CAREER QUESTIONS FOR ALL LI.STERS
Inspired by @amieshmamie! I'm currently an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) in an elementary school in Japan.
- •Did you always know you wanted to do the job you're doing?I had that common "I wanna be a teacher!" fantasy when I was a kid, but I didn't really consider it properly until I was close to graduating.
- •How many years of studying post-high school?I have a really unconventional educational path, in that I dropped out of high school at 15 (with barely any qualifications), went to a local tech college (to study art/photography) for a year, then changed my mind and went to college to study tourism, before finally making it to university to get my degree! So nah, not related to teaching (or English!) (It took three years to get my tourism degree)
- •How much are your educational loans?Again, unconventional (and lucky as hell!) in that Scotland gives free education. (I know, I hate me too) So I only took out a loan for living expenses, which I think is around £8,000 maybe?
- •Best part of your job?Hands down, it's the kids. They're absolutely hilarious and make every day a total joy. A very very close runner up is the fact that I achieved my childhood dream of living and working abroad. I love living in Japan so much. (I can't imagine living anywhere else right now, which is scary!)
- •Worst part?It's a double-sided one because as much as I adore Japan, I'm an absolute beginner at the language, so it can make every single aspect of life more difficult! Not many people I work with speak English, so it's difficult to get things done and can be a little isolating. However, it makes the connections you DO make feel all the more special.
- •Anything ironic about your job?Probably me being there to tell the kids how important learning English is, when I can barely speak enough Japanese to tell them that. (Also, some of my co-workers got into teaching before English was required, so that can be ironic that they're teaching English but don't speak it themselves.) Everyone tries their hardest, though! We make it work.
- •What's your end goal, career-wise?Short answer: No idea. I want to stay in this job for at least three years (and I'm allowed up to five, if they really like me) Long answer: Maybe get fluent in Japanese and work in tourism here? Or continue in education in private English schools. OR go back to Scotland to work in tourism, or maybe try to get enough qualifications to work in a Scottish primary school.
- •If you weren't doing this job, what would you do instead?I'd be in tourism. Probably would have applied to a bunch of graduate programmes with the intent of living abroad somewhere!
- •Are you happy with your choice?ABSOLUTELY! I can't imagine a better straight-out-of-uni job. Like... it's insane. I hope I continue to love it as much as I do now! And I hope I figure out what I wanna do once this crazy journey ends. 💖