Friday, October 08, 2010

New Year, New Teachers

Those of you working as an Assistant English Teacher in Japan are probably familiar with the mysterious shifting of personnel every year. Particularly in March and April (but also sometimes in September and October), schools in Japan throw big "going-away" and "welcome" parties to commemorate the changing personnel.

These personnel changes are the public equivalent of company transfers. Here is a decoded policy message from a ken-level public board of education about these transfers for your enjoyment (...?) and to help us all understand the Japanese reasoning behind this revolving workplace employment.
(Sections truncated from the original document abound, but are not marked.)

2011 Personnel Transfer Policy of Educators, etc. at Compulsory Education Institutions

Regarding the Personnel Transfer of Educators

(1) Regarding the Personnel Transfer of Principals and Vice-Principals
Transfers are carried out from a whole-prefecture perspective according to the needs of individual cities, towns, and villages. Suitable individuals are placed in suitable locations without regard for school size, location, or length of employment. In principle, these individuals must reside in the city or town where they are placed and focus their attention on educational efforts in the area. New principals and vice-principals are selected from across the prefecture; they are chosen from among individuals who possess the competency to serve in that role, according to the prefectural board's future vision and local boards' recommendations.

(2) Regarding the Personnel Transfer of General Educators
Suitable individuals are placed in suitable locations in order for them to gain educational experience in a variety of school types and sizes. Transfers within the same region are to be avoided in favor of transfers over a wide area, including different blocks (regional sets of schools). However, care will be taken to lessen the instances of employees living separate from family.

In loosely related news, this prefecture is also starting a junior high and high school employee exchange program, wherein exceptionally talented, licensed junior high teachers can work for a period of time as a high school instructor.

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