earnyoursleep wrote:Nobody is making you stay here in Japan, if you don't like it leave. A flaw in program? No.
Forgive the rant, but this post made me kind of irate.
I'm going to guess that you and Bex both have placements that are somewhat redeemable. Unfortunately, this is not the case for some ALTs. Some ALTs come into placements that even the most perfect ALT in the world would not be able to countenance.
A significant number of ALTs face real problems in their placements. Sexual harassment, bullying, violence and abuse from students, little to no support in the workplace, horrendous and sometimes dangerous working conditions, overwork, ludicrous responsibilities, family issues at home, the list goes on and on. All of this whilst dealing with adapting to life in a new country, learning a new language and adjusting to markedly different cultural expectations.
All in all, this is an incredibly dismissive attitude to take towards people who have applied to the programme in good faith, and it implies that you think that employers in Japan have the right to treat foreign workers like dirt, merely because they are foreign. An incredibly dangerous road to travel down if ever there was one.
"Don't like it, leave"? This is a rather dumb thing to say. People do
leave, often to the utter detriment of the programme. These people leave Japan with an absolutely no respect for Japan or Japanese culture because of the way they have been taken advantage of. In this way, the programme has failed in one of its core aims. This should not happen, and the utter lack of respect with which some ALTs are treated is unacceptable. Some ALTs who absolutely work their butts off are treated in this way, ignored and berated in equal measure for trying the best for their students and trying to make as big a difference as they can in the circumstances they find themselves in.
The amount of placements I know that have a yearly replacement of the ALT in that position is staggeringly high. Maybe instead of accepting the status quo, and saying that these people are merely fly-by-night gaijin who lack the willpower to live in the 'real Japan', the powers that be should acknowledge that real problems DO exist over here, that they SHOULD be tackled, and sometimes it is the worst possible cop out to say that "Every Situation is Different".
I'm glad you're only kind of
irate. The JET forum is no place to lose your cool.
I think you are confusing workplace environment and social injustices with people not having their expectations met and wanting compensation for it.
"Sexual harassment, bullying, violence and abuse from students, little to no support in the workplace, horrendous and sometimes dangerous working conditions, overwork, ludicrous responsibilities, family issues at home"
All of these things are absolutely terrible. But I hate to break it to you but they are in fact a part of life of all countries all over the world, even your home country
has this. That being said, a person shouldn't be made to go through this with no assistance. But at the same time in now way should JET be held solely responsible for their existences and made the one to make sure that every individual JET is completely content. That is why there are support systems like PAs and CIRs and CLAIR to assist JETs. JET is simply a liaison and and can't be blamed for every time an ALT lives a little too far from the city where his or her friends from study abroad are living.
The second post by word in the thread really summed it up
(2) there are always things an ALT can do to improve things for him/herself, and (3) there is no teaching exchange program that is superior to JET--period.
I think it's terrible when people break contract. I've had people in my town do it. People that I came with have left and completely forgotten about my hurting area. But I'd rather have a person who is not cut out to be here leave and have someone who really wants to be here teach these kids. The person who replaced him is a great teacher and the kids get along with him. We are ambassadors of our homelands and if we're showing up to school feeling sorry for ourselves cause we pay too much for rent or want better locations like the original poster stated, the kids will pick up on this and have a bad impression of our country.
And your ASSumption that I have a redeemable placement was surmise at best. I live in a place that was rural at best with nothing much to do and then a disastrous earthquake sent a ravaging tsunami through my town and surrounding areas killing people I've come to know and care about while it destroyed over %75 of the homes of my students and coworkers. Now we all have to deal with this and continue to trudge forward.
The sad reality is that Japan is not for everyone. People will live in different places, have different experiences and it's not the same for all JETs. All accommodations may be varied. Is that easier to swallow? Or are we going to see a thread on that next week?
I'm sorry I became mildly