Muschamp Rd

Advice on teaching in Japan

>Hi Andrew,
>My name is Kim.  I know this is strange but I happened to come across your 
>resume while researching teaching English in Japan.  The reason your resume 
>caught my eye is because in Yahoo the little blurb under your link said you 
>taught at Aeon, and you taught at Clubhouse (where I taught as well).
>After realizing my graduation date will not make the deadline for JET, I 
>considered other companies such as Nova, Aeon, and Geos.  However, most of 
>the first hand experiences I hear about is from people who have worked for 
>JET and Nova, and no one that I know of has had any experience with Aeon.  I 
>was wondering, if it would not be too much to ask, if you can describe 
>briefly your positive and negative experiences with Aeon to assist me a 
>little in choosing which company I should apply with.  This would be greatly 
>appreciated and I hope to hear from you soon!

Well I could say a lot, I had intended to put some more information up on my website but I haven't found the time and motivation. Basically there are three ways it seems to go for people in Japan: really good, really bad, or average. I know you're saying Duh! But it's true. Some people seem to have a charmed existence. They have a great boss, a great school, great students, and a great living situation. Others seem to have nothing but problems, I know one girl in my training group who was supposedly followed home from work and attacked...

The job particularly at the private schools can be a lot of work. I took it seriously and was disappointed when my contract was not renewed. Your manager and head teacher can make your job easier or harder. I did not have a very helpful manager or head teacher.

Living situation is huge, with Nova you have to share an apartment with other Nova teachers. I have heard horror stories about this, the only person(s) I know who taught with Nova for awhile got their own apartment. GEOS and AEON you should get your own apartment. The apartment vary considerably, so you may get a nice one or you may not.

Geos has better vacation policy in my opinion you get more time off, and you seem to have more control over when you can take it. AEON has set holidays and everyone in Japan is on holiday then so flights and what not are more expensive in those weeks than any other time of the year.

Geos and Nova have some sort of incentive schemes which they try to keep secret, but Aeon does not. There is a scheme but the money goes to the school not you. In Geos or Nova if you are a really popular teacher and you work a lot you can make extra money. Of course if you work outside your contract, ie privately you can make extra money, I did not do this, but I know others who did.

Good luck, it can be a good experience, but you have to be prepared for bad days. You will miss something or someone. I advise against flying home for Christmas/New Years unless you can get 10 days to two weeks off. Otherwise the time spent travelling and the costs make it totally not worthwhile.

PS On my webpage there are links under the Japan section to a variety of sites you might find useful.

PPS Did you find my resume in Yahoo search? Most people seem to use Google nowadays but your the first person to write me about this part of my resume, curious.

PPPS I too graduated at a weird time, December 2000. But I applied for and was accepted to JET, however I was already working in Vancouver when I got the news. It is generally considered a better way to go, more money and less work.

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