Archive for English Teachers

The 5 Different Types of English Teachers in Rural Japan

Speaking, reading and writing English is and will continue to be an essential skill in today’s world. Japan knows this and has even mandated that all students start learning the language from elementary school. This has opened up a world of opportunity for westerners to come to Japan.

I’ve met many teachers and most can be grouped into 1 of 5 categories: Real Teachers, World Travelers, Japanophiles, Procrastinators and Runaways. My descriptions for each are below. And don’t shoot the messenger; I don’t make the stereotypes, I only see them.

1. Real Teachers – As irony would have it, only a small percentage of English Teachers in Japan really came to teach. But the few who do can inspire you to almost forget your own intentions. Many are certified and some previously taught in their home countries. For whatever reason, they decided that teaching was their purpose in life and they’re fucking incredible at it. Students adore them and Japanese teachers love taking credit for their work. God bless ’em, they make the world a better place to be.

If you decide you’re actually going to try and teach these kids and want some tips, talk to these guys.

2. World Travelers – Travel is their forte and teaching was just a way to have an extended layover in Japan. These teachers are explorers, foodies and will have something new planned every weekend.  They’re teaching English in Japan now but may be bar tending in Spain, volunteering in Kenya or cooking in a Costa Rican restaurant next. They can usually be identified by their collection of passport stamps,  a liberal arts degree and financially supportive parents.

next stop, Japan!

If you have any questions about what to do for fun in this country, talk to them.

3. Japanophiles – Lovers of all things Japanese, these teachers would’ve given up their first born child for a chance to live here.  They developed a fetish for Japanese women, fashion or anime in their adolescence and started eating sushi because they thought it’d increase their Japan appeal. They plan to live here forever and in their eyes, Japan can do no wrong. They’re probably fluent in the language and there’s a good chance they masturbate to the flag of Japan.

Flag of Japan. The rising makes a wonderful target.

If you have any questions about Japan’s culture, history, customs, politics, food, social norms, law or why Japan is so great, talk to them.

4. ProcrastinatorsJapan is just a pit stop for these folks. They’re likely just out of college, taking a break from work or planning to go to grad school. Teaching is a way for them to not do shit while doing shit. Japan was not their only option but they chose it anyway. Whatever their situation, they know Japan is not forever and are really just postponing the rest of their lives.

We don’t know shit. Don’t ask us anything.

5. Runaways – Easily identified by their obvious or self-asserted fucked up past, these teachers are on the run. Coming to Japan was an attempt to escape a less-desirable life back at home. Japan’s appeal was it’s cleanliness and order, both of which felt like a 180-degree turn from whatever shit they had going on beforehand. This is their safe haven.

If you have any questions about flight, as oppossed to fight, talk to them.

So there you have it. The 5 different types of teachers. Many English teachers will have traits from multiple groups but will still have a primary categorization. If you’re an English Teacher, know who the hell you are!

Comments (12) »