General Info for Professional Teachers Considering Taking Up a Full-time Teaching Position with Crossroads
Below, you will find some useful information about our school. The intension is to help you decide if further inquiry with us is relevant to your job search.
Crossroads from the beginning:
Crossroads was established in December 1983. We have been operating continuously ever since. In that time we have taught English conversation skills (and recently, many other languages) to thousands of Matsuyama’s citizens and we have enjoyed working with some very talented teachers along the way. We are a smallish school with an intimate in-house atmosphere.
In 2014 the school re-located to the central business district of Matsuyama City (a link to the city’s homepage is provided below). We are situated opposite the Prefecture Offices and other government buildings.
The school layout:
The school area includes a reception, an office, four regular classrooms, a teacher’s area, the “Open House” lounge, two computer/net-lesson “booths”, kitchen area and bathroom. All in a more or less open-plan setting (except the bathroom, of course!).
What we do and how we do it:
Crossroads specializes in training adults in second-language skills for both business and general communication. We have three venues for conducting classes: In-house lessons, outside locations for Company lessons and occasionally lessons through the Internet.
In-House Lessons: Our in-house students are a mixture of salary men and “office ladies”, professionals and other company employees, housewives, retirees, university students, one or two private-lesson high school students, and the occasional child (acceptance subject to special consideration).
In-house lessons are conducted in groups of up to 6 students, small 2-students groups (semi-private lessons), and one-to-one (private) lessons. Group classes are held once or twice a week while private student attendance varies. All students are divided into 5 levels and appropriate programs and class materials are chosen according to their levels.
Students studying in group classes at the lower levels start with textbooks and/or dialogue cards. These materials, especially the textbooks, are phased out in the higher levels where the focus shifts to free (but monitored) conversation and other activities, including situational improvised dialogues (SIDs) and writing assignments.
Private and semi-private lessons are designed to meet the individual needs of the students and a variety of approaches are therefore necessary.
Other: We also offer our in-house students a Business English course, specialist (ESP) courses and courses designed to prepare our students for proficiency tests such as TOEIC, IELTS, etc. These courses are mostly textbook based and aim to assist our students attain the proficiency level they desire in each category.
The Business course has three levels and is designed to be completed within a pre-set period. The ESP classes are specialist courses and the textbook and/or other materials will be determined by the student’s field of interest. The TOEIC, etc courses are set up similarly to the ESP courses.
Non-classroom teaching hours during the working day are spent (unless travelling to and from an outside job location – see below) in lesson preparation, resources development, teachers’ meetings and general assistance to office and management. Teachers should also be available to participate in “Open House” activities (see below) chatting with students over a coffee or tea when not teaching or engaged in other, more pressing work related activities.
The “Open-House” is a space where all in-house and outside (company-lesson) students are given free access to the school’s additional facilities (6 days a week if they wish). Here, free drinks (coffee or tea), a small library, English movies, BBC news on cable, newspapers, magazines, computers (including access to the Internet) and informal conversation practice with our teachers (and with each other) are available at all times. These are supplementary services we offer free of charge to all our students in addition to their “formal” lessons.
There is a “foreign languages only” policy in the Open House where our students are encouraged to participate in a natural, non-classroom environment.
Net Lessons: Occasionally Crossroads provides lessons through the Internet. At the school, we are set up with computers and other necessary equipment so as to provide these lessons to our students using Skype or similar programs. Lessons are always private and are designed accordingly (see “private lessons” above).
Company Lessons: Teaching commitments at companies (on-site) located outside of the school are an important and expanding part of our teaching program. We have a number of contracts with companies in our local area to which we send our teachers. These lessons are conducted within our regular working day and transportation, by train and/or taxi, is paid for by the school.
We offer our clients a number of programs to choose from: General English, Business English, specialist (ESP) courses and preparation for proficiency test such as TOEIC, IELTS and others.
In principle, we are not a children’s school. However, we do accept the occasional outside contract for kid’s lessons if the overall circumstances allow for it.
Other Foreign Languages Taught at Crossroads: French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Korean and Chinese.
Lessons in these languages are usually restricted to private lessons but can be organized in much the same way as our English lessons, if required. We also offer lessons in all these languages in all three categories: In-house, outside Company lessons and through the Net.
Our Teachers: In addition to our full-time teaching staff, there are a number of part-time teachers working with Crossroads teaching a variety of languages. In total there are about 10 “native speaking” teachers working with us, full-time or part-time.
Check out our newsletters (pdf, in English) on this site for another “snap-shot” of some of our activities.
For a positive and successful experience working for Crossroads:
Overall, a Crossroads teacher will need to be very flexible and adaptable, patient, a good listener, responsible and motivated. Whatever the extent of your teaching background, you’ll need to be prepared to understand, adapt to and apply the school’s distinct programs and methodologies. For this, you’ll need to be open-minded as well as open to new ideas. Oh, and yes, you’ll need to be a dependable team-player too! Most importantly, our teachers must be committed, career-minded professionals whose primary concern is their students’ progress.
Teachers at Crossroads will feel comfortable teaching business English, and will not mind travelling to outside locations when required.
A background, with some degree of recognition/training, in business and particularly Business English teaching would be most welcome.
You will need to be a university graduate and have some experience teaching ESL outside of your native country, preferably somewhere in Asia, particularly in Japan.
We prefer people who can make a long-term commitment, so please do not apply if you are looking for a summer job! The minimum contract is for 1 year.
It is not necessary to be able to speak Japanese for this job. However, if this is going to be your first visit to this country, a genuine interest in Japan and Japanese culture will help new arrivals in the adjustment process considerably.
The job is five (5) days a week (40 hours), from 1p.m. to 10p.m. An alternative schedule (Saturdays only) is from 10am to 7pm (all schedule formats include a 1 hour dinner break).
The maximum classroom teaching load is up to 100 contact hours per month (25 hours per week on average). Various options for overtime are available. Teachers also attend regular staff meetings and contribute regularly to the monthly newsletter. Teachers attend the occasional event organized by the school and are expected to participle in Open House activities when appropriate (see above).
The Deal: The full-time teacher’s basic salary starts at 3,000,000 yen per year, i.e., 250,000 yen per month.
Teachers may also be offered overtime classes at rates of up to an additional 3,000 yen / hour.
250,000 yen (+) per month is generally considered to be more than adequate for supporting a very comfortable lifestyle for a single person in Matsuyama, reputed to have one of the lowest cost-of-living indexes for a prefecture capital in Japanese. In fact, some estimates put Matsuyama’s C-O-L index at two thirds or less of those for the big centers such as Tokyo, Osaka, etc.
Insurance: Crossroads pays full national health-insurance coverage for all our full-time staff.
Holidays: The school is closed for approximately three (3) one-week periods in the year. These holidays include national holidays and paid school holidays. Additional national holidays throughout the year as well as two regular days per week are also days off.
Accommodation, insurance and taxation: Full-time teachers are provided with a furnished apartment (washing machine, air-con, bedding, fridge, vacuum cleaner and other basic furniture) within a short walk or bike ride from the school. Crossroads pays the deposit/key money for the apartment while the teacher pays bills and rent. Rent is usually 55,000-65,000 yen per month. Basic utility bills are around 10,000 yen, but can vary greatly depending on the teacher.
Taxes: Japanese national tax in the first year is about 6,500 yen per month. City and Prefecture taxes do not apply in the first year but are added to the tax load from the second year, bringing the total to about 17,000 or 18,000 yen per month.
Matsuyama is the largest city on the island of Shikoku, the smallest of the four main islands of Japan. It is the capital of Ehime Prefecture. The population of the city is around 500,000. It is clean, safe and convenient.
As mentioned above, the cost of living in Matsuyama is significantly less than in the bigger centres such as Tokyo, Osaka, etc. and you can expect to save money from your salary and lose very little time in commuting to and from work.
There are shops, restaurants, the city centre and the historic Matsuyama Castle within walking distance of the school and the apartments we arrange for our teachers.
The nightlife, cinemas, hotels, an open-air swimming pool, parks and the Prefectural Art Museum are available in the city centre. A bike or short train or tram/streetcar ride will take you to Dogo Onsen, the beach, the mountains, and other places of interest.
The islands of the Inland Sea are a short ferry ride away and there are many beautiful, natural places to explore on Shikoku. Hiroshima is a 90 min fast ferry ride across the Inland Sea and is also linked by a series of bridges to the Matsuyama region of Shikoku.
Osaka is around 40 minutes air-time away and Tokyo is about 1hr 20 mins away by plane. There are direct flights from Matsuyama to other major cities in Japan as well as to Shanghai and Seoul.
Please note that, as we encourage teaching staff to remain with us long-term, we do not recruit regularly. However, positions do become available and if, after a study of the information presented here, you consider yourself a potential candidate for a position with Crossroads, please send a complete CV ( include, birth date, current address, a recent professional photo, letters of reference, copy of degree and other teaching certificate(s), etc) to:
firstname.lastname@example.org , att: Joshua Battain (Director)
Please also note that if your initial application meets with success, you will need to have a follow-up interview, either in person at the school, or via the internet and Skype.