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Age Groups


There are several types of age groups you can teach in Japan, and every age group requires a different type of teacher.


If you love teaching young children, many positions require you to teach either elementary level or even Kindergarten and Pre-K.  These positions typically let the native teacher be in charge of the classroom, make the lesson plans, and really enjoy playing with the children in English.  A lot of Japanese knowledge is usually not required.


Some public schools allow you to teach at both elementary schools as well as junior highs, because those are very big clients for companies like Interac and RCS.  You can teach at a variety of schools each week, on a weekly schedule that would allow you to see the same children once a week in larger classes.  At public schools, native English teachers are often in charge of the elementary school classroom with little or no supervision, but more often than not will play the support role in a team-teaching environment at the middle school.


On the other hand, most private schools are looking for someone who can teach both junior high and high school, but occasionally they're just looking for one or the other.  Most of the time, the native English teacher will be expected to be the main teacher in a team-teaching environment (but not always).  However, sometimes schools are looking for someone certified to teach classes on their own.  Junior high and high school English classes are much more challenging in some ways, so expectations are a lot higher as well.


Of course, it doesn't stop with high school.  Colleges and Universities are also looking for native English teachers, although the most common type of work is a 3-month contract for 1 semester of classes at a time.  Beyond that there are also opportunities to teach business English at companies or seminars, but that also requires a special type of person with certain experience.  (For example, while it may not seem fair, it is understandable that a 50 year old CEO of a company would not want to be taught how to do business in English by a young 20-something with no career experience.  These things will come in time!)


Clearly there are many opportunities out there in Japan.  Think about your long-term future and where you'd like your teaching career to end up!

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