Summer 2016

Summer 2016
Summer in Tsukahara

Spring in Tsukahara

gkimbal's Spring in Tsukahara album on Photobucket

Sunday, March 17, 2013


The ALT’s who work for the BOE in Yufu City are on a yearly contract. The contracts expire at the end of this March. What’s so unusual about this little bit of news is that none of the ALT’s are sure if they will be rehired. Each year our contracts are reviewed and we have to go through the interview process. This is emotionally stressful especially when a student asks if I’m going to teach their English class next year. All I can do is shrug my shoulders and tell them that I don’t know. This has led to many unnecessary tearful goodbyes.

ALT’s aren’t the only ones that have to endure this guessing game. Teachers, nurses, and administrators are rotated every so many years. Principals and Vice Principals are shuffled around also. No one is exempt from this merry-go-round. This makes it really hard to form lasting friendships. I’m not sure what the logic is behind this. I do know that it’s heartbreaking to tell a sobbing first grader that you may not see them again. What’s even worse, one of my schools had an official going away ceremony for me. A couple of weeks later, I was back at their doorstep with my renewed contract. I hope I won’t have any going away ceremonies this year.   George


  1. I also have no idea why there is such a necessity to change all the teachers etc. around. I also don't understand why it has to be done on such short notice. I hate this time of year... worrying about which teachers will stay and which will go. I can only imagine what it must be like for you if it is an actual work contract. I'm sure you will be renewed though!

  2. It must be especially worrying since you have bought a house and settled >.<
    I think officially the idea is to spread talent evenly between schools and to stop any individual teacher from getting too influential within a school. Having worked with some teachers I was glad to see go, I can understand that aspect of it.
    On the more cynical side, one could say that it is part of a calculated strategy to break up the power of the once extremely influential teacher's union... but who would be that cynical? ;)