Ask Ibaraki JET PAs #005



My school sometimes has other foreign English teachers come and give speeches or even give their own separate lectures for the students. Does that mean I am not doing a good enough job that they need me or they don’t like my teaching?


Answered by: Emily

The short answer is – no, it doesn’t! ALTs are hired for a specific purpose, to be ALTs and to work with students during regular class time. Lecturers on the other hand, are hired as professionals in their field of study. For example, some high-level schools have special foreign teachers or lecturers come in to cover topics such as debate and international affairs, or to advise students about postgraduate employment options. Additionally at all levels of schools, it is sometimes the case that JTEs get behind in their own lesson schedule, and they may ask the ALT if it is okay to use a TT lesson to “catch-up” on textbook material, especially before a test. If this is the case, or if the lectures are frequent and often replace your own TT lesson period, you might want to consider asking your JTE if there is anything you can do to help during the lecture. It’s possible that your JTE could use the help but doesn’t think it is appropriate to ask you to assist with non-TT classes. In any case, if it continues to be a concern for you, you may want to ask your supervisor or another teacher a casual question about the lecture the next time it comes up. It’s possible that the lecture is on an unrelated topic to your classes or serves a different purpose in the school’s curriculum, but if you ask, you may be allowed to sit in and see what it’s all about. Good luck!


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