The Frustration of ALT Work

I am an Assistant (English) Language Teacher.  It is no galmour job my any means.

Today was teacher training, which unavoidably equates a chance to meet up with other ALTs in the area and quietly bitch about how annoying our work is, but how adorable the kids we work with are.  Much to the beguile of our employers, teacher training is a field day.

I should note how magical a creature the ALT is. We are much like Pikachu and other Pocket Monsters in many a-way: we hail from all over the earth; no two of us are the same; and we can be captured and trained to perform menial tasks on command. ALTs can also be summoned from small living quarters to then be dismissed back while our trainers celebrate the day at drinking parties and otherwise run the larger show. We also have little ability to complain about our lot because most of us can only say our name in the language of our captors.  Meowth is pretty good at English though and sometimes translates for us.

And sometimes if you use a Moonstone on a Irishmon she will evolve into an Americamon and her A.P. (Accent Points) and Agility will increase, allowing her to teach English more proficiently in the eyes of her trainer, and increase her speed in battle.

Irishmon uses leer on HRT.
It’s super effective!
HRT complains to employer.
Irishmon fainted!

(Pokemon wins forever.)

Anyway, I was summoned today for teacher training and was totally ready to beat this Englandmon’s arse. He was so tekito in his teaching and I could tell he was going to be an easy WIN. My trainer called out, “Use the flash cards!” and I totally did and pwn’d his ass like a Blastoise pwns a Graveler with Bubble Blast, but then my trainer was all like, “No! Don’t flash the cards from front to back! Flash them from back to front! It’s company policy!” and I was just like “Wtffffffffffffff??!” and the Englandmon used Hyperbeam on me and I fainted.ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

What the crap, who gives a shit which way I show the stupid flashcards?  But apparently it’s ‘company policy’ and so if we ever go up against the Elite Four or the Board of Education or some shit we gotta make sure we ain’t pullin’ out our cards backwards like those Team Rocket and Nova fascists.

(/extended pokemon metaphor) Please note that the reason for this has nothing to do with presenting the cards in the right order – because I was presenting the cards in the right order. Rather, if I pull the cards from the back of the pile to the front of the pile,ratherthanpullingtheoneinfrontandputtinginatthebackafterI’vepracticeditwiththekids,Icanseethefrontofthecardthroughthebackofthebackcardandknowwhichcardiscomingnextnlkcasejiwnjlasbno.

Confused? That’s how trivial it is. But whatever, company policy and gotta catch ’em all and all that shit.

But then happened to overhear some other ALT talking with their trainers about ofuro, and whether or not you shower before jumping in the tub…

ALT1: (To a female Japanese staff), “Do you shower, daredare-san?”

ALT2 piped in: “Do you golden shower?”  *Muffled laughter*

ALT 1: “Ho-ho-ho!  You are the master of sekuhara (sexual harassment)!”

ALT 3: “It’s a good thing they don’t know what it means!  Ho-ho-ho!”

And I just thought,


If the worst thing I have to deal with today is a stupid difference in flash card flashing technique that stem from larger bureaucratic BS and a systemically horrible national institution of teaching foreign language in Japan that doesn’t teach anything well, is unhelpful, uninspiring and ultimately disparaging to public school students, then whatever, right?

だって my (female) Japanese colleagues are meanwhile being snickered at and quizzed about golden showers in English.  Sexual harassment sucks balls.

That’s when I turned to my teacher trainer and commented, “Working with us ALTs is difficult, isn’t it?”

5 thoughts on “The Frustration of ALT Work

  1. Love how you commented to your teacher at the end. Am sure they agreed.

    Golden shower, like, sooooooo funny!!


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