So, it's been awhile since we had a good ol' fashioned written post. Some of you may be wondering what my new job is like. Some of you may have not known that I have a new job.
Update #1. Ian has a new job.
Now you might be wondering "Just what does this job involve, Ian?"
Well, this job involves me travelling to student's houses to teach them fun (hopefully) English lessons. About 2/3 - 3/4 of my students are children, ranging in ages from under 1 year up to 12 years old. I teach many brother and sister sets, often with another friend or two joining the lesson. Now I will anticipate and answer some questions:
How do you get between classes? How much travel time do you have?
Currently I am still waiting on converting my Canadian driver's license to a Japanese one. Thus, I travel by bicycle to all of my classes, but occasionally take a train. The closest class is just 2 minutes from our apartment, but the furthest is a hefty 45 minute ride. I usually end up biking for around 1.5-2 hours/day, all together. So far (finger's crossed) the weather has been beautiful, so I'm quite enjoying it. However, Japan's rainy season is set to begin any day now.
Do you like the new job? Is it better than NOVA?
Yes, and yes. At Nova, all of the lesson plans are written out for you, and you don't really have time to think about the job much at all. Let's face it, if you don't have to think, and they keep sending pay-cheques, it's just too easy to not put any effort into the work. But, that's not at all a satisfying job experience. Now I have practically the opposite situation: no plan whatsoever, and it's entirely up to my creative energy to make things work. Not to mention, it pays better, I work fewer hours, and (hopefully soon) I'll have a company car (and can write off gas as a business expense). If I had to name downsides: I had really good coworkers at Nova, but now I spend most time going solo. Also, there will be days when the weather is just not fun for biking!
What kind of hours do you work?
I'm kind of an after-school tutor, and for the most part classes are between 3:30-7:30pm. The adult classes are either during the morning or early afternoon (having tea with groups of older ladies), or in the evening around 8:30-9:30pm. On days with later classes I'm home around 10pm, but once or twice a week I finish by 6pm.
What do you do with those REALLY young kids that you mentioned?
Not a whole lot. I only have one class where the kids are that young, and there's a Japanese lady teaching the class as well. I'm there to help with songs, read them stories, and so on. Also, the mothers sit in the classroom with the kids, so it's more for their benefit if anything. After that class, all other kids are in the 5-12 range.
What is it like teaching in peoples' homes? What are their homes like?
Actually, this is part of the job that is really cool. I get to see many different homes, and observe a bit of modern Japanese lifestyle. Sometimes the mothers will sit in the lessons and watch, or help the kids. Other times they bring me drinks and snacks - everyone is quite welcoming and hospitable. In modern Japan many houses/apartments are quite Westernized, with just hints of traditional Japan (a sliding door to the bedroom, for example). But there are still some beautiful, completely traditional Japanese homes. In the future, I'll try to get some pictures of some homes and gardens to display on here.
OK, that brings you up to date a bit on my new job situation. Please ask if you have any more questions.