Can you believe it? It’s been over 2 years since I’ve been in Japan. The fact that I’ve been living here longer than I did in California is mind blowing. Thinking about it made me realized that being here during the pandemic has really put a paused to my life.
Most of my time spent here in Japan is just me working and going home. I’ve had the privilege of visiting other places in Japan for work from time to time, but it still wasn’t much. In the past two years, I’ve been working as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher). And I can tell you right now that it’s been one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever done in my life. I learned so much from it. Being a teacher… being a good teacher, requires so many different kind of skills. It takes courage, endurance, knowledge, experience and charisma.
The teachers here in Japan work ridiculous hours and I sometimes wonder, do you even go home? Not to mention the social pressures of “doing things right” … there’s so much you have to take in consideration when working in Japan. I worked at 4 different schools (subbed at 1), both junior high and elementary schools. Because of this, I had the opportunity to work with many different kinds of teachers and students. It really opened my world.
After my last day as a teacher, I reflected on my last 2 years and to be honest, I sometimes feel like a failure. There’s so much I could have done better. I wish I could have done so much more for the teachers and the students, but I let my shyness get in the way. But the past is the past and we live and learn. So in my next step in life, I’m going to try harder to make sure I feel no regrets.