Some teachers enjoy teaching English in Japan at Keio SFC a Jr/Sr High school attached to Keio University. It is located in the Fujisawa area of Shonan in Kanagawa.
You can reach the campus from Shounandai Station (Odakyu Line) and Tsujido Station (Tokaido Line), then take a bus.
Keio SFC is a very famous and prestigious school. They accept the best students from all over Japan. The facilities are top-notch!
Some of the full-time and part-time teachers were very helpful and went out of their way to make me feel welcome and answer my questions. The full-timers are very busy.
As a new teacher there, you will have a lot of questions, plus you will need to learn the rules of the institution. For example, there are certain areas that students are not allowed in, and others in which they are allowed, but at first, it is difficult to figure out what is allowed and what isn`t. (At times there doesn`t seem to be much logic to it).
There was one stairway students were not permitted to use for example--things like that. One teacher`s room the students are allowed to enter, yet another one they are not permitted to be there. I was scolded for allowing them in the latter one. I`m still not sure why they were allowed in one and not the other.
There is a room the students are not allowed to use unless they are members of an audio-visual club. Then it is okay. So you will need time to learn these rules.
I taught at Keio for one year and was offered another one year contract. I might have stayed on at Keio had it been closer to my home. I had to get up at 5AM in order to get there on time. During the cold, dark, winter months that was not fun. But if you live in or near the area, it might be a good option for you.
Take the rules they have there seriously, learn them, follow them, and things should go fine. My friend enjoys working there and has done so for a long time now.
Picture of Keio`s beautiful campus by Richard Baladad
The students are some of the best you will find in Japan.
Some of the teachers there are excellent. So learn from them if you can.
Picture of Keio University by Richard Baladad
Grades 7-12 are taught there, and they offer classes in English and a few other languages.
To get into this school, students have to pass a very difficult entrance test.
From an old Keio SFC ad:
Full-time, 40 working hours/week, to 19 teaching hours/week,
five day/week, Sun and one other day off. Teach 50-minute classes: 16 core English classes (returnee and non-returnee classes), 2 electives, and 1 homeroom. Occasionally come to school on holidays for school events and other duties; share typical homeroom responsibilities with a Japanese partner, including one homeroom period a week; assess students in accordance with school guidelines; participate in all school events and supervise students during school trips, sports days, club activities, etc.; and play an active role in departmental functions such as curriculum development, test writing, coordination of exchange programs, and coaching students for speech contests.
Shonandai Station, Odakyu Line or Tsujido Station, Tokaido Line
MA (TESOL or related field), native-level English speaker, and Junior and senior high school experience (particularly in Japan) required. TESL/ESL or teaching certification, and conversational Japanese ability preferred. Applicant NOT REQUIRED to reside in Japan. Sponsorship available.
"furnished apartment close to school available for rent." Paid holidays, transportation allowance, paid vacation, airfare, annual book allowance, and research allowance. One-year contract, renewable twice.
Apply by mail with CV/resume, letter of introduction. publications, transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended, details of publications and presentations, and at least one letter of recommendation from a recent employer and/or a professor in TESOL.
Keio Shonan Fujisawa Junior and Senior High School
5466 Endo, Fujisawa-shi,
Visit Keio SFC`s Homepage for more information
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Keio SFC Caveat
So it has great facilities, and some great teachers but what are the problems? It is a high pressured place to work. The parents have paid a lot of money to have their children educated there.
It is a very Japanese style institution, with all the good and bad that goes with that.
Teachers and staff tend to be under a lot of stress. One Japanese teacher who taught science next to me all year never even said a word to me. Keio and junior high schools in Japan in general, can be like that. Some of the Japanese are not very friendly at these institutions. I don`t really know why that is, but they are overworked and over-stressed.
If this doesn`t bother you, then great go for it! Some teachers enjoy teaching here.
I have friends who have taught here for years.
If you like a friendly, relaxed place to work, this isn`t it in my opinion.
(You should know that my bias is for warm, friendly, relaxed places to work. That is how I run Kevin`s English School, our store, and that is why I enjoy certain places to work and not others. I enjoyed the Tokyo YMCA, I enjoy Tokai overall, and for the most part I enjoyed ECC.)
A person I know states about Keio SFC:
"I would say for a full time (teacher) that it's more stressful and not so relaxing. But as a part timer it's a not as, in my opinion. It's more of an academic style atmosphere as far as teaching goes. Being a full timer is a bit more stressful and not that relaxing."
--a former Keio Teacher
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