Teaching English as Second Language

Interview of Rick Eismann

Teaching English as Second Language: where have you taught and why did you choose to teach there?

(Pictured: Ritsurin by Devanshe Chauhan)

I started my teaching career working for Aeon West in the Shizuoka city branch back in 2000. I originally wanted to gain some experience teaching maybe for one year then go back to California and enroll back in college to get my teaching degree. I did my demo lesson and interview (which I passed) with Aeon back in San Francisco then was placed in Shizuoka. I worked around 2 years for Aeon and then got directly hired by the Fujisawa city Board of Education in Kanagawa as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT). This job was full time but the contract was only good for 3 years. After that, I started to work part-time and piece my schedule together by working at different schools during the regular work week. I'm still working part-time at two universities and two private high schools. I've also worked as an ALT in elementary schools and as ALT for a work agency that sends teachers out to public or private schools.

What are some of the highs and lows of teaching English?

The main high I get out of teaching is seeing the students progress and enjoy themselves in the process of learning English. The lows would be sometimes having to deal with students who hate English and don't even attempt to try to learn it.

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

The highs of living of Japan are experiencing some things of Japanese culture that can only be experienced first hand here which can also have it's lows. I you don't speak at least basic Japanese and read some Kanji, Katakana, or Hiragana it's tough to get by here.

What advice would you give to someone interested in teaching English?

Do your research. Get as much information as you can about the company or school you'll be working for. Check information about the city you'll be living in Last, be sure that you're 100% sure about moving to Japan because there's so much more to Japan than sushi and animation.

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

Don't be afraid to try new things in the classroom to get your students communicating in English.

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