My TEFL Journey: Part Two

by Ben Davies/Kevin Burns

What are some of the highs and lows of living in Japan?

Some of the highs:

* Meeting my Japanese wife.
* Having three great kids!
* Living here is always interesting. There are both similarities and differences to my native Canada. Japan teaches me many things about myself, about Canada and the way Canadians think, and of course about Japan as a country itself. Meeting people from all over the world is another high – not only Japanese people, but people from many countries.

In general life is pretty good and pretty easy for me here, and the only low I can think of is:

* Experiencing racism occasionally. Getting the absolute worst table in the izakaya (Japanese bar), or hearing some kind of racist comment. These incidences are relatively rare however.

Japan’s a good place to live, then. What advice would you give to someone interested in teaching English?

Learn all that you can about teaching. Think about which teachers you liked from your own school/university days. We have all had many great teachers over the years; why were they great? What was it about them that you liked? Then try to emulate that yourself when you teach.

If you plan on teaching abroad, learn all that you can about the country. Know before you go, in other words.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a more successful teacher of English?

Read! Attend lectures! Talk with colleagues and the star teachers of any institution you are associated with.

Study either on your own or at a university. Never stop learning – you can always improve!

Thanks again to Kevin for a very positive interview. Teaching in Japan attracts all sorts of people, and as long as you are willing to learn and adapt you can make a success of it. Visit Kevin’s blog for more useful information on teaching in Japan.

Originally published here:

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