School Tour: The Teacher’s Room

Without a doubt, the teacher’s room is where you’re going to spend a majority of your time at school. If you thought you’d be in a classroom most of the time… Well, I hate to burst your bubble. In fact, for me specifically (remember, every situation is different), on my busiest days, I’ll still spend at least 4 hours in the teachers room. Yes, even when I teach 4-5 classes a day, I’ll still spend half my day in the teacher’s room.

I’ll be honest: it’s not very fun. If you like your coworkers and principal/VP, then it may be a bit more fun… But it’s still not fun. It’s boring and it gets old fast. Even with computer usage (which I am lucky enough to have), there are only so many things available to do. Last year, when I didn’t have a computer, I was going through 2-3 books a week because of all my downtime. I actually ended up buying out my local Book Off’s English section once. (Smaller city, smaller Book Off…)

ALT in Japan - desk
My desk

This is my desk. It’s winter so you can see both my scarf and my thermos on my desk. I fold my scarf like this and keep it on my lap over my legs because it gets really cold sometimes and Japanese people think that leaving the windows open helps prevent flu.

You can also see some of the materials I’m using to make my English Boards. I purchase a lot of materials myself (and some of it gets reimbursed through Interac) but I am allowed to use the school’s colored paper, scissors, etc.

At the edge of my desk is some of the resources I use. I keep a binder for my activities, lesson plans, songs and lyrics, etc, as well as the required textbooks within arm’s reach. I like to use the drawers of my desk for my stationary and it’s also where I keep my purse.

Japanese teacher's room - shokuinshitsu
The back of the teacher’s room

My teacher’s room is quite large. There are three doors. At the front door closest to the entrance to the school sits the Principal and Vice Principal. I sit towards the middle door. This is the back of the room, where the third door is. The table with the folding chairs in the back is where I eat lunch with my coworkers daily.

Japanese teacher's room - shokuinshitsu
The front of the room

This is the front of the teacher’s room. The two desks facing the rest of the room are where the Principal and VP sit. There’s a computer in the room (not seen on the right) that I’m not allowed to use, and the printer that I’m not allowed to use is pictured.

The desks are situated into islands, with the different grade level homeroom teachers sitting together. In my case, I sit with the supplementary teachers, like the school nurse, special needs teachers, and office workers.

Japanese teacher's room - shokuinshitsu
The front of the room

This is the teacher’s room for my second school. As you can see, it’s smaller than my main school’s room. However, the layout is almost exactly the same… The teachers are seated in islands, and the principal and VP sit in the front and watch over the rest of the room.

Japanese teacher's room - shokuinshitsu
The back of the room

Like I said, it’s a lot smaller. In fact, there are only two doors. The back blackboard is where they put announcements and stuff but I can’t read or understand a lot of it. Oh well!

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my work environment. Before I leave elementary school for good, I’m trying to get a good series of pictures/posts going so newcomers will be aware of what they’re getting into!

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What do you think?