beyond the usual gigs, which sucks based on the level of experience, but thats the likely reality. You'd clearly qualify for a visa because your entire schooling career has been in Eng environments. No reason to assume you could teach at an international school without a recognised subject qualification.

Good luck!
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flow



Joined: 31 Aug 2012
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for this G Cthulhu and Glenski!

I got a degree on top of that I have a TEFL Diploma (full-time 1 year course at Uni) and close to 20 years of teaching experience in several countries at language schools, public/private high schools as well as universities; teaching mostly English, also taught social studies from time to time.

I am not looking for an International school job per se. I am just looking for a normal teaching gig at a normal public/private Japanese school as an ALT. But I am not a licensed teacher. got a BA in an unrelated field plus TEFL, that's all really.

I also plan to take a CELTA in Japan with TEFL Life (also called TEFL International run by Martin and larry I think) as I have been away from teaching for well over a year now, gotten a bit rusty, and I want to be at the top of my game once again. So, anyone reading this, feedback on TEFL International Tokyo is very much appreciated!!

By the way, what is competition for jobs at primary/secondary schools like in the Tokyo burbs / Japanese countryside?

Also, if anyone reading this could shoot some info my way regarding pay and working conditions as an ALT in Japan, and if I would be able to bring in dependants after having obtained an ALT visa and been working in Japan between 3 to 6 months?

Thanks!
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with G Cthulhu about your eligibility for regular teaching work.

Competition for jobs here is very high. If you can't get an ALT position with JET programme (applications due end of the year, so check what your country's deadline is), then dispatch companies offer ALT positions, but they seem to have a less than stellar reputation, so keep that in mind.

Rural positions are in more demand by employers, since many/most candidates want the bright lights of the bigger cities.

Pay.
It has deteriorated in the last few years. What used to be a standard 250,000 yen/month is now variable. You could find something as miserable as 180,000 or as high as 275,000, but expect something more along the lines of 220,000 as an average. Locations will vary based on cost of living.

Employers are dodging the obligation to pay half of pension/health insurance nowadays by claiming only your classroom hours, so even though a job is labeled as full-time, to the government the employer makes it look like part-time and they can legally do that to save money. I'll let others describe ALT working conditions, but you can glean something from the JET program ALTs at bigdaikon.com .

Yes, if you get a work visa, you can bring in dependents. They will, of course, get a dependent visa. I don't think there is any delay in that.
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1348
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
Competition for jobs here is very high. If you can't get an ALT position with JET programme (applications due end of the year, so check what your country's deadline is)


If they're 46 then there is practically zero chance of being accepted on JET: at the interview anyone over 45 is automatically zeroed on the scoring and it would take exceptional "recommend anyway" statements from all 3-4 interviewers to even have that looked at. I wouldn't recommend anyone waste their time applying to JET if they're 44+.
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steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 700
Location: BFE Inaka

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

G Cthulhu wrote:
Glenski wrote:
Competition for jobs here is very high. If you can't get an ALT position with JET programme (applications due end of the year, so check what your country's deadline is)


If they're 46 then there is practically zero chance of being accepted on JET: at the interview anyone over 45 is automatically zeroed on the scoring and it would take exceptional "recommend anyway" statements from all 3-4 interviewers to even have that looked at. I wouldn't recommend anyone waste their time applying to JET if they're 44+.


I thought 40 was the cut-off age for JET. On the other hand, I see quite a few private dispatch ALTs who in their 40s and even 50s. Fewer folks in that age bracket in eikaiwa in my experience.
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1348
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was raised to 45 a couple of years ago around the same time they introduced the 4th & 5th year positions. The zeroing out of interview scores for anyone 45 or older was much more recent. I haven't looked to see if that's changed this coming cycle, but as far as I know that's still the guideline.
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hagiwaramai



Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 119
Location: Marines Stadium

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G Cthulhu wrote:
It was raised to 45 a couple of years ago around the same time they introduced the 4th & 5th year positions. The zeroing out of interview scores for anyone 45 or older was much more recent. I haven't looked to see if that's changed this coming cycle, but as far as I know that's still the guideline.

Just out of curiosity how do they get away with this, especially a government agency? Is it not ageist? Or are there no laws in Japan against ageism?
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1348
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hagiwaramai wrote:
Just out of curiosity how do they get away with this, especially a government agency? Is it not ageist? Or are there no laws in Japan against ageism?


Interviews (usually) take place on Japanese diplomatic soil, not the country they're held in. Japanese rules apply. If people don't like it they can sue CLAIR in Japan.

Which is a roundabout way of saying I've just gone completely blank on whether there are laws about age discrimination in employment in Japan. & remember, it doesn't preclude someone 45 or over getting offered a role. It just makes it *really* hard for that to happen. Personally, I expect they're probably cutting it pretty close to the law and I've told them so in writing, but I'm certainly not a decision/policy maker on that front.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G Cthulhu wrote:
Interviews (usually) take place on Japanese diplomatic soil, not the country they're held in.
Then mine must have been the exception (or something changed since then), because mine was in a Seattle hotel, a more convenient place for a large number of applicants.

Quote:
It was raised to 45 a couple of years ago around the same time they introduced the 4th & 5th year positions.

As for that, I didn't know that happened. In fact, it is still now described as 40 on the JET FAQ.
http://www.jetprogramme.org/e/faq/faq02elig.html#2-1
Perhaps they are slow in rewriting the FAQ?
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1348
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
G Cthulhu wrote:
Interviews (usually) take place on Japanese diplomatic soil, not the country they're held in.
Then mine must have been the exception (or something changed since then), because mine was in a Seattle hotel, a more convenient place for a large number of applicants.


Yes, that's where the "usually" part comes in I suspect.


Quote:

Quote:
It was raised to 45 a couple of years ago around the same time they introduced the 4th & 5th year positions.

As for that, I didn't know that happened. In fact, it is still now described as 40 on the JET FAQ.
http://www.jetprogramme.org/e/faq/faq02elig.html#2-1
Perhaps they are slow in rewriting the FAQ?


Or maybe, like 99.9% of organizations out there, they don't publish interviewer guidelines in public.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 655
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is possible. I knew women from Korea and Poland who got jobs as high school teachers since their MAs were in TESOL from the USA.

I know a Finn who works at a university in Tokyo but she has a doctorate.

I think you could even get a job at the British Council.
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hagiwaramai



Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 119
Location: Marines Stadium

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

G Cthulhu wrote:
hagiwaramai wrote:
Just out of curiosity how do they get away with this, especially a government agency? Is it not ageist? Or are there no laws in Japan against ageism?


Interviews (usually) take place on Japanese diplomatic soil, not the country they're held in. Japanese rules apply. If people don't like it they can sue CLAIR in Japan.

Which is a roundabout way of saying I've just gone completely blank on whether there are laws about age discrimination in employment in Japan. & remember, it doesn't preclude someone 45 or over getting offered a role. It just makes it *really* hard for that to happen. Personally, I expect they're probably cutting it pretty close to the law and I've told them so in writing, but I'm certainly not a decision/policy maker on that front.


I had a look on the JET website and found this quote

Quote:
JET Programme was conceived as a youth exchange programme


so even if there are age discrimination laws it should be easy enough to circumnavigate them by using that escape clause, quite apart from the usual "This is like this because it is this way" argument killer.
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weigookin74



Joined: 30 Mar 2010
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

G Cthulhu wrote:
Glenski wrote:
Competition for jobs here is very high. If you can't get an ALT position with JET programme (applications due end of the year, so check what your country's deadline is)


If they're 46 then there is practically zero chance of being accepted on JET: at the interview anyone over 45 is automatically zeroed on the scoring and it would take exceptional "recommend anyway" statements from all 3-4 interviewers to even have that looked at. I wouldn't recommend anyone waste their time applying to JET if they're 44+.


Curious. Is just old looking guys or is it all? I meant what if you were a young and fit looking 50? Haven't met many, but had come across some guys who shocked me when they told me they were 50 in Korea. They got jobs there because they were considered by the Koreans to be "good looking", "energetic", "fit", ect. (Their words not mine.)
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