The Prefectural Advisor (PA) System was originally created in 1991 to help better support the participants of the JET Programme.
The four PAs work together to try to help resolve problems to ensure smooth running of the Shimane JET Programme. Your PA Team has training, experience and knowledge of Japanese culture, language, workplaces and education that you can draw on to make your decisions and address problems.
Please feel free to contact any us anytime, regardless of our proximity to you in the prefecture.
What Do PAs Do?
Shimane’s Prefectural Advisors provide a variety of services for JETs, the most important of which are listed below.
Living and working as a foreigner in Shimane can become stressful at times. Problems can be furthered by culture shock, language difficulties and winter.
Your PAs can refer you to counseling services to help you overcome these difficulties if and when they arise. You can talk to us about culture shock, burnout, depression, stressful situations, major decisions such as re-contracting, or whatever is on your mind!
Confidentiality is strictly upheld in all situations. The only exceptions to this is if a JET poses an imminent threat to themselves or others, the JET has committed an illegal act/breach of their contract or the JET participant has agreed/requested for their information to be shared with someone who can assist them.
You can also consult your PAs when addressing problems that are work-related or arise from cultural differences, educational differences, or any other practical problems that you encounter. Things that you can talk to us about include contracts, holidays, team-teaching, work relations, cultural relations, communication problems etc.
If you face a dispute with another party, for example a fellow JET or a supervisor, your PAs can offer mediation services to ensure effective communication and dialog to help address the problem. We can also offer a listening ear and advice on approaching the problem. If all parties agree we can also offer our services in person to the parties involved. This would involve identifying common and individual needs, and then ways to achieve as many of them as possible. During mediation, PAs represent all parties involved and therefore cannot assure confidentiality.
Crisis Response and Management
Although it is best to contact us during normal working hours or schedule an appointment, if a crisis situation or emergency occurs, you can contact us immediately and at any time. Such situations could include medical emergencies, crime incidents, bereavement, natural disaster, physical or mental trauma and personal crises, including suicidal or violent thoughts. We will try to help you manage and deal with any such crises.
***It’s important to note however that PAs are not counselors. In a case where a PA feel the situation requires more expertise the PA will, with your consent, help arrange for a referral to an appropriate professional.***
The PAs send a week e-mail newsletter called The Shimane Bulletin Board or “The BB” to help clarify work related happenings, legal information that affects you, and event information. We are always trying to make The BB better and more interesting, so if you have anything you would like included, feel free to send it to any one of the PAs.
Types of PA
JET Prefectural Advisors: The role of Prefectural Advisor is to provide consultation and mediation directly to other JET participants. The Prefectural Advisors also are the organizers of Orientations, Skills Development Conferences, and Opinion Exchange Meetings. Both JET-PAs have duties outside of their roles as PA.
The current JET-PAs, are Sondey Olaseun, the CIR-PA <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Alexander Hart-Smith, the ALT-PA <email@example.com>. Please note, that the CIR/ALT titles refer to our employment status not our PA roles, we have an open door policy in Shimane- simply put if you are a CIR you are totally free to contact the ALT-PA, and as an ALT you are free to contact the CIR-PA. For example, if you are an CIR, but have an upcoming school visit you may prefer and are free to contact the ALT-PA for advice, likewise if you’re an ALT with upcoming interpretation duties you are free to contact and might prefer to contact the CIR-PA for advice.
Japanese Prefectural Advisor: The Japanese PA is also primarily in charge of communicating with your BOEs regarding Conferences and other important announcements from CLAIR, MEXT, collecting and collating paper work and administrative work. They are also the first port of call for supervisors/schools to contact when there is a problem with a JET. The Japanese PA and the JET-PAs work closely throughout the year.