Teaching English at a kindergarten can be a fun and rewarding job but it is not without its challenges. If you are interested in a more “hands on” type of teaching position then teaching children could be perfect for you.
A few years ago, it became mandatory for Elementary School children to study English from Grade 1 so that the children would become accustomed to English at a very young age. As a result a large number of International Preschools and Kindergartens started up, which in turn meant an increased demand for native English speakers who could comfortably teach children.
Having qualifications to certify your capability to teach children is an obvious perk, but not a necessity, as the vast majority of teachers will be paired with a native Japanese partner who will have both the experience and qualifications needed to care for the children. Most schools will expect you to teach the same class, day in, day out, and plan the entirety of their schedule. Every school will have a different curriculum for your to map your lessons around, but making sure the children actually learn as well as have fun is a responsibility that falls on your shoulders. Working alongside your partner is tantamount to success, as if you have a good working relationship and communicate freely, your lesson plans will come naturally. If however you stubbornly plan everything yourself, or take advantage of your partner’s good nature, it will be a slow and painful year.
During your time at the school, you will no doubt be asked to attend a variety of events, from sports day, to Halloween parties and even a Christmas event. The parents may attend these events and if your class is expected to perform, you will have to either choreograph a dance number, or even teach the children lines to a play. It may sound stressful, but seeing your class on the big stage is a pride-filling moment and may see your blubbering alongside the children’s parents.
As you are caring for small children, the interview process is often a lengthy one, with some schools asking their candidates to spend an entire day at the school to see if they are a good fit. Even after you land the job, you will be expected to win over the trust and hopefully approval of the parents, so there may be a number of parent-teacher meetings, open classes or mini-meetings after school.
Although it involves a lot of planning, and can be an extremely tiring job, working with children you will spend most of your day laughing and smiling, as you take charge of the class and get to know each student (and oftentimes their parents as well).
It isn’t for everyone, but for those that enjoy working with children it can be a very rewarding job. Get started now by creating your resume in our job system.
Check out the Kindergarten and Preschool teaching jobs in the GaijinPot job system.