Monday, May 15, 2006

The Job World

Here's an update from the Job World now that our sight-seeing tour has ended. I think the last thing I wrote here about it was when I got my alien registration card. Since then, I went and got my work permit from the immigration authority, and answered 5 or 6 ads that were posted in the International Students building on campus. I got an interview with one--a mother looking for a tutor for her 7 year old daughter and 5 year old son. The little girl had been taking English lessons at a private school for 4 years already! That was before we went to Tokyo. Since we got back, I posted an ad at the International Center Building (a skyscraper downtown where the U.S. Consulate is and also an international library with a Jobs Bulletin Board). I've gotten a bunch of calls from the ad this weekend, only one from an individual and the rest from various language schools in need of English teachers.

One of the language schools said they needed a full-time teacher. I arranged an interview with them and gave it some thought (and did some math). I began to realize that there is really no way I could arrange enough private lessons to add up to the same amount of work as I could get at this one language school--so I accepted the job this morning! It is every evening (5 days) from 2 until 9. I felt pretty bad about canceling on the two student I had already accepted (the times overlap), and was saying so to Caitlin (who believes Japanese kids to be among the cutest on the planet) when she said, "I could go teach them--it's only one hour a week, right?" So I suggested that when I called the mother to cancel and she said okay. So Caitlin's going there this Friday while I'm at the other school. This is a good example of another reason why I think it will be better for me to work at a school--I don't have to handle all the interpersonal stuff involved. I'm too much of a softie to be all business when I have to.

So the guy who runs the school seems really nice. He said he's been running it for 8 years and it is just him and one native speaker teaching (me!)--so it is a really small school. It's about 1/3 children and 2/3 adults--mainly conversation practice. There is no set curriculum, so the teachers can decide how and what they want to teach, depending on individual students' needs. He said it varies as to how many students we have, and the pay corresponds to the number of students. It's a sliding scale from 1850 Y/hr for a single student up to 3900 Y/hr for a group of 4 (which is actually about what I'd make at private lessons if you factor in travel time). There can be some hours when there are cancellations and there is no class--other days we might work the 7 hours straight through. He said that I should be making between 235,000 Y and 250,000 Y a month, though (about $2,350-2,500) which is more than I made at the library! Also, he pays my subway fare (about $100 a month). So it seems like a pretty sweet deal to me. The main thing is I really liked the guy and got a good feeling from him--he seems to be running a good operation. I'll keep you posted as to how it goes!