“What does my JTE want me to do?”

Some ALTs may ask, “What does my JTE want me to do?”  Well, I asked a couple of JTEs and below are their responses.  The voices of these two teachers obviously do not represent all JTEs everywhere, but their voices and opinions are honest and revealing nonetheless.  It’s the end of the school year and many teachers are preparing to transfer.  Now is the perfect time to ask your JTE counterparts for feedback and maybe even give a little feedback too.

One JTE replied with the following:

If you want to get along with the co-workers at your school…

  • Keep on learning Japanese.
  • Talk to the co-workers who are not JTEs in Japanese as much as possible.
  • Be interested in life in Japan on a daily basis around you instead of merely being interested in cities like Kyoto or Osaka or Hiroshima.
  • You must be interested in teaching English to become creative as a teacher.
  • Try to spend time with your students in order to know them more.
  • Remember that the students usually clean their classroom by themselves and do your bit in your small way to help them.
  • Try to enjoy your lunch at school even though you have some likes and dislikes about Japanese food.  It does not mean that you have to eat all of the food of school lunch.
  • Be open minded and listen.

And the following is the response of another JTE.

As an ALT, please do the following:

  • Model reading of textbook
  • Model pronunciation of vocabulary
  • Encourage students
  • Talk to students
  • Talk to all teachers (not only English staff)
  • Help speech practice
  • Visit the classroom without the JTE
  • Check the handouts I make
  • Check and correct the English that student wrote
  • Tell me what you want to do
  • Learn Japanese (It makes communication with students easier)
  • Keep on smiling
  • Ask anything you don’t know.  I sometimes cannot know your troubles
  • Please get into the role of person in the textbook
  • Speak loudly
  • Keep your temper is some students are rude, but try to explain to them what is good or bad
  • Please don’t get angry because we will often use the textbook.  I am afraid you will be bored.
  • Pardon me for not having a teaching plan sometimes

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