Monday, April 2, 2012

Changing of the Guard

 April has come, and with that, what I like to call the "changing of the guard." Really, as anyone who works as a "komuin" or a government worker knows, April marks the end of the fiscal year here in Japan, as well as the beginning of the school year. I can at least vouch for city offices and schools by saying that once April hits, a number of lucky (unlucky?) people get shuffled around the city office/the prefecture to do different jobs/work at different schools. I lost a lot of great teachers this year to the "Great Shuffle".... but I also gained a few good ones that fellow English Teachers have vouched for. :)

On the first day of the month (that falls on a week day), new city workers (including firefighters) get corralled around the city office to give greetings to the other departments, and new members (that have just shuffled around the office to new positions) greet their new co-workers within the same department. This is also the time where new teachers to the city come by the Board of Education to say hello, yoroshiku..... etc to the education movers and shakers (which is where my desk sits but I would hardly include myself in the 'movers and shakers' category).

What I don't understand about this system is... why people change jobs so drastically. Within the city office, people will go from working for the water works department for 4 years to all-of-a-sudden being the head of the Board of Education. If that water works person was doing an awesome job (at there job), then why move them to something where they have to completely re-learn everything?! It seems like poor time-management to me....

I have, however, kind-of gotten used to the "Great Teacher Shuffle". While I think it's cruel to move teachers with families from (ex:) one city in the East of the prefecture all the way to the West most part of the prefecture (they can't uproot their families every year just because this system is silly!), I understand the ideology behind it. That being, "Good teachers shouldn't be hogged by one school" and things like that. Of course, while I understand it, I still don't like it. Nor do I like having to introduce myself to a batch of new teachers who assume I'm illiterate and can't speak a word of their language... but alas, this is why I am leaving this line of work come July~

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