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Working in a Japanese Nursery


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I meant to mention this sooner or talk about it, but just haven't had a chance until now...sort of. One of you, I think it was Yuuki, was curious about working here a few weeks ago, so here goes all.

 

So, having been here, I have experience working in a Nursery school, Kindergarten, elementary school, junior high school, and a high school. I'm all over the place, eh?

 

Anyway, as mentioned, I'm currently working at two Japanese nursery schools. One in the morning and the other in the afternoon. They're called "保育園 (ほいくえん)" or "hoikuen", but not to be confused with Kindergartens, which are called, "幼稚園 (ようちえん)" or "youchien". They're both pretty similar, but hoikuen are more like childcare facilities, where as a youchien is more like a preschool and the main requirement to get in is for the child to be the correct age. Hoikuen, however caters to working parents or those who just can't take care of their children during the day, mostly...so yeah, mostly working parents...and this is an issue with Japan. Most nurseries have waiting lists and it's more difficult for the kids to get in. Japan has a low birthrate problem and it's increasing more each year. There need to be more facilities of this nature to cater to working mothers, as Kindergartens close earlier...usually. Unfortunately, it's not the case.

 

Sorry, went slightly OT.

 

My experience so far has been quite positive. The staff of both nurseries are friendly and the kids are pretty cool. My youngest is like...under the age of 1 and my oldest group consists of 4/5 year olds. I go in every morning, go around and say "hello" to the different classes and then go to the one I've been assigned that day. I give my lesson (30 minutes) and then join in on whatever else they're doing afterwards. It could be playing in the park, doing an art project, story time, earthquake drill, etc. After that, I eat lunch with one of the classes (either the 3/4 group or 4/5 group) and talk to them. The younger groups 0 - 2, I may help with lunch (if assigned to work with them that day), but I only help serve their lunch and help to feed some because their lunch time is earlier.

 

After lunch, it's toilet/nap time, so the kids go to the restroom. They also have to brush their teeth after all meals. No toothpaste, just the brush. I noticed kids and teachers doing this after lunch in elementary/junior high/high school as well. So, I help brush their teeth. After toilet time, they'll come back and have to change their clothes, so I help the 3 year old group do this everyday. Oh something else about both kindergarten and nursery schools...the kids change right in front of one another and also go to the restroom in front of one another, meaning, they already know of male/female anatomy from a young age. After that, the teachers put down tatami and the kids' futons and they all go in for their nap. This is when I leave.

 

At the afternoon nursery I commute to, I get there right before the kids wake up, so I can't go around saying hello to everyone. It's pretty much the same as the other nursery. They wake up, have toilet time, snack time, and then my lesson. The schedule is different there, though. I have a lesson with the 4 year old kids everyday. All the other kids are once a week, but I still get to hang with them.

 

After the lessons, they have a short play time and then they do their "sayonara" song and then all of the students who hadn't been picked up yet, are moved to a big room so all the kids are there. This is my favorite part of the day, actually. I like being able to see all of the kids and interacting with them everyday as opposed to just popping in and saying hi (like at the morning one). So we have tea time and then play time and such. I finish up there by 5:30, but I usually end up staying later because I'm enjoying playing with the kids so much.

 

So yeah...lot of playing it seems at these nurseries. I only go there Tuesday - Friday, though. Monday I go to different places and they only see me once a week so I have no time to interact with practically anyone at all. I go in, do my job, leave because of the time restraints. I also have to teach six lessons on Mondays. Tuesdays (3 [1 in the morn/2 afternoon]), Wednesdays (3 [1 in the morn/2 in the afternoon]), Thursday and Friday (2 [1 in the morn/1 in the afternoon]).

 

So, yeah...not sure what else I can say....so PLEASE just ask me questions because I so suck and stuff like this. ^^; lol

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That is really amazing! My education is pretty much limited to America so I had no idea about Japan's low birthrate problem......Learning things about other countries really interest me.

As for the nurseries, that sounds like tons of fun. Playing is really hard work. I'm serious. Children that age need tons of playtime. I would love it although I might get too attached to the children......and not want to leave them......

 

I don't really have any questions. I just think it's awesome that you get to work with Japanese kids <3

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As for the nurseries, that sounds like tons of fun. Playing is really hard work. I'm serious. Children that age need tons of playtime. I would love it although I might get too attached to the children......and not want to leave them......

 

I don't really have any questions. I just think it's awesome that you get to work with Japanese kids <3

 

Teaching in a nursery might seem fun. I think. Altho I have a really small patience towards kids and all. I once dreamed teaching on schools but I don't think I can strengthen my patience on kids, especially if they're really a handful.

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That is really amazing! My education is pretty much limited to America so I had no idea about Japan's low birthrate problem......Learning things about other countries really interest me.

As for the nurseries, that sounds like tons of fun. Playing is really hard work. I'm serious. Children that age need tons of playtime. I would love it although I might get too attached to the children......and not want to leave them......

 

I don't really have any questions. I just think it's awesome that you get to work with Japanese kids <3

Oh yeah, it's pretty serious here I heard. The deaths are outnumbering the births at this point supposedly. Last year, the census said something like 1 million were born, but something like 1.3 died. It was apparently a record low.

 

A few years ago, I think in about 2008, companies were doing this incentive thing for men to go home and sleep with their wives, or something like that. That's when I first learned about Japan's birthrate issue. In some places, schools have closed because there weren't enough kids to fill them and this is also bad economically. The old are starting to outnumber the young...who will replace and support the older generation when they retire?

 

Some things I think would help, are shorter working hours for business men and more incentives for women to work as well as more opportunity for them to work after giving birth. It seems most women are opting out of having kids to focus on careers since it's expected for women to stop working after having a child. Some women also face something called "matahara" or maternity harassment. I suggest looking up Sayaka Okasabe in a Google search along with "matahara". What she went through from her boss was ridiculous but she was vocal over her mistreatment.

 

Ok, wow. So much there, eh? lol

 

Let's see...playtime! Yes, best parts of the day, but to be fair, only at the morning nursery I may get a bit tired because we're playing in the park. The afternoon one is inside and they put out blocks, Legos, books, etc., for them to play with.

 

Teaching in a nursery might seem fun. I think. Altho I have a really small patience towards kids and all. I once dreamed teaching on schools but I don't think I can strengthen my patience on kids, especially if they're really a handful.
Ironically, I don't have patience for older kids. I like working with kids when they're young. They usually listen and aren't as defiant. They also still really need the nurturing at that age, and I'm the nurturing type, which is why I have loads of patience with infants and really young kids. Stateside, I worked at a childcare center as an assistant, and if the ratio was ok, was in charge of the infant room. Think it was 4:1. They would cry, but it never bothered me. Older kids cry, it annoys the heck out of me.
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That is absolutely terrible :( It just breaks my heart......What makes it worse is that there is nothing I can do about it.

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  • 1 month later...

The low birthrate is unfortunately a problem in many MDC's or core countries like Japan is. I've read similar cases like you've described beginning to happen in european countries like Germany or Denmark. The increase in graying populations usually seen in countries in stage 4 of the DTM, or demographic transition model. Basically saying you're an advanced, prosperous country at the cost of a decrease in birth rates and fertility rates.

So many factors affect this xD that's just one.

 

 

How big are the groups you teach? Are they small or large? Sorry if the questions been asked before :DxD

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The low birthrate is unfortunately a problem in many MDC's or core countries like Japan is. I've read similar cases like you've described beginning to happen in european countries like Germany or Denmark. The increase in graying populations usually seen in countries in stage 4 of the DTM, or demographic transition model. Basically saying you're an advanced, prosperous country at the cost of a decrease in birth rates and fertility rates.

So many factors affect this xD that's just one.

People just aren't into kids, eh?
How big are the groups you teach? Are they small or large? Sorry if the questions been asked before :DxD

It's ok. It varies. I have more than one class. One class of mine has about 20 and another has about 7.

Very interesting. :)@ssjup81 out of curiosity do you interact with the parents much? Maybe some small talk when the parents pick up the kids?
Yup, sometimes I greet the parents and have small talk. It's interesting.
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