If you have read my first-ever post here, you’d already know that I got a job offer. And that is to become an ALT!
Yes, I will become a teacher. Honestly though, I did not dream of this. When my classmates in elementary would ask me to fill out their slum-book, I would write “astronaut” when asked what I want to be when I grow up. It is for real. I have always been fascinated with the wonders of the universe. I wanted to explore space, “walk” on the moon, or at the most, complete an orbit of our dear planet earth. Yeah yeah I know, it is IMPOSSIBLE to happen. Not in this lifetime. But hey, a girl can dream, right?
So yes, I did NOT dream to be a teacher. In fact, I hated the thought of it. Maybe it has something to do with how I see my teachers way back in elementary. Most of them were not good (in my opinion) and were preoccupied with non-relevant issues. They mostly wouldn’t teach, and if they would, it wouldn’t seem enough. I could probably count less than five teachers who made an impression on me. I remember seeing some of them on my way home bringing stacks of papers and looking like they have all the problems this world can offer. They looked stressed. I don’t know how they survived that job, considering it is a daily eight-hour agony of their monotonous life. So I thought, I don’t want to be like them. I want a carefree and laid-back job. Call me lazy, that’s fine. I have long accepted the fact that I am not that type. I am not the type who would be willing to be a slave for money. I don’t want to endure more than eight hours of work, which means I don’t want to bring work back home. When work is done, it’s done. And yes, those are the reasons why I didn’t want to be a teacher.
Times are different now. I have started to love teaching and up to this day, I cannot believe that I’m doing what I’m doing. I am actually enjoying it, especially when I see the improvements in my students. It is indescribable joy. More than that, I am happy to hear their feedback and appreciation towards my effort. It means a lot to me.
According to our company’s website, there is a high social expectation placed on anyone who is a teacher in Japan. This includes ALTs. Teaching is considered a “sacred profession.”
The expectations placed on an ALT and regular teachers are exceedingly high. Social etiquette is very important in Japan, but more so for a teacher. All teachers, including ALTs, are expected to set a good example for students in and outside the school gate. This means upholding good character in your free time as well.
We are not just language instructors, but also cultural and goodwill ambassadors. And I am very much willing to embrace that. I want to show them our rich and flavorful culture. I hope to impart a positive impact on the lives of the children.
The question is: Do I really want this job? The answer is a resounding YES.I must admit I am hesitant at first, but I realized there is no other way to go for me but here. I am not a licensed educator and so I can never become a teacher, like real teacher. This ALT job would be an opening for me to further opportunities out there. As A stands for, I will be an Assistant Language Teacher to elementary, junior high, and high schoolers. And mind you, this will be my first time to teach in a classroom. I have been teaching online my whole life and so this a breathe of fresh air. I want to see the faces of my learners in person. I want to see if they’re enjoying or bored. I want to know if they’re eager to learn more. I want to learn more. I want to go out of my comfort zone. I want to explore the unknown. And so I am taking this is as a challenge. Bring it on!!!