Teaching for JET Essay

Submitted By al_spinner
Words: 658
Pages: 3

With deep affinities for both Japanese culture as well as teaching, I feel that a position teaching in Japan would be an ideal opportunity to excel professionally as well as personally. Always interested in this post-graduate path, I decided during the summer of 2007 to take a trip to Japan to determine if Japan would be a proper fit. I opted to travel for five weeks to allot for the novelty of being in a foreign country to wear off to allow me to see Japan in a pragmatic, everyday way. In addition I traveled unguided to see if I could traverse the country alone with only my Japanese ability. By the end of five weeks I had determined that my independence had proven sufficient and that Japan would be an excellent fit for me. 

Interested in pursuing this career path, I also felt it would be prudent to gain teaching experience. Normally a graduate student position, I and select few other undergraduates were offered positions teaching general chemistry labs via personal recommendation to the head T/A from chemistry faculty. I taught two semesters and found that based on the growth and development I witnessed in my students, I really enjoyed teaching; often I was more excited to teach general chemistry lab than work in my own lab. Based on the letters of commendation I received both semesters from the head teaching assistant it seems my students also thoroughly enjoyed having me as an instructor. My teaching philosophy was simple-facilitate an environment in which every student feels welcome and comfortable. I believe that only when a student is comfortable will they ask questions, and only when they ask questions will they really learn things they otherwise may not. Therefore by making the students comfortable, they were more prone to ask me questions not only about the experiment or chemical concepts at hand, but also about other areas of chemistry they were curious about.
Not only did they teach me about student life in Japan and some basic Japanese phrases, but through my task of explaining English colloquialisms to them, my awareness of word-choice heightened and I began to realize what the phrase "living language" really means. Through my experience with them, I believe we all learned more about English than a textbook could have ever taught us.
I would truly love to participate in the JET Program as an assistant language teacher. I am fascinated with Japan, its culture and most importantly its people and teaching English in Japan would be an honor and a privilege.