So, how do you follow up a post on such an interesting topic. I dunno, which is part of a giant list of things I don’t know. Now that we have decided to stay an additional year ather wrench has been thrown into the mix that is our lives. My semi-promotion. I have been offered the position of RPA, or Regional Prefectural Advisor. This is one of those wonderful promotions that comes with more responsibility and no additional pay. (I think that I may get some kind of cell phone subsidy but I am not sure.)

The job places me in an advisory position above all of the jets in the Gifu Region of Gifu Prefecture. I will in turn report to the Prefectural advisors, who work for the board of Education. Essentially, I will be in charge of aiding incoming jets in settling into their lives in Japan, I will work to assemble and organize prefecture wide events (like our educational conferences), and I will mediate and help handle any issues that may arise among the Jets in my area. This last one is the one that most worries me, but it seems that it doesn’t happen very often.

Overall, I am finding myself a bit excited about the prospect. I have really enjoyed the job of working in the school, making lesson plans and really the whole package. However, I also feel that the Jet Programme participants tend to take their jobs a little less seriously than they perhaps should. Most are recent college grads, and perhaps this leads to their lack of professionalism. I feel like coming from the working world I have some wisdom I could impart.

So, life goes on, one more year and a few more challenges to keep life interesting.

Posted on Monday, February 11th, 2008 at 8:41 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “RPA?”

  1. Jill says:

    Congrats! What a great opportunity for you!

  2. Marc says:

    Congratulations on your promotion! Does this mean you are removed from the classroom or do you still get to teach on top of your new responsibilities?

  3. aaron says:

    Thanks for the well wishes!

    As with all new things I am both excited and scared shitless. While I don’t really consider myself a social person, I will have to be in this position. I must plan events to show the new comers the town, and let them meet and greet with each other and the old folks. It will be a bit difficult for me, because I nomally am a very reserved and shy person, especially with new people. Now I will have to be outgoing, and I am not sure I can do that…

  4. Chris says:

    I’m sure you’ll do fine Aaron. Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of having to be more socialable, it is a good thing. Besides, I am sure the other JETs will be coming to you for guidance, as opposed to you having to chase them down for finding out whats going on.

  5. aaron says:

    Um, no… it does not mean that I am out of the classroom. In fact my day to day work at my current job stays pretty much the same. I work for my school and that job is completely separate from this new job, which I do for the Board of Education. I do, I guess, get out of my current job for one half day every month. This is for the monthly meeting of all of the RPAs from across gifu, and our opportunity to discuss issues and the planning of the conferences. The rest of my new responsibilities are expected to be done after work on my time. I get both jobs, my old one, and this new one on top of it! It does sound like kind of a bad deal doesn’t it… But in fact, it should be fun, and I will have to make sure that I keep it that way.

  6. Ben-san says:

    This sounds good. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

    1. Make a list of all the cool and exciting things you have done and the ones that you want to do. Then share that with them and organize outings around it.
    2. Share your beer with the nice ones.
    3. When trouble comes up, deal with it right away and make people keep things in perspective. A boxing trainer once wrote about conflicts that it was better to spend one minute dealing with an issue or difficult person directly rather than spending a long time avoiding the issue.
    4. Remember that you and the new jets have something in common already, you both wanted to come to teach English in Japan. It is a starting point, and a way to talk about things like professionalism and nuts and bolts technique.
    5. As in Chicago after the Map Room and Breckenridge in Colorado — they will want to talk to you.

  7. […] few months ago Aaron was offered the position of RPA, I must admit that at the time I was a bit jealous. It is a cool position, giving him the […]

Leave a Reply