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  • Writer's pictureBri

From Bankruptcy to Independence: A Journey of Teaching English in Japan

In 2007, I arrived in Japan with dreams of pursuing a university education and immersing myself in the vibrant culture. Little did I know that this journey would lead me down a path of teaching English, navigating unexpected challenges, and eventually finding my own path to success. I want to share the ups and downs of my teaching career in Japan and how I managed to survive and build my own business.

Teaching English in Japan

My First Job: A Sudden Blow:

Soon after starting my first teaching job, I found myself in a difficult situation when the company abruptly went bankrupt. Overnight, I found myself without a stable income and uncertain about my future in Japan. It was a daunting experience, but it taught me the importance of adaptability and resilience.

A Beacon of Hope:

Fortunately, my second teaching job proved to be a turning point in my journey. I joined a wonderful school where I had the opportunity to teach young children from diverse backgrounds. And in Japan, that's a rarity. The supportive environment and experienced colleagues became my pillars of support. They guided me in teaching techniques, introduced me to fun language-learning games, and helped me develop my skills as an English teacher.

The Earthquake and its Aftermath:

In March 2011, a devastating earthquake struck Japan, leaving a lasting impact on the country and its people. Many students and their families left Tokyo, resulting in a significant decline in enrollments at my school. Consequently, the school faced financial challenges and struggled to meet its financial obligations to its teachers. As a result, I found myself faced with the difficult decision to seek alternative employment.

The Worst English School Experience:

The next teaching job I found turned out to be an unfortunate mismatch. The school lacked structure, curriculum, and proper teacher training. Despite charging premium fees, they failed to deliver a quality educational experience for their students. With my few years of experience, I became the most knowledgeable teacher in the school. I took it upon myself to assist and guide my colleagues, sharing what I had learned, creating lesson materials, and devising fun and engaging activities for our students.

The Path to Independence:

The challenging experience at that English school inspired me to forge my own path as an English teacher. Faced with the struggle of finding quality English teaching materials online, whether due to their poor quality or the need to pay for them, I empathized with the new teachers who found themselves in similar situations. I vividly remembered my own early days as a teacher, feeling the classroom pressures while lacking proper resources. Moreover, the school I worked for didn't allocate funds for new materials, and I personally didn't have the financial means to invest in them.

Motivated by these circumstances, I set out on a mission to create accessible and high-quality ESL materials that could benefit everyone. As my dedication and hard work paid off, I not only established my own English teaching business but also realized the importance of sharing knowledge and resources with fellow educators. It was through this blog that I found a platform to offer my self-created materials, teaching methods, and valuable insights to teachers worldwide. My ultimate goal is to inspire and support English teachers on their own unique journeys, particularly those who may be facing similar struggles in Japan and beyond.

Success After Struggling:

Teaching English in Japan has been a rollercoaster ride of experiences, marked by unexpected setbacks and some successful moments. From the uncertainty of bankruptcy and the challenges of post-earthquake recovery to finding my footing as an independent teacher, I have learned the importance of resilience, adaptability, and the power of self-driven success.

Today, I am proud to have created my own path, sharing my knowledge and materials with other educators. As I continue to teach and thrive in Japan, I am grateful for the invaluable lessons learned along the way, and I look forward to further growth, both as an educator and as an entrepreneur in the world of English language teaching.


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