Thursday, June 11, 2015

What do you expect?

Last week, I was taking a break and talking with my co-worker, let's call her Mary. We were discussing all of you! Well, kind of. I was talking to her about how I really want to get back into writing, but I wanted to write about useful or actually interesting topics. (Most of the time anyways.)

During this discussion I hit upon an idea that has been bugging me for months in one way or another. That idea is, "What do JTEs expect from ALTs?" This question really hits home for new ALTs, especially in their first days, or even weeks. We have absolutely no idea what they expect!

In fact, we have so little clue what people expect us to be doing that I'm willing to bet that many people spent their first day or even week as an ALT much the same as I did. That is to say, sitting rigid at our desk without a clue what we’re supposed to be doing as we go slowly insane watching the hours tick by. This lasted two days for me. The next step was, “Well, I guess this IS my desk. So, I’m going to find out what’s in it.”
Actually knowing what we are supposed to be doing didn’t come until a few weeks in when the teachers finally knew the fall schedule and left us with directions to come up with X number of lesson plans for the first week. Leaving many of us, once again, in the dark as we had no clue what planning a lesson entailed.

For most of the first month to two, these were the biggest questions.
1. What am I supposed to be doing?
2. What do my JTEs expect me to be doing?
3. How do I plan a lesson!?!

Well, I’m not going to be answering these questions now. (Had you fooled, didn’t I?) However, these are the questions I am going to attempt to answer in my following posts. While number 1 will be mostly advice from myself, I am currently attempting to gather data from JTEs around Japan so that I can tell you what the JTEs expect, in their words. This is no small feat and I am requesting the aid of ALTs around Japan at the moment. So, we’ll see how this goes. If nothing else, I’ll be able to give you all the advice from the JTEs at my own school. As for question three, well, there are many people who are much more educated than myself, but I’ll try to give you a few pointers for your first lessons as well as a few resources you can check out.

That’s all for now folks! See you around next time!


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