Job opportunities at the Windmill English Centre
Native speaker teachers of English as a foreign language
The WEC recruits native speaker teachers of English as a foreign language as and when needed throughout the year and we welcome applications from professional native speaker teachers of English.
Ideal candidates will have successfully completed either the Cambridge ESOL CELTA or the Trinity Cert TESOL teacher training course and will have a minimum of 2 years relevant experience of teaching young learners and adult students. The WEC seeks to employ native speaker teachers who are creative, enthusiastic, diligent, reliable, sociable and teach effectively with the emphasis on communicative teaching methods.
If you are such a teacher and are interested in working for the WEC in the Aizu area of Japan,
complete the application form and attach a detailed curriculum vitae/resume including references (who may be contacted) and a covering letter explaining your reasons for wishing to live in the Aizu area of Japan and teach at the WEC.
Please note that only suitably-qualified candidates will be contacted by the school.
If you are a suitable candidate and wish to learn more about teaching at the WEC, please scroll down the page for further details about:
- The benefits of working for the WEC
- Living in the Aizu region of Japan
- Working at the WEC as a native speaker teacher of English
a. The benefits of working for the WEC
Working as a teacher at the WEC is different from working at other language schools in Japan.
Here are some reasons why:
- There is a wide range of the high quality teaching materials available for our teachers to use from leading international publishers such as OUP, CUP, Macmillan etc. to help our teachers plan, prepare and teach effective and interesting lessons.
- Teachers are not limited to only using a set course text. There are core texts used at the school. WEC teachers are encouraged to use them creatively and to adapt certain parts, exercises when appropriate. Our teachers also have the freedom to use other materials as long as they are appropriate for the purpose of teaching their classes.
- We respect the professionalism of our teachers. Sufficient time is allowed for teachers to prepare classes well. Outside of actual teaching time, a full-time teacher will usually have 2-3 hours a day available for planning & preparation of lessons. Typically, a 60-minute lesson at the WEC takes on average 30 minutes to prepare. However, in practice, preparation time varies and may be shorter (for example for repeated lessons) or longer (e.g. when a teacher is using a new course for the first time, developing extra supplementary materials, worksheets etc.)
- At the WEC all the teachers make and share teaching materials. There is already an extensive range of teaching materials and aids available for teachers. We also have regular teacher meetings to share ideas, learn from each other and inform each other of any new developments.
- All our classrooms have internet access as well as CD players. However, internet use in class time must be appropriate. Any video from the internet (e.g. from Youtube) must be previewed and deemed suitable for classroom use by the teacher before use in class.
- The policy of the WEC is to offer high quality, effective English education with affordable monthly lesson fees for students. Our teachers are not textbook or CD sales representatives and are never pressured to sell materials to students which is sometimes the case, particularly in large nationwide chain schools. Of course, we can recommend suitable extra self-study material for those students who wish to make such purchases.
- The WEC is an international standard language school jointly owned by a Japanese/British couple. Although the WEC is registered as a Japanese limited liability company (a kabushiki kaisha) we provide our teachers with considerably longer paid holidays than typical Japanese companies. The winter and spring breaks for WEC teaching staff are typically around 2 weeks long sometimes a few days longer and the standard WEC summer break is usually 5 working days plus two weekends i.e. 9 consecutive days of holiday in mid-August. We believe in providing our staff with a better work-life balance.
- The WEC has been offering high quality English education in the Aizu area since 1995. The school is well-known in the Aizu area and attracts some very well-motivated students who are a joy to teach.
- There is an interesting mix of teaching staff at the school. There are native speaker teachers, currently from the UK, the USA and New Zealand as well as some Japanese teachers of English and Filipino teachers of English. The school also has a bilingual Japanese manager, an English-speaking Japanese receptionist and 2 part-time drivers to bring children to and from the school for busy parents as of February 2016.
b. Living in the Aizu region of Japan
Size & Location
Aizuwakamatsu City is a city of around 120,000 inhabitants located in the western part of Fukushima Prefecture in the northern part of Honshu, Japan known in Japanese as “Tohoku”. The city is located inland roughly halfway between the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean in a basin of fertile, flat land mainly devoted to rice farming and surrounded by mountains. It is about 300 kms (3-5 hours by train or coach) from Tokyo. There are larger but less attractive cities within 1-2 hours train/bus ride away from Aizuwakamatsu City which have a wider range of shopping choices such as Koriyama, Fukushima City, Niigata or Sendai but all of life’s necessities and a lot more can be purchased in Aizuwakamatsu City itself.
Spring and autumn in the Aizu region are delightful seasons, it is usually warm and sunny and it is not
humid. However, in summer in Aizu it is hot (typically 30-34C) and humid and air conditioning is
regularly used. Winters can be harsh with occasional heavy snowfall from the end of December to the beginning of March. Even when it snows, Aizu residents continue to commute to work as usual throughout the winter months.
People in Aizu
There are not so many foreigners living in the Aizu area, most Westerners living here are typically ALTs (assistant language teachers) in their 20s helping Japanese teachers of English in state schools, more experienced teaching specialists at the University of Aizu, a university specializing in computer science or post graduate students from overseas studying at the University of Aizu.
Attractions of the Aizu area
Aizuwakamatsu City is not a huge cosmopolitan Japanese metropolis such as Tokyo or Osaka. It is,
however, the most historical and charming city in Fukushima Prefecture and is a very popular weekend tourist destination for many Japanese visitors and more adventurous foreigners. When they come to Aizu, visitors from Tokyo and other very large cities appreciate the opportunity to breathe fresh, unpolluted air and tour in and around the impressive Tsurugajo castle in the centre of the city. Living in Aizu is convenient as the city is not so big; traffic is light and flows freely at most times and it is quick and easy to travel around by car, bus or bicycle at most times of the year. Aizuwakamatsu City is also very close to areas of outstanding natural beauty with pine-forested mountains, lakes and valleys, such as the Bandai-Asahi National Park on the northern slopes of Mt Bandai, only 20 minutes away from the city. It is a perfect location for outdoor types who enjoying hiking, skiing, snowboarding etc. For most people, it is a great pleasure to drive or be driven around the beautiful countryside which surrounds the city at weekends. Within 20-30 minutes of the city there are beautiful hiking courses through the mountains, ski slopes and natural hot spring resorts. There is even an area of hot spring resorts within the city limits called Higashi Yama. Obviously having a valid driving licence is very advantageous and very reliable second-hand cars in excellent condition can be bought at very reasonable prices from local garages.
Aizu is also a good place to learn, practise and pick up more Japanese as not so many locals are fluent in English. In short, Aizuwakamatsu City has all the basic facilities necessary for a comfortable, convenient life but cannot offer the cosmopolitan lifestyle of a huge metropolis. If you seek the “bright lights/big city” lifestyle, maybe living in Aizuwakamatsu is not for you.
c. Working at the WEC as a native speaker teacher of English
Native speaker teachers of English as a foreign language at the WEC….
…are articulate and fluent native speakers of English with a B.A. / B.Sc. university degree. During the selection process for new teachers there is an oral interview and written tasks to verify that a candidate actually is an articulate, fluent native speaker.
…show a professional attitude towards teaching English. WEC teachers are expected to provide lessons that are well-planned and taught in an effective, enthusiastic and sympathetic teaching manner. WEC teachers use a wide range of teaching materials and techniques to make lessons more effective and stimulating. They also develop teaching materials and make them available for all other WEC teachers to use.
…pay attention to basic personal hygiene and his/her appearance. Your personal grooming and
appearance reflects your professionalism, practicality, common sense and respect for the students and colleagues that you work with. More formal clothing is required when teaching corporate classes off-site. Less formal clothing i.e. smart, casual can be worn when teaching at the WEC.
…are capable and willing to teach a fairly wide range of students from young learners (primary school children) to adults and from foundation/elementary levels to advanced levels. Our teaching professionals are friendly and polite when teaching students but occasionally they may need to be friendly but firm when teaching young children and teenagers.
…must have a minimum of 2 years practical experience of teaching English as a foreign language in a language school to young learners, teenagers and adults.
…must have an internationally-recognized basic teaching qualification. The WEC will accept applicants with the Cambridge ESOL CELTA certificate or the Trinity Cert. TESOL.
Working conditions for native speaker teachers of English as a foreign language at the WEC Full-time teachers:
|Working hours||5 day working week (Tuesday to Saturday) 8 working hours a day + 1 hour break 40 working hours per week|
|Teaching hours||4-5 actual teaching hours per day, 20-25 actual teaching hours per week, 3-4 hours per day for lesson preparation, travelling (if teaching off-site) meetings etc.|
|Salary||Competitive basic salary depending on experience and qualifications + hourly bonus if teaching hours exceed 90 hours per month|
|Paid holidays||38 days / 7 weeks a year (23 paid working days + 15 national holidays) Holidays to be taken when the school closes, typically about two weeks around Christmas and New Year, two weeks around the end of April/beginning of May (Golden Week) and one week in mid-August|
|Accommodation||Can be arranged for the teacher by the school if required.|
|Working hours & Salary||To be arranged between the WEC and the part-time teacher.
Part-time native speaker teachers hourly rates will depend on experience and qualifications.
Japanese teachers of English at the WEC
We recruit Japanese teachers of English (JTEs) as a foreign language from time to time and welcome applications from Japanese nationals with a high degree of English proficiency. Our JTEs should be able to speak and write English fluently and be capable of understanding English when spoken at normal speed by native speakers. As evidence of a JTE’s English ability, he or she will have passed the Cambridge ESOL FCE or CAE examinations, or the STEP Eiken Pre-1st or 1st level examinations or will have a recent TOEIC/TOEFL/IELTS score of 800+/70+/6.0+ respectively.
The ideal JTE will have some experience and training in teaching English and have some knowledge of and interest in cultures and countries outside Japan. Our JTEs usually teach kindergarten, elementary school and teenage learners of English. Their classes can be either teaching English skills for communication or teaching STEP examination preparation classes.
If you feel you have the necessary skills to be a WEC Japanese teacher of English and you would like to work at the school in Aizuwakamatsu City, Japan, please contact us at the school