Our Teaching Experience in Japan

Our Teaching Experience in Japan

Introduction Our names are Allen and Laura Thompson. I (Laura) was born in Enid, Oklahoma, and my husband Allen was born in Mito, Ethiopia. Mike and Annette Thompson adopted Allen (Ethiopian name “Hassen”) when he was 14 years old. We are honored that Annette asked us to contribute our experience with you on her new website to help prepare people to be English teachers abroad. We met at Oklahoma Christian University. We graduated, got married, and then prepared for life in Japan, which is where we applied to be assistant English language teachers (ALTs). For those of you who think you cannot teach English in a foreign country, just remember my husband Allen. English is his fourth language, and he taught English in Japan for three years. Our boss was the Mito City government. So, we technically worked for the city. All the other foreign English teachers we knew in Japan worked for a public or private company. We were in a slightly different situation working for the city, but we still had a lot of similar experiences being foreign English teachers living and working in a foreign culture. Our Advice from Our Experience As a foreign English teacher, and usually in the position of assistant English teacher, there are some qualities that are pertinent to excelling at this job and at living your life in the foreign country. 1) You must be patient with yourself and others, 2) you must be flexible with your time and ideas, 3) you must be teachable instead of unreachable, 4) you must be willing to learn the language of that country (doesn’t...