What's new

JETs - Unite!


Omnipotence personified
15 Mar 2003
I'll admit it, I currently work for the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program. Please note how I refuse to spell 'program' with the extra 'me.' I figured that since I am stuck here at the office with nothing to do, I would post some of my experiences and invite others to do the same. So, without further ado -

Day in the Life of a Rural JET
A School Day
8:00AM - Walk to school. Support regular staff's decree that all children will be happy and bright by making them say "good morning" and mean it.
8:15AM - Pretend to understand morning staff meeting. Nod and look concerned when need be. Be sure to throw in some frowns too.
8:20AM - Ask JTE (Japanese Teacher of English) what the heck we will be presenting first period. Spend remaining 15 minutes getting "ready (a.k.a. pirating lessons from previous year)"
8:35AM - First period - Shake that money maker (your mad English Skil'z)
9:25AM~12:20PM - Do something, anything, until lunch. Need not be work related as long as no one notices. Since it is all in English no one will call you on it. Moonlight as JREF staff.
12:20PM~12:50PM - Pretend to enjoy lunch, avoid jako at all costs.
12:50PM~1:15PM - Hide so as to avoid cleaning "duties." Not that they will ever ask you to help even though for the first week you feel bad about slacking off and ask more than 10 times to help...
1:25PM - Fifth period - Execute lesson plan produced through MEXT guidlines for "team teaching" five minutes before class.
2:15PM ~ 4:00PM - Do something, anything, until it is time to go home. Make sure JREF is still working.

An Office Day
8:00AM - Drive to local Board of Education (BOE)
8:30AM - Understand the morning meeting perfectly since there is nothing to discuss. Ever.
8:32AM - Do something, anything, until coffe break. Moonlight again as JREF staff and develop on-line pool abilities.
10:00AM - Drink coffee. You will get used to how it tastes like a** in a few weeks.
10:03AM~12:00PM - Do something, anything, until lunch. Seek revenge for 9:23AM loss at online pool.
12:00PM - Pretend to enjoy lunch. No students in canteen at noon, throw out jako.
12:20PM - Return to BOE.
12:21PM - Do something, anything until coffee break. This time, online snooker.
3:00PM - Drink coffee, ignore a** taste.
3:03PM~4:00PM - Do something, anything, until it is time to go home. Delete a random post or two on JREF, just to keep everyone on their toes :)

Total hours ie "on the job" - 40 hours / week​
Total Hours Teaching English ie "your real job" - 12 hours per / week max , 4 hours / week minimum.​
Total Take-Home Pay after taxes = 263,280 yen / month​
Hourly wage "on the job" = 1,645.5 yen / hour​
"your real job" = 5,485 ~ 16,455 yen / hour​

Japanese Taxpayer subsidy to JREF in terms of performing feats of amazing staff powers while on the clock​
approx 3,000 ~ 6,000 yen / day.​

This is only the humorous retelling of the experiences of one JET and does not reflect on the entire program (again spelled without 'me') nor necessarily the actual reality of said JETs daily life
(Raises hand)

Hi, my name is MP and I am a JET.

After we go through the 12 steps, do we get free coffee and dounuts?


So, how is Shikoku? I can see it across the ocean on a clear day.
Only if your CO says it is okay. Did you ask three weeks in advance and promise to bring omiage for everyone when you get back :)

Shikoku is great - but then again I am a country boy at heart. Osaka and Tokyo are nice places to visit, but only depraved loons would want to make a lifestyle out of it (no offense intended to anyone - just good fun folks).

You somewhere along the coast of the Inland Sea?
Great post ! :D You seem to enjoy yourself in Kochi !

By the way, what's the problem with "programme". Alright it's the British English spelling (or French spelling, actually), but is there any reason except that ? I am a bit surprised that Japanese should use "programme" as their English tend to be Americanized.
Do you work at an elementary school, middle, or senior high? I work at 9 elementary schools and 4 junior highs. Got any awesome lesson plans?

It's funny I often bring two plans when I go to schools. One is strictly english study and practice, the other is usually just a bunch of games. I ask the teachers which they like better and the always choose the games!
Maciamo - Yes, Kochi is a blast. I have the Program(me) bur under my hide just because it is an American English vs British English thing for the JET Program and it is fun to tease each other.

The program is very international, but Americans hold the majority and I for one like to tease my friends from the UK that we will push them and their silly spellings out of Japan and back to their dank little island and replace it with out bad spelling and grammar. All in good fun.

Most all, as in 100%, of the main English textbooks use American English most of the time - except for "got" and "gotten" that I know of. I think it is still spelled programme because the original thing that became JET started with the UK.
I work at one elementary and one middle school. About 150 students in the whole system. I'm a BOE slave but our area is so small (I can see my house from the elementary school) I don't have to travel around. Some days I would like to, but somedays I really like being able to see real progress in my students since I work with them so often.

I guess one of my favorite games is the "skull cracking game" for the amount of stress I can get rid of. Form two lines and alternate between the kids saying one word in English (either in a faceoff or switching to a new person down each line after each word - they have to really listen then). Any word is okay, but they cannot use the same one twice in a round. If they can't think of a word in 3 seconds, or mess up big time, or repeat a word, I get to smack them lovingly on the head with a loosly rolled newspaper or one of those toy hammers that squeek. The kids think it is grand fun. Probably because I don't hit them that hard :) You can use that as a base and add on any number of great rules.
Can I use a real hammer?

Ha, sounds like fun. I'll give it a shot. Btw, I live NEXT to one of the elementary schools I teach at.


Kids always stop by my house, like I'm the local clown or something. I'm also right next to the playground so I usually go and chase em' around for awhile. Heh, kids seem to have a game called "climb Mt. Gaijin-san." (Basically, I get mauled by 50 kids or so.)

you guys don't hang out at Big Daikon do you? I found myself there one day and it changed my mind about introducing myself to the local JET(s)...... :mad:
Big Daikon? What the hell is that?

Besides a big radish, I mean. No, never been there. Yeah, JETs have a bad reputation, right? Partying all the time and constantly complaining about work, etc? As someone once told me, for most people the JET programme is just an extension of college!

(What was college like for you?)

Then again, that's not entirely true. There are many hard working dedicated people in the programme.
I was on Big Daikon for about a month. It was good for a laugh - but most of those folks were just rude and looking to flame any serious posts. You never know nzueda, some of the Kagoshima JETs might be good people :) They are always bragging about how wonderful it is down there at conferences and such.

As for me, I am jumping ship this August. You in for another year Mad Pierrot?
Big Daikon is a site for JETs... have a look one day, it's a pretty scary place...
I'm in Kagoshima prefecture. I met a couple of nice JETs when I was in Kobe, so I know they're not all jerks, but if anyone came across BD they'd think otherwise. (Let's just say it's worse than the Japan today forum !)
Yep, just one more.

Then I ship my sorry *** off to fool school. Oops, I meant Grad school.
How about you? Work, school, piracy?
Of course MD and Mandylion have shown me there are some nice JETs out there :)

Are you leaving Japan Mandylion? Or just changing careers?

I wasn't really serious about avoiding JETs because of BD... I actually know of some ex-JETs with J-husbands down here and they're great.

We're possibly moving to a town of 5,000 and looking on the town's homepage I see they have an ALT. Is an ALT similar to a JET?
nzueda said:
Is an ALT similar to a JET?

I believe that ALT is an Assistant Language Teacher, from what I remember, and they are one of the two types of JET's. There are also CIR's, or something like that, who deal with cultural events and whatnot. To be one of those people you have to be fluent in Japanese. I applied for the JET Programme last year, but they wouldn't take me. :( I'm thinking about applying again, but I'm not sure. There's a lot of time between now and the application process.
Right on the money Glenn.

You know, if you didn't get in, screw the JET programme. (I mean that in the nicest possible way.)

Seriously, I know someone with the EXACT same qualifications as I who didn't get in. To top it off, a friend of mine who is MORE qualified than I didn't get in this year. (Speaks 3 languages, Japanese included, taught at a school for special education, studied education, etc.)

Not to start controversy, but I do think the selection process is biased.

However, you could come here on a tourist visa, enroll in a language school, get a student visa (it's easy) and then get a job as a teacher through classifieds like KTO and The Kansai Flea Market...

mad pierrot said:
You know, if you didn't get in, screw the JET programme. (I mean that in the nicest possible way.)


mad pierrot said:
Seriously, I know someone with the EXACT same qualifications as I who didn't get in. To top it off, a friend of mine who is MORE qualified than I didn't get in this year. (Speaks 3 languages, Japanese included, taught at a school for special education, studied education, etc.)

Wow, that seems really odd. I wonder what could have made them think that he wouldn't be acceptable as a JET.

mad pierrot said:
However, you could come here on a tourist visa, enroll in a language school, get a student visa (it's easy) and then get a job as a teacher through classifieds like KTO and The Kansai Flea Market...

Maybe I'll consider that option. It seems a bit scary though. But thanks for the advice! 👍
Nzueda - going back to school. Will be back in Japan at some point (since that is what I am studying) so it is not goodbye forever!

I think it is possible to be over-qualified for JET. From what I hear, they want new blood, but not too new. You need to have an indentifiable and strong interest in Japan. For example if you have lived in Japan for longer than three years, need not apply. That is also the reason for the three year limit on most positions on JET. You also have to ace the interview, and then there are the issues of what kind of people are applying from your area. I agree though, getting into JET is kind of a craps shoot.
Can you guys give me some pointers? I can go for my TESOL in college that would take 5days with a nice cost of $1,000 Canadian. With this I can teach abroad but there's a little catch though I'm 17 and they say you have to be 18 to get a job. They told me its still possible but that I would have to find a job myself. I know I don't have a chance to teach in Japan but does anyone have any contacts in China, Taiwan or Korea?

I just don't want to pay a grand and be left with no job.
Is teaching English a main goal, or just a way to get to Asia? I don't mean that to sound bad.

Do some snooping around the Net and see what qualified and unqualified English teacher in Asia make. If you think you want to try this gig for a good length of time, go get some qualifications. You will make more money, have a better selection of jobs and more options.

Look cost-benefit of getting your TEOSL. Will your outlay of 1000 Canadian result in signifigantly higher pay, or much better chances at landing a job? If so, 1000 is not as costly as it seems. If you only want to kill some time in Asia, that is another story.

Most places I know tend to like people who have at least a few years of college and some work experience...Both of those, even without a TOESL, would be a big help.
Actually its more to kill time and get a job "is that a bad thing?". They told me I would have a better chance to teach in Asia and some places have low cost living and good pay.

Japan and some parts of Korea you had to have some major qualifications to teach so they told me to forget about it.

I did check out some adds for English teachers but they all want 20+ and want you to sign a contract, but with me teaching illegally at 17 the contract wouldn't matter.
I too, would be interested in getting an english teacher job, as I will be living in Japan for 2 of the 4 years I have signed for the NAVY.

Though I am computer inclined, I was thinking of maybe settling for going to college and becoming an english teacher, in Japan.. That way I could stay in Japan after I get out of the NAVY. Some advice could help.
The renewers conference? Kobe or Tokyo? (not renewing - won't go) If Kobe, I have a good tip on a great Brazilian BBQ nomi/tabehodai a taxi ride away from the hotel (if it is the same hotel as last year)...

Ate so much I had a meat hangover. I kid you not.
Top Bottom