Back to Work


I was required to give six months’ notice at my job for the public school system. This; however, turned out to be insufficient time to locate a new teacher. Because the school year in Japan starts in April, it is often difficult to bring a new teacher from America. On Monday I was contacted by the junior high school asking me if I had the ability to do some contract teaching for them. This was followed by a series of short calls back and forth over three days.

Ultimately, I have agreed to take a four month contract from April 1st through July 31st to help them avoid a gap between teachers. I thought it was nice of them to start the contract from April 1st, but I think it is difficult (or impossible) for the system to create a contract that doesn’t start and end with a calendar month.

The contract will only require teaching at the junior high school. Although I found these classes the most troublesome, not having to teach at five schools will be a much nicer load.

Since I was starting my own school this month, I wouldn’t normally have been so kind. Coincidentally, my classes that were set to go in April have all been cancelled by unfortunate circumstances. I have several leads of which a couple were probably close to sure things, but it was looking like April and May at least would be months of heavy financial loss. I am hopeful that the strongest leads can be maintained until August and with a little effort I expect to line up a couple other classes.

So, accepting the contract looks like the safest route forward. Yesterday, when it looked like everything was negotiated, they threw another curve in; asking me if I could take a one year contract. We are moving ahead with a four month term, but I promised them I would think about one year; being clear to warn them that I consider it unlikely to work for me.

This morning I drove to the school with the car top open. I met the new seventh grade teacher who lived in SF for three and a half years leading up to 9/11. His English is great. I also met the new VP and reconnected with other staff. Tomorrow I hope to meet the new principal and go to the school opening ceremony.


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