Especially when you’re teaching little kids as an eikaiwa teacher, you often have to be more of an entertainer than a teacher – being all happy-go-lucky, dancing and singing with the kids.This might not be for everyone – and that’s also a reason why some schools prefer younger teachers as they are worried older people won’t have the necessary stamina. If you teach little kids for several hours every day, it can be very exhausting.The average salary has been about 250,000 yen for many years now.A lot of “dispatch companies” providing ALT positions (e.g. Unfortunately it’s common practice not to pay you the full salary in months with long vacations (August, December).Working as an assistant language teacher (ALT) means that you’ll work in one or several Japanese schools (elementary, jr. Class sizes are huge (35-40 students are quite normal) and a lot of the students don’t care about learning English. Usually you work during school hours (morning – afternoon) and a the Japanese English teacher of the class is in the room with you.While it depends on the school, you’ll certainly have less responsibility and less workload than in a regular eikaiwa school.Here’s an overview infographic I created, for those of you who’re short on time: This was just a rough summary of the differences.
As an eikaiwa teacher you’ll usually work from noon to the late evening (e.g. – 9 p.m.) and most likely you won’t have the weekends off.You’re teaching several lessons a day with just very short breaks in between – if at all. It depends on how big the school is and how many teacher there are, but some small, family-run eikaiwas have barely enough staff members, so if you get sick, there might be nobody to take over your classes. Depending on the school(s) you’re working for, you might spend a lot of your time alone in the teachers’ room, bored.