Be humble, listen and understand

Updated: May 20, 2021

When I was an ALT, I felt it to be my duty to take over the lessons and was very happy when the HRT left everything to me. My skills improved and I was on top. So popular and students I didn’t teach would walk up and say, [Hello.] Wow-what an accomplishment. Then the rules changed, our roles changed. We were no longer leading, we were following. In the beginning, this was really hard for me to accept and I wasn‘t going to have it!! That attitude caused the teacher to become disappointed in me and they wanted a teacher change. WHAT!! Are you serious? I am the greatest ALT OF ALL TIME!! This is the point that I realized, I have to change. Be humble, listen, and I started the process of understanding the difficulty most teachers had and that I had to not only help the students but the teachers, too.

My advice to new ALTs is to look, listen, and try to understand the goals of Japan and English. I know it can be hard sometimes but you are new. You don’t know as much as you think you do and don’t want to be belittled, I get it. But...always be humble in your words and reactions. Go home and scream into a pillow. Time will help you to see where you are needed as an ALT.

To a veteran, always stay humble. Make room for the teachers who are willing to understand and always involve the teachers that really don’t like to participate. Show them that teamwork works and together you can help the students to like English.

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