April is a time of year in Japanese schools that I’ve written about before, but despite that it still hasn’t gotten any easier every year to see teachers I’ve come to know well move on to other schools.
This year I’ve had to say goodbye to one of my favourite teachers at my visit school as she has had to move on to a new school after 8 years of teaching at my current visit school.
When you teach for 8 years you become almost a part of the school, and it’s easy to see why she was so popular with the students there. She could manage their craziness perfectly and was an excellent teacher to team teach with, which is not something that is very common with many teachers in Japan unfortunately.
What’s been different about this April has been that I’ve also come to realize that my time as an ALT on the JET Programme is nearing its end after 5 years of teaching in Kagoshima and Nagano. Who would have though that 5 years ago I’d still be in Japan teaching? It’s been an interesting ride for me and has seen my life change in innumerable ways that I would never have expected. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for, and I’ve loved every second of my classes and interactions with my students, the teachers at my schools, and the many people I’ve met from the day I’ve first landed here.
So what does the future hold for me from the end of my contract? More than likely I’ll look to teach for a couple of more years, but I’m also thinking about my long term career prospects and potential avenues of study to make sure that I can move into a different career after that to support my family. For the foreseeable future though I’ll still be in Japan and trying my best to make every moment count!