Mirrored with permission from Outpost Nine and Azrael

I Am a Japanese School Teacher FAQ

Here I try to address some of the most frequent questions I get. It may save us both some time, so please read through.

And yes, some questions from the "In Defense" FAQ are repeated here, but this FAQ still has lots of its own new content.

"How much does JET pay? Is it enough to live off of?"

JET pays roughly $30-35,000 a year. Whether that's enough really depends. Living in a big city can be very expensive. Living in the countryside is much cheaper (because there isn't that much you can actually spend money on), but you may end up spending just to get away. Japan is an expensive country, but you can save money if you know how to budget. Really, it just depends on what you want to do while you're here.

Where you are placed also has sort of an impact. My rent is kind of high, because I live in a commuter's paradise surburb. I have friends who pay less than half of what I do. That's just how it goes.

"JET sounds great! But, I have a few questions..."

Please, please, please, please please NO MORE JET QUESTIONS. I give up, I'm raising the white flag, stick a fork in me.

If you want to do JET and can't find the information you're looking for on their website, consult your university's career center or Japanese department. If you are not in university...you are still a long way from doing this, and shouldn't worry about it too much now.

If you actually get to applying, most if not all of your questions will be answered along the way. If you get in, they will ORIENTATE YOU TO DEATH. Seriously. They will give you answers to all the general questions you may have, and even put you in contact face-to-face with former JET's. They will tell you everything you never wanted to know about Japan, except for the really useful stuff, like the threat of kancho or that your kids may one day ask you "Do you play masturbate?" But you're hearing this now so it's all good.

And then if/when you actually get there, they will ORIENTATE YOU SOME MORE. It never ends. They'll be shipping you off to seminars until your human spirit is absolutely crushed, and the words "group work" or "brainstorming activity" will be enough to send you into uncontrollable fits of crying and swearing.

But I'm not the JET spokesboy. Never was, and I don't want to be. JET questions clog up my mailbox and are the primary reason for the backlog.

"Why don't you wear a cup/some sort of metal plate crotch covering to school?"

You're not the first person to suggest this.

I'm not about to go to my job, in a school, wearing athletic sports gear. Nor would it compel me to actually stand there and let them grab/poke all they want. I'd still be trying to get out of the way, and a cup would only dull my senses.

"Are you still there?"

Yes. I'll be here through August 2006 at least.

"Do your kids/teachers know about your site? What would they think if you showed them?"

They don't know as far as I know, and I have no intention of telling them.

While I don't necessarily think any of it is bad (except for the nicknames...), they're my own thoughts which I don't feel they need to know. I doubt any of them would accidentally find it, and even if they did, they wouldn't be able to fully read it (remember, the kids are still English students.)

"Can you put up a picture of so-and-so?"

While I do have pictures which I am putting up, I'm not going to point anyone out. Ie "This is the Americanized teacher" or "This is Spread Your Legs". I dunno, it just feels like a privacy issue for me. And I'd hate for one of my kids to be walking down the street, and get pulled aside by some tourist who asks "Hey, are you Bessie?" This is also why I avoid using names. It keeps some degree of anonymity to it.

Moeko is the exception though. I kind of wonder if one day she'll do a study abroad, and she'll get up and introduce herself and someone in the back will say "Hey, are you THAT Moeko?"

Lots of the people featured in the editorial ARE present in the pictures though, so if you were observant enough you could probably pick them out for yourselves.

"Can you tell me about (some other job scene/industry) in Japan?"

Not really. Since I'm not involved in anything else, I don't know anything about it aside from random outsider observations.

"Your experience sounds awesome! I wanna do this too...I think..."

As I cautioned in the other FAQ, every situation is different. You might get kids brazenly asking you dirty sex questions...or you might get kids who seem to be catatonic. It all just depends, and there's no way to know until you actually get there.

"How are you communicating with the kids? English? Japanese?"

If it's something they said in English, I usually point it out. Otherwise, it's in Japanese. The more complex stuff is most definitely in Japanese, like the "Cheating girls suck!" stuff from "My Kids Are Perverted 2".

"What is the octopus?"

I'm really not telling.

"Hey, you know that sleeping on trains and waking up at the right moment thing isn't exclusive to the Japanese..."

Yes, I know that now.

"Hey, you know why women never seem to get pregnant? They do, it's just that Japan has an astonishingly high abortion rate..."

Yes, I know that now. Makes perfect sense, but I'd never really realized it.

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