Stories of Teaching in Japan - A Rant Needs an Edit
My experience here has been great over all for my personal development.
I've always been a late bloomer and slightly introverted when on my own. I went through a really rough patch after high school well through graduating university before coming to Japan. Basically finished university after two tries due to not really seeing a goal for myself and not trying. Low and behold I got in JET and it has since been good for me.
The ALT's and a few other foreigners in the city I'm in have been great. We go out drinking too much but we don't argue, like to hang out occasionally but not too much and generally don't get on each others nerves. The Japanese friends here have been amazing as well with great English and setting up events for people of the city to meet and make friends both Japanese and foreign but not for "I wanna practice English" reasons. I really love that I have made actual friends. Not to mention trying a ton of random things I never thought I would.
As for work it has been mostly fine as well. Aside from the usual bull that comes with the ALT life of school vs. BoE vs. JET/Company it has been good. Kids are nice and teachers are cool for the most part. Of course there are some kids I flat out just ignore instead of feeding their desire to be noticed. Generally have 3-4 classes a day in JHS and like the free time after work.
Like I said its been good for me mentally and socially. Though like someone else said, coming to Japan or any other place, won't magically fix your issues and it definitely did not for me, but it helped me a ton thanks to being surrounded by great people.
Now I'm moving on from JET and I'm very nervous and anxious about starting at a new company in a new city. Since I never intended to stay and just wanted to try living outside America, having the desire to be successful here has been making my head spin.
There are a ton of things I want to do but am not qualified for so I plan on using my next contract as an ALT to get some certs as well as my Japanese skill up. I definitely have the time for learning a few more things.
Long winded post but I will say for sure. Would I choose another job... in Japan yes. 100% JET, ALTing, and Eikaiwaing all have extremely limited potential if at all. They just do. I enjoy teaching but I see the roof on it and I want to move to a bigger house. I noticed last year none of my dreams included teaching long term so I don't plan to. I've given myself two more years in Japan to find something better or more interesting than this and hopefully I can find it. It was a great experience but if I could have the (what will be 5 years) in a different field with actual progression I'd take it. If I was determined to be in the education sector I'd probably have a different opinion.