JapanGet wrote:Realistically, if I stuck around teaching in Japan for a few years, would I ever be more than an ALT?
If your dream career is teaching, realistically, if you stuck around teaching in Japan for a few years, you would never be more than an ALT. As things stand. My prefecture has only one non-native teacher hired as a full-time teacher, and not as an ALT. I do not know if he gets the same benefits as other non-ALT teachers, though. Similarly, my BoE recently announced at an ALT conference that they were thinking about starting to hire more native-speaking English teachers as full time teachers, and not as ALTs. It sounded, however, that people getting these positions would be incredibly skilled and qualified. "I was an ALT for a few years" would not be enough. It's not impossible, but, realistically, it is.
That doesn't mean you should not do JET (if you haven't yet). JET can afford valuable teaching experiences that many people use to vault their way into a full-time teaching career in their home country; JET could be that first rung of the ladder you're wanting to work up.