Some time around a month ago, I received a bad news or, should I say, a not-so-good news from the company that they may not win the bid for the city that I’ve been teaching in.
If you’re confused as to what I’m talking about, here’s the wiki on how things work here. In Japan, each city has its own Board of Education. Each Board of Education chooses and hires an ALT dispatch company to send ALTs to schools in their cities. These dispatch companies get contracts from the Board of Education by the academic year. This means that, at the end of each year, the dispatch companies have to take part in another round of bidding with other companies. And unfortunately, in some cities, lowest bid wins. While in others, they look at each company’s presentation as well as the bid.
Since each city’s bidding exercise begins on a different date, the company advised us to prepare a backup plan. So, I began job hunting again the few weeks following. I applied to other major dispatch companies as well as language schools mostly in Aichi and a few in other prefectures. And within a week of my first interview, I was fortunate enough to get a position with another dispatch company that offers excellent ALT support and benefits. The interviewer was a great guy and helped me secure a position in a junior high school in Nagoya city, which means that I don’t have to move, I can sleep in later and I save on transportation! Most importantly, I love teaching junior high students.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, some cities have been moving towards the direct employment of ALTs and cutting down on ALTs from dispatch companies. Before I got work some 6 months ago, I had the opportunity to meet with a member of the Board of Education in one of the cities and with whom I have been maintaining contact. So, since I heard about the direct employment, I definitely want to try for the position. Logic tells you that it is way better than being a dispatch, right? But I also mentioned in a previous entry that, one of the requirements is that the ALT must have at least a year of experience in the same capacity (i.e. as an ALT in a Japanese school). Another requirement I was told was that I must already reside in that city.
Bad news. I fulfill neither of the requirements.
I’ve only taught as an ALT for 5 months as of today and I reside in Nagoya, some 30 minutes away from the city by rapid train. So I thought, well, maybe I could get more experience with this other dispatch company for the next year and try for the direct employment again if and only if a position opens up again the following year. All’s still not lost.
Alright! Nagoya, here I come!
Or so, I thought…
By some unforeseen turn of events, I am now officially employed by the Board of Education and I cannot express how fortunate and grateful I am to be blessed with this and all the great people around me.
Adidas was right. Impossible is nothing.