Gizmotech wrote:Here's my positive, go forward, carebear tip: I would suggest that, in the future, you attempt to integrate ideas more progressively into the environment rather than trying to accomplish so much at once. I understand your desire to accomplish more than just being the token gaijin ALT english speaker in the room, however we have to be flexible within a system which has limited time and resources available to the ulterior motives of the JET Programme. Keep in mind (in response to the "what's the point of the job statement" earlier) that though our programme contracts us for a specific purpose, that purpose is not reflected within the mission statement of the education system. There is a requirement for an ALT of some form to be there to improve the English education, not to be cultural ambassadors. Small token integration generally goes over well, and ideally this type of thing should be started from within an exterior system such as a local cultural centre, or as an element of your English club at the school. Think small steps....
Well thank you, I appreciate your 'carebear' (!?!?!) (I like how if you are forced to say something positive it's such a bad thing for you) tip.
It is actually useful so I appreciate it.
However, yes, my entire orientation in my home country was based around cultural exchange. English teaching itself was scarcely mentioned at all. That's just how it was.
Here's my not so positive go forward, and relatively anti-carebear stuff. People on the forums have good reason to make these assumptions about your position. They have analyzed a relatively negative rant, which has within it a series of overly ambitious objectives which you are attempting to foist on to your bosses. Furthermore your attitude in the previous messages indicates a sense of entitlement, that you are there for a greater purpose than being an ALT in the classroom. We are not Japanese Teachers, nor should we expect to be treated as Japanese teachers with similar status and ability. They have no reason to express their lack of desire in doing your overly ambitious plan as they do not need to be constructive with you at all. Yes it can be difficult to work in that environment, but that's when we analyze the situation and come up with new plans that fit within their expectations.
Well your 'anti-carebear' advice is indeed rather awful.
I'm not of the belief that intention is irrelevant, as folks often say. If I give my genuine point of view, it being perceived as 'negative' actually has nothing to do with the substance of what I'm saying. A negative point of view to me is one given in a state of base negativity, which I did not do. In fact, so called 'negativity' can be positive if it is used to shed light on problems and create discussion to fix things.
Therefore, you are merely besmirching my motives, which I think is not cool or at all useful.
I criticised the teachers I talked to as the 'negativity' they provided actually had no positive use. It was just hum harr for it's own sake.
Furthermore, you complain about a general tone here on the forums in regards to assumptions made about your situation. Notice that many of the people replying to this have likely been doing this longer than you have and have a more sensitive view of the Japanese work culture and JTE expectations/capabilities. They analyzed and replied to your situation filling in variables which are generally constant. "Young unobservant headstrong individual" "Overly ambitious" "Attempting Change" "Asking teachers for input" They provided feedback based on your content and these variables which creates a pretty good impression of the situation they have seen multiple times. They weren't just dismissing you at all.
But it is dismissive to assume things about someone and then go from there to give criticism. It just is!
Those so called forum posts you quoted (most of which you actually just made up) would have it seem I'm running around the school bothering everyone I can about my idea, and going to the kyoto and kouchou senseis and bashing them over the head with all these ridiculous over the top ideas, and expecting everyone to bend over backwards and do what I say...so on...that the idea I have is extremely unreasonable and really terrible and crappy and has no use whatsoever...
All of which is total, unmitigated bullcrap. So what can I do with it.
People have decided and that is fine. Some people are quite content to do their job and go home, there is NOTHING wrong with this. You will learn later in life that you work to live, not live to work. Others, like myself, have learned to work within the system and accomplish things above and beyond the job in a productive and non-controversy creating way. You may see this as dismissive and not being a cultural ambassador, but reality often trumps imagination and we have to work within the systems we are presented. There is nothing contradictory about doing BOTH of things you've mentioned above at the same time, however it appears based on your replies and original post you are placing far too much emphasis on a component of our job which isn't in the job description (check the contract). If you feel soo strongly about this element of the job I suggest you attempt to accomplish it outside of school rather than within it, as the people are generally going to be far more responsive to that anyways.
Well I want to live to work...that's just the way I'm wired. I did a lot of contracting and temp work back home and I was always irked then about not being a full team member, so I feel like I have to make my own way in life. So I will be doing this job for a few years but then I think I have to follow my own ambitions and gamble with failure.
First, being left to yourself should have been the default expectation from the beginning. Anything you suggest should likely be accomplished on your own, as it doesn't relate to your contractual job, nor the responsibilities of the JTE's around you.
Second, veil of indifference is a judgement on Japanese society which is undeserved. They are hardly indifferent at all, and i would suggest you consider your JTEs position, responsibilities, and how much work they do relative to your own job before making this statement. At no point would I consider even my most uncommunicative asholish JTE indifferent, just bloody well busy and has no reason to want to help me beyond class related content.
Lastly, NOONE said you were shoot at life. Even mountainboy, though being a bit harsh in his approach, only indicated a relative lack of experience in negotiating large scale projects based on an assumption that you are a fresh uni graduate with limited "professional" working experience. That's not being shoot at all, because if everyone without experience in something were shoot at life, then we're all shoot at life (I would love to play the guitar... absolutely no experience at it therefore must be shoot at life).
You need to know what I actually mean by 'veil of indifference'. I'm clearly not saying they are indifferent about their jobs, their schools, their lives, their students, doing things...
I'm talking solely in relation to the ALT role. Now you reply it isn't their job to give a crap. EXACTLY. The role is not integrated into the schools! It is essentially a temp role in nature. If there were actual responsibilities, not to mention a true guideline or process to the job, how would that not be better?
Instead you keep characterising that I'm just saying oh all the teachers are terrible people who don't care about living and they all hate me. I'm not saying any of those things. Where do you think 'every situation is different' really came from? Besides some situational things, really the lack of clarity to the ALT job.
I suppose I crave some structure, and some OFFICIAL responsibilities. However I think many folks think differently and thus will defend to death the idea of coming up things on your own instead of being an actual full time member. And am I overpaid for what I do? Hell yes I am. In fact it makes me think the Japanese government needs to shake things up a bit. I guess they started by cutting JET pay next year, so that's something, but patching up the programme would be preferable.
I just love that when I notice issues with the role it has to be from some great, insane paranoid fantasy of mine, and entertaining the notion that there are any problems shows I'm just a huge problem and so egotistical and out of control. So stupid!
Would that I was being overly sensitive (which I guess is true from the mere act of replying to things right), but saying someone is fresh out of college, or lived with their parents, or lacks experience, is such a blatant put down you're asking me to believe things that are obviously not true. So, shrug. I guess, if you think you're right, well, that's nice. Creating ideas about other people based on nothing is the same as saying they suck at life and you know everything. It's kind of amusing to me that you think that isn't insulting.
But I think that guy was just a troll so...you know what they say about feeding the trolls.