|Everything looks classier in black and white.|
These two pages are the entire staff for one of my elementary schools. I'll only be going to this school once a week from now on (score!), and that's on Fridays. I don't know how many teachers have changed positions. The Japanese enact a rotation policy for all teachers, so you may well end up going to a different school every year. It's a great idea in theory, because new employees tend to exude energy, if not confidence. The younger teachers can also, theoretically speaking, spread around the new philosophies of teaching (you'd be surprised how quickly ideas are thought up and debunked).
This falls flat on all fronts however, for reasons I will now explain at great, painstaking length.
New teachers don't have a reputation, which means kids walk all over them. There are no enforcers in Japanese schools, so discipline is somewhere between medium and maximum security american penitentiary systems.
Each school behaves in a subtly different way, which means you could have the sweetest gig in the world (like at my old mountain school, it was quite literally the nicest school I've ever seen, in all regards) just to be dumped into a 40 kid fifth year class the next year. The anxiety over not knowing where you're going to be working from year to year is terrible. It's bad enough for me (ALT's are expendable in the same way as prophylactics) without a family, or frankly, care in the world. If you had either of those it would be awful.
You might have a twenty minute commute one year, only to have an hour commute the next. There's no point moving, because you'd end up on the wrong side of a move the very next year.
In Japan, new employees, teachers and even students adhere to a strict hierarchy - thus rendering any effusive energies fruitless, as they must kowtow to any and all above them.
So that's basically how the Japanese education system never got past the pie-in-the-sky planning stages, and yet somehow still exists today.
|Say that to my face|