Getting Together

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Our city employs about 20 Assistant Language Teachers: approximately half of them are hired through the JET program and half are directly contracted. During the school year our duties are organized in a manner that keeps us scattered about the city with few opportunities to interact during business hours.

Summer is a special time where we come together a number of times to prepare for and teach some seminars. During lunchtime and breaks we get to learn much more about each other. For example, one teacher was explaining how to get ahold of everything needed to make our own bacon in Japan. Anyone shopping the meat department at a grocery store here can recognize the value of this.

JET is a program that brings young college graduates to Japan for one to five years as a kind of exchange. Because of the temporary nature of these assignments we usually need about 4 new teachers each year. Various factors converged this year and we turned over 9 positions, so this week there were alot more faces to learn.

One new teacher is quite skilled at legerdemain, which is in high demand with students. Hopefully we’ll get more chances to learn about each other, but starting tomorrow we are off to our scattered work locations.

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