Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Two Years Since I Hit These Shores....

and currently thoroughly disillusioned with it for many reasons.

I'm hoping this will pass soon as I intend to stay for another year.

Okay. I decided to elaborate a little on what I said above: [WARNING: WHINEY POST AHEAD:]

Firstly, whilst some of my students are wonderful, interested, motivated and fun, I also have several some kids and some extremely boring adults.

A standard lesson for my company can be thrown together in 5 minutes (three of this are finding the right place in the tape). I'm going slightly nuts teaching the same thing again and again. There is little room for creativity, and little time to be creative anyway.

Teaching one-to-one with a boring adult or bratty kid is HARD work and, for some reason, there is a very high percentage of private lessons like these in the area I work in.

The TESOL, of course, doesn't help, as I'm teaching large groups of adults and creating the lessons instead of just regurgitating what I've regurgitated dozens of times before.

I often feel that the company is more concerned with making money than with satisfying teachers or students needs.

On the other hand, I really enjoy the non-standard lessons where there is more freedom: IELTS, Cambridge, hell, even EIKEN lessons or in fact any lesson where I can match the students needs and NOT the company's needs for me to whisk through material to hit the deadlines of finishing the text books.

It drives me nuts the lack of understanding some of the receptionists and school staff have of teachers needs. Oh, you have a spare 15 minutes here Jo, let's cram something into it, etc.

Or maybe it's this and other gripes in combination with all the six day weeks since mid-July just draining it out of me.

Then again, it could be Japan. Maybe it's this country that driving me slowly mad. The overwhelming lack of common sense I see around me. The sheep mentality. The acceptances of things that I just cannot fathom. The obsessions with I used to see as quirks, but now JUST see as obsessions.

But if makes financial sense to stay here for another year. I love teaching: with the right students and the right, shall we say, conditions. I don't want to stop teaching English but something right now just isn't right about it all for me.

Maybe it's the having friends leaving and knowing that's a cycle that will just continue.

Maybe it's events in the UK I'm missing out on: birthdays, weddings, births, parties, etc. BUT I don't really have anything to return TO in the UK, so I'm kind of stuck. Maybe, whilst part of me cannot imagine EVER settling down and doesn't want to ever settle down: another part of me craves that badly and wants a nice two-up-two-down (whatever that means) in London with a husband, Labrador, fuel-guzzling car and a kid or three.

I miss my friends: even though they are all scattered all over. I really miss them. I hang out for emails from friends: and then miss them even more...

Maybe it's just that culture shock has finally and thoroughly hit me after two years and there's no novelty left for me so I'm stagnating. And I'm tired the WHOLE time these days.

I'm going to stop posting this now. It's not doing me any good ranting like this, and I'm sure nobody read any further than the first line of this post anyway.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got as far as the bottom of the post Jo! I really feel for you, with all the frustrations etc. You'll find a way to make it work for you, I'm sure. I'm not trying to be glib, but I've been told by many people that teaching can be very frustrating at times, and it's normally the politics that comes with it rather than the job itself. You've been very successful in what you've done, and making a new life for yourself in a new country is a difficult thing to achieve. Thinking of you lots. Love Ben J.

6:55 pm

Blogger Nix said...

Oh PLEASE hang in there Jo. If not for anything else - then the PURELY selfish reason of me finally meeting you next year!

I'm sorry things aren't so good right now - but if they're so low then they can only go up right? At least that's what "they" say!


4:14 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi Jo

1:58 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hiya - this is a bit late so I hope you're already feeling better now. It was really nice chatting to you on the way home the other night - I've been knackered too and it really gave me some energy. Hang in there and I'll see you on the Party Train!! Lou

1:52 pm


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