Working for AEON : an overview

5 11 2009

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So as you all may know by now, I work for AEON, one of the largest eikaiwa schools in Japan. I had previously worked for NOVA for about 2 and 1/2 years, and despite what people said about the company, I had no real issues with them. The same can also be said of my time so far with AEON. They have been supportive in both a personal  and working sense, I have a great school (with intelligent, friendly staff and smashing students), and I find the lesson style both easy to teach and adaptable to the needs of my students.

The purpose of this post is to try and give you a more detailed view of my job and working day, especially if you are either interested in AEON or just bored.

Work Schedule

I work Tuesday through Saturday, with Sunday and Monday off. This works out good for me and Rie, right now, as we both get one day to ourselves and some time together. My working hours are as follows :

TUESDAY 12 – 9 ; WEDNESDAY 1-9; THURSDAY 1-9; FRIDAY 1-9; SATURDAY 10-7.

I can work up to 37 hours, but I can only teach up to 30 lessons in this time, or 25 teaching hours. The rest of my time is either spent preparing or helping out the staff with various chores (usually involving either i.changing flourescent lighting or ii. using a stapler).

I keep the same lessons every week which is very useful and so I can help my own students develop and progress.

AEON also employs Japanese teachers which I think is a great idea. Lower level students can feel less intimidated with a native Japanese teacher than a Foreign one, although we all share students from time to time.

AEON offers several different kinds of classes. These include the following :

ROUND UP – Grammar based lesson, where students focus on a single teaching point i.e. Conditionals, Present Perfect continuous.

GROUP – Conversation based lessons, which usually are based around a theme or conversational point i.e. Directions in a building, Politics.

CHAT TIME – A free chat enviroment.

AEON also offers private lessons, test preparation lessons and discussion classes.

I also have to teach kids, which can be a lot of fun. I currently teach about 22 kids with ages from 3 to 12. Of course, they are divided into age groups, and I have some truly great kids. My Harry class on Thursday (3-4 years) currently has 6 kids and requires at least 30 minutes of preparation every week. The lesson lasts 40 minutes, but sometimes I spend more time preparing it.

All in all, I enjoy working at my school. It’s hard work, but I think of all the other jobs I could be doing and there is no comparison. I know that some of my fellow trainees found their schools tough, but I guess things have fallen right for me.

 





Living on the edge of chaos

2 11 2009

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There is no doubting that Tokyo is a fascinating Metropolis, and this is something that I definately want to touch on, or gentle caress in this blog. However I live in much quieter surroundings.

I am currently nicely placed (like ham in a sandwich) between the busy station of Nishi Funabashi and the quieter Shimousa-Nakayama. The area is quiet, yet pleasently residential, where small Japanese houses rub concrete shoulders with 3 story appartment blocks, supermarkets and convenience stores, the twin railway lines of the Tozai and Sobu variety and a mid-sized area of land that supports greenhouses. There are some nice restaurants (and a good variety too), and for some reason 5 or 6 dry cleaners all with 5 minutes walk of each other. There is also a famous temple in Shimousa, dating back to 1622, which I haven’t been to yet, but have pencilled it on my things to do list.

I work at AEON in Motoyawata which is on the Sobu line and 1 stop from Shimousa. It takes me about 10 minutes door-to-door depending on if I have my bicycle, or about 15 minutes ride.

http://www.aeonet.co.jp/school/staff.php?sno=1213

The above link, is to my actual school. It is in Japanese, but you should be able to translate it with the Google browser.

 





Teaching in Japan

2 11 2009

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So, as you may or may not be aware, I am an English Language teacher in Japan. This is by far the easiest way to get work over here, as many of the large eikaiwa (large chain schools) will sponsor your working Visa and find you accomodation.

There are many critics of eikaiwa schools, those people who have a had a bad experience or felt like they were on a endless conveyer belt like unwanted sushi. I, however, have not had any problems with working for eikaiwa schools and will not criticse them for the sake of it.

I currently work for AEON, and have to say it’s a good solid company, especially when compared to my last eikaiwa employee, NOVA. I didn’t have any real issues with NOVA and left just before they collapsed, but AEON seems to work better on many levels.

Firstly the interview process is very selective, and needs both a modicum of intelligence and teaching ability. The AEON recruitment staff were very helpful and in constant contact with me during time before I left England. Secondly the training is intense, but far more helpful than the three days at NOVA.  Thirdly, my lesson schedule doesn’t change. I have MY students. Finally, we can socialise with the students if we so wish, and although it’s expected for teachers to go to parties they have all been a lot of fun.

I will add some links for all the main English language schools in Japan, and if you have any questions, please leave a comment.