The One-Shot ALT

Off you go to a small country school with fifteen students one day, a huge urban institution which seems like a city in itself the next. The variety is exhilarating albeit at times a bit unnerving. The road which the one-shot travels is a long and winding one, the scenery both astonishingly beautiful and surprisingly ugly. As the one-shot ALT scours the countryside in pursuit of their duties, a diverse group of individuals will cross their path--the young giggling girl, the rambunctious overweight boy with better English skills than his teacher, who quakes in fear at the mere sight of your non-brown eyes, and the friends, who seem to appear in the most unlikely places. The one-shot ALT experiences life in parts of Japan virtually untouched by foreign influence, and consequently, travels at the forefront of Japan's move towards internationalization. It's an interesting job, complete with experiences as varied as the individuals who staff its ranks. This position can be both mentally and physically draining. You will have both good and bad days.

However, despite the variety, there are days when the ALT might wish they'd brought their flask along to help them get through the eight boring hours sitting among the members of the local Board of Education office. Yes, one-shot, there will be times when you are tempted to fight off the boredom found in the office with more than one shot.

Whether a base-school ALT or one-shot ALT you will have a unique experience, at times bursting with action, at others full of the quiet pleasure that comes after a successful team-teaching lesson, or during an evening on the town with your Japanese coworkers.

Submitted by Wendy Reinalda

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