The most surprising thing at work has been all the transfers. I had heard that teachers are usually transferred after 3 or 4 years, but the administrators at the Board of Education also are reappointed to new positions. They usually don’t know if they will be transferred until a week or so before the new positions are announced and they may end up in a job that they really don’t want to do. All public employees are regularly transferred and often they are appointed to a job that is unrelated to their previous position.
Our former office chief is now a principal of one of the junior high schools and the new office chief was most recently a vice-principal at an elementary school. Another person that had worked in our office for 3 years is now working in a prefectural office an hour away. It is hard for everyone, but they all accept it as part of the system.
Teachers are also moved to new schools and though elementary teachers will only move to another elementary school, they could be asked to teach 6th grade after three years of teaching 1st grade. In our district they could be moved from a school of 28 children to a school of 720. The transfers are involuntary and they find out after the school years ends (March 26th) and will start at their new schools this week.
I don’t think I could survive long working in an environment that has that much uncertainty and upheaval. My position here is in a special category, so I won’t be asked to move to another district– I will still be covering all 32 elementary schools with the other ALT in our office.
So the kids around here will be heading back to start the school year this week and school visits should start in a couple of weeks. The days in the office are long, but I continue to work on kanji and have made some new teaching materials for the next few months.
Last weekend was Saiki’s Spring Festival. Lots of food, booths, parades, cherry blossoms, people, music. I’ll post a couple of photos now and write more about it later.