I hope to see a lot of bright shining faces in the future!
I hope to see a lot of bright shining faces in the future!
― What made you want to teach in Japan?
I was looking for opportunities to live abroad and I had spoken with some people who work as English teachers in Japan. I have previously thought that I might pursue a career in art education, so teaching in Japan seemed like a good option.
I was looking at a few different options including Korea and Japan, but what helped me decide was that I had a friend who told me about his very positive experience working in the Chiba area as a teacher. I also had some prior knowledge of Japan thanks to my background in studying Japanese art.
Teaching English was not something that I thought I would do, but I am very glad that I did!
― Why did you choose Yaruki Switch Group and WinBe?
I was interested in teaching young children and I was also looking for opportunities specifically in the Tokyo area. I applied for a variety of different positions and this one seemed the most promising, so I have decided to pursue it. Why WinBe? Actually WinBe chose me! (laughs)
I put my preferences on the application and they sent me an offer saying that they would like me to become a WinBe teacher. And I think they made the right choice.
― What kind of support did Yaruki Switch Group provide in the beginning?
We have always received a lot of support and a lot of training. The trainers, senior teachers and schools were very supportive. Of course, we had the startup training in the beginning, but we also have continued training sessions throughout the year as well as a variety of extracurricular activities a few times a year.
There is a good sense of community, good sense of support and there is always somebody to ask if you have any problems or questions.
― What is your day-to-day work like?
Right now I work in the training and curriculum department, so I do a wide variety of tasks. I support the new teachers, conduct training sessions and also teach extra lessons.
Thinking back to my days as a full-time teacher the typical day would start by coming in, greeting the staff, figuring out what I was going to do for the day and then teaching the lessons. I would greet the students, carry out the lessons throughout the day, wrap-up in the evening, and end with a bit of classroom cleanup.
― What is the most enjoyable part of your work?
Personally I love kids and I really like teaching kids. They are funny, weird, exciting and you actually learn a lot from them. You also learn a lot about yourself from being around them and teaching them.
What is equally important to me is being able to meet and work with really fantastic people that have taught me a lot.
― What is the most challenging part of your work? What I find the most challenging is constantly adapting to changes and the different needs - the needs in the education, needs of the students, etc. What the students need keeps changing, especially as they grow older, so it is important to be flexible and adaptable.
― What kind of children are in your classes right now? We have a wide variety of students. Our focus is on younger students, mostly pre-school and elementary school students. We get a lot of really high energy students, who are very Genki (cheerful) and bouncing off the walls. Sometimes we get a little bit older students who are more mature and more interested in talking about the cool things that they are doing, their hobbies and their interests.
― What is the atmosphere like between the school staff here? It’s always positive, lively and exciting. When you visit the schools, the door is open and the staff, the school director, the Japanese teachers and the English teachers are very welcoming and friendly. We have a very customer satisfaction focused mindset and I think you can feel that when you walk into the classrooms.
― Do you spend time together even outside of work? Sometimes the teachers from the school meet together outside of the class but even on a larger scale, the company organizes some outings and social events. Recently, there was an online event where they were making Dango (dumplings) together. These events are not just for the WinBe schools, but this is something that goes all across Yaruki Switch Group, so you get to meet teachers from various brands there.
― What is your current goal at work? Basically my goals are to continue improving myself, what I do and the training here. I think that the teachers and trainers here at WinBe have been continuously growing and improving and I want to be a part of that. My goal is to never be satisfied with the way things are and keep making things better, keep making lessons better and keep making our training sessions better.
― Who is the ideal candidate for WinBe? We are looking for someone who listens, is open, and is able to understand other peoples’ point of view, as we need to be able to understand other peoples’ perspective. Being an English teacher in Japan, it is important to be able to put yourself into the shoes of the kids, the other staff and the parents. We would welcome a person who is kind, understanding, but also passionate and ready to share their ideas. Someone who doesn’t say “I can’t do this” but somebody who says “What can we do to make things better?”
― Is there anything you would like to say to the potential future teachers at WinBe? I hope to see a lot of bright shining faces in the future! I look forward to working with you and I look forward to helping both as a member of the training team and as a veteran teacher to help potential future teachers become their best. Please come on!
Our Brand Message
“Tanoshiku Manabu” - Learn Through Fun
English lessons for students primarily aged 3-14.
Curriculum emphasis on fun, practical language focusing on real life skills.
Programs cover reading, writing, speaking, and listening, with a focus on phonics to provide supplementary support to public school English instruction.