Currently I am the founder and owner of an Eikaiwa school in Toyota called Keys English. It started out as a small side job type of thing, but it has really grown in the past year, even during this pandemic. Right now, we have about 160 students, so it’s safe to say we are growing! ALTIA CENTRAL actually played a big role in preparing me for this position. For a long time I was teaching English specifically at junior high schools, so I felt really comfortable in that position. As we all know, pairings of schools change from year to year, and mixed positions (ES and JHS positions) were on the rise. I was one of the few who hadn’t yet been chosen for a mixed position, until one day I got a call from my supervisor who asked if I’d like to try out a mixed position. He convinced me by saying, “Think of this as an opportunity to grow.” At the time, I didn’t understand why I should be teaching little kids who don’t even have a grasp of their own language yet alone a second language, but I tried it out. Needless to say, it was exactly the type of training I needed, because most of the students in my school are either in kindergarten or elementary school.
ALTIA CENTRAL is a community that cherishes and respects different perspectives and ideas. We want you to feel connected to this community, even if your career path takes you somewhere new and exciting. We hope you will feel proud after working with us, just as we’re proud of our former ALTs’ dedication that has led to ALTIA CENTRAL’s positive reputation and success.
Here you’ll find comments and stories from our alumni members ranging from how ALTIA CENTRAL prepared them for their current career, to their experiences with us as an ALT, and lastly their stories of connecting with their local community in Japan as an ALT.
I am a software engineer at an application security company called Contrast Security; but, just recently accepted a position as a software engineer at the New York Times! Super excited to start working there!
While working at ALTIA CENTRAL a creative side of me that had been buried for quite a bit, had been exposed while developing activities for the kids. I wanted to take things further and help create/build software that can make an impact on people.
I tutor via Americorps. I have been working at a Mandarin Immersion School and I love it. I am able to empathize with my students who are either learning the Chinese language or trying to learn English. I experienced a lot while living in Japan and those experiences allowed me to be better able to understand my students and the staff that I work with.
Currently, I work as an IT Specialist at a Houston public elementary school. I help fix computers, laptops and iPads plus SMART boards in classrooms. I think ALTIA CENTRAL helped prepare me for this role because came to really to understand the role of a teacher and the tools they would need to execute their lessons. As an IT professional, I fix technical difficulties so if a teacher has SMART board trouble then they may not be able to use the board and would have to teach old style. In this situation, I understand the frustrations a teacher might go through to educate their students.
Based in a city hall, I’m working in the office of a local international association (YIFA, 野洲市国際協会) as a Coordinator for International Relations. I occasionally work in schools or put on events aimed at children, so in a very concrete way ALTIA CENTRAL gave me the skills to be able to deliver in these jobs. In a general sense though I feel my time with ALTIA CENTRAL, and my focus on professional development while I was there, made me a more confident, more organized, and more reflective person; these personal skills have helped me to be successful in my current position.
Currently, I work in Japan. I work in a Regional Branding Company as a Marketing and Social Media Specialist. Being an English teacher really helped me get my foot in the door, get used to working in Japan, and prove to my future company that I can organize and create things based on a target audience whether it is students or customers.
My experience as an ALT with ALTIA CENTRAL is something that I will never, ever forget. From time to time, I look back at my lesson plans, my journal of school notes, the sweet notes from the kids, and pictures from an album gifted to me that means the world to me! Being an ALT at my elementary school was not just my job, but a community that I loved so dearly interacting with.
ALTIA CENTRAL placed me in a community consisting of amazing people - it wasn’t just the teachers, but fellow neighbors around the school that I was able to meet, and become friends with that made my experience undeniably unforgettable!
One of the best things about working with ALTIA CENTRAL is having that feeling that you are not alone. I always felt the bond between the ALTs and the supervisors, trainers, and all the other members of the company was very strong. It was more like a family bond. No matter how far we may have been working, or how pressing our needs may have been, there was always a listening ear and much more than that, the support that we actually needed to do our work distinguishingly well. We never walked alone!
I have worked for other companies in Japan and ALTIA CENTRAL provided far more useful training, support and flexibility than the others. The supervisors and office staff are very positive and friendly and a pleasure to work with.
I really valued my time at ALTIA CENTRAL. Everyone was wonderful and supportive. I had wonderful supervisors and I met many great ALT’s, some of whom I have become close friends with. I enjoyed the events that were held at schools and playing with the students during recess.
A standout memory I have with ALTIA CENTRAL is, and I can only speak for ALT’s in Toyota, but there was a real sense of community amongst ALT’s in this area. Everyone is always willing to help each other out so we can all succeed in a country that’s vastly different from our own.
Another memory I have and something I am very grateful for is that ALTIA CENTRAL allowed me to coach a girls basketball team at one of my schools. That’s something I am very appreciative of, because that experience allowed me to help students grow in the classroom and on the basketball court. I got a deeper and better sense of what it means to not only be an ALT, but as a teacher in Japan and a member of a community. I’m very proud of the team I was able to coach because I could see them grown in and out of the classroom, on and off the court. I’m not sure if I could get that kind of experience with other companies, so I’m very appreciative of that.
– Kyle Dasenbrock
One of my favorite memories was joining a training event for firefighters where they practiced supporting non-Japanese speaking foreigners in a disaster situation. A fun and rewarding day.
– Phil T.
I enjoyed connecting with the local International Association. It was a great way to meet people from my community and learn about life in my city. I especially appreciated the free Japanese lessons the International Association offered. Each week I met one-on-one with a volunteer who helped me with my Japanese studies.
– Thomas L.