Training Day: Use Orientation to Learn New Skills for the Job Ahead

Before heading to a classroom, you’ll get some coaching on being an ALT in Japan — use the time develop good habits and show your adaptability.

By 3 min read

So, you have passed the interview and arrived in Japan. The next step in your ALT career journey is training. However, just because you passed the interview and are attending the orientation sessions doesn’t mean that you’re out of the water yet. Your ALT company will still be evaluating your behavior and attitude at the training. If they think they made a mistake in bringing you to the training, they may let you go on the spot. As with the interview process, much of what trainers look for in new recruits is perspective and mental outlook.

In part four of our A Little Training for ALTs series, we present four key approaches to learning new skills as you start your initial ALT training and how they can benefit you down the road in your career.

1. Your attitude

Your attitude during training is probably the one thing your company will be looking at the most. They want to see how you really are as a person and not as an interviewee. Due to a large amount of new information covered, training can end up turning into a long process. If you are slouching in your seat and have a bad attitude, this could leave a bad impression on the company that just hired you. However, if you are trying to pay attention and are asking questions; this will show your company you are serious about the job.

2. Your motivation

Being proactive can show your company you are serious about the position, as well. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions looks good on you. You won’t look like someone who just wants to get in and out of the training. During activities, raise your hand and volunteer. It doesn’t matter if you have no experience because almost everyone there is the same as you. However, by volunteering, it shows your willingness to learn.

Your attitude during training is probably the one thing your company will be looking at the most.

3. Your humility

It is good to be proactive but don’t go overboard. During training, you will most likely be asked to give small demonstrations of warm-up games and fun activities that can be used in class. When presenting your activities, make sure everyone gets a part. Don’t just go to the front and push everyone to the side to show off. Doing so shows that you’re not willing to work as a team. You may also be an experienced ALT and think you know a lot, but again, a great ALT doesn’t show off — instead, she teaches and encourages others. A true teacher does not brag, she teaches in a way that will inspire others.

4. Your open-mindedness

Being open-minded and willing to learn new things is what being an ALT is all about. Some activities will not work in certain class settings but changing it so it suits other classes is a good thing. The same goes with training. The HRs may have a different way of teaching than you’re accustomed to, but instead of scoffing at it — take notes. You may end up putting it to use in one of your future classes with great results. Keeping yourself open to learning new things and maintaining a broad mindset is important in any job. So, take notes and try, try, try!

Training is a great chance to meet other ALTs just like you. You can even meet ALTs in your area. Talk to new people and get their information, you never know when you will need their help. You can talk about work or simply make friends to hang out with during the weekend.

Happy teaching!

Topics: /



This Week in Japan, June 3-11

Every Monday we serve top picks for this week’s events in Japan. To list your event, contact the editor of GaijinPot.

By 5 min read


24 Hours in Akihabara

Make the most of a day in Tokyo’s “Electric Town” with this whirlwind itinerary of geeky shrines, electronics shopping, arcades, maid cafés and extreme ramen.

By 6 min read


Earthquake: What To Do When Even a Small One Hits

For those that have never felt the earth move under their feet in Japan, here are a few practical suggestions to keep in mind.

By 3 min read