Teacher Selection & Application Process
Teacher Applications HERE
Please read the Student Selection Process before applying.
Application Form in PDF format.
Please submit your application for consideration as soon as possible. You will be contacted for an interview with members of the Ketchikan-Gero-Kanayama Exchange Board.
Five (5) References (three teacher & two personal) submitted online
INFORMATION ABOUT THE
PROGRAM AND COMMITMENT NEEDED
The towns of Ketchikan and Kanayama have had an exchange program since 1986, when the first teacher from Ketchikan went to Kanayama and student groups followed the next summer. In 1989 both towns signed a sister-city agreement. The town of Kanayama, in 2004, merged with four other towns into the greater city of Gero; the program is now administered by the Gero City Education Department. Gero and Ketchikan signed a new sister-city agreement in 2005. The exchange itself is the longest successful foreign education exchange in the state of Alaska and the country of Japan. Each year, the two communities have exchanged both students and teachers; with the program now based in Gero the program is in transition to include the areas incorporated into Gero City. Gero and Kanayama are located on the island of Honshu, about a 2-hour drive southwest of the port city of Nagoya. The population of Kanayama is about 8000-10000 people. The main industries are farming, fishing, and timber.
Although Kanayama has no high school (students travel to neighboring towns for high school education), it has a nursery/preschool, kindergarten, several elementary schools, and a junior high school. At present two high schools exist within Gero City, one in Gero and one in Hagiwara.
Funding for this program is through the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District and the Borough of Ketchikan. All compensation depends upon budget funding approval. Compensation for the exchange teacher has been $27,500 (U.S. dollars). Teacher housing is provided in Kanayama; rent is paid for by the Gero Education Department (utilities not included), as is a car for transportation within the District of Gero to get to the various schools for classes. Gas for the vehicle is provided.
As previously, you will be paid by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough school district for a 10-month contract (September-June). Kanayama provides a furnished apartment and maintained vehicle to use while on the job, and medical insurance. Should you wish, school lunch is available at your cost. You will be responsible for your own transportation to and from Japan and any traveling you might do while in Japan. You must have a four-year college degree to obtain a Japanese work visa for this program.
We ask that applicants have knowledge of the Ketchikan area and customs of the United States. Teaching experience and ability to work with children is desired but not required. Your duties include being a teaching aide of English classes at Kanayama Junior High, teaching “fun”damental English and American culture to kindergarten/ nursery, third graders, and sixth graders, teaching a adult class (your choice of topic), and participating in social events in and around Kanayama.
As the program is being re-evaluated by the Gero Department of Education, other duties within the Gero-City area may be added in the future (i.e., with the high schools and with other junior high schools in the area). Former Ketchikan teacher, Tony Hatano-Worrell, now lives in Kanayama and acts as a contact and liaison for the exchange program and teacher.
Nursery school/kindergarten: You will do all the planning and teaching of lessons, and drive yourself to the nursery school. There are approximately 15-35 children per class. Each nursery school will be visited once per month.
3rd and 6th grades: There is a curriculum you will follow, but you will be responsible for your lesson plans, preparation of materials for teaching, and the actual teaching of your class. You will drive to each school; each school is visited one time per week, possibly for two classes per afternoon.
Junior High: You will work with the two English teachers at the Junior High and will do whatever they think is important. There is little or no planning. Half of each day is spent at the Junior High. You may be asked to travel with the students on their annual school trip (usually a class ski trip and class trip to Tokyo). You will help prepare the Kanayama students for their trip to Ketchikan and you may be asked to help with the annual English speech contest. The Junior High has a dress code for teachers and students. Men will be expected to wear a shirt and tie and slacks to work, and a suit for graduation and other ceremonies. Women will be expected to wear a blouse and skirt, or nice slacks for work. You should bring something dressier for graduation and other ceremonies; black is a preferred color. You may be asked to meet with the superintendent once a week just to see how things are going.
Adult Evening Classes: You will be asked to teach interested adults some English once a week in the evenings. There is some extra pay for this. Your lessons are entirely your responsibility. There is plenty of teaching materials from past years available to you.
In addition to your teaching duties, you will have certain social responsibilities. There will be some hello and goodbye parties and some parties with the staff of the schools or superintendent. You may be asked to be part of an annual play which the community will do, usually in English; this is all in fun. And you might be expected to pay your share for the parties. The Ketchikan-Gero-Kanayama Board has provided a small compensation for this in the past, depending on funding granted. We ask that you communicate with the Exchange Board once a month about your experiences (email from Japan is available), and that you serve on the Exchange Board for a year upon return, if at all possible.
EXCHANGE TEACHER from
KETCHIKAN to JAPAN
Applying for your VISA to Japan
After you receive your Certificate of Eligibility, you need to arrange an appointment with the Japanese Consulate in Anchorage (see information below).
You must apply in person for your visa. The Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage is the best place to do this; they know about our Exchange Program, and have been very helpful over the years, speeding the process for us and bending over backwards to help. (Note: Past exchange teachers have wondered about applying at the Consulate in Seattle, but at that office, you’re just another face in the crowd – they don’t know about Ketchikan’s Exchange with Kanayama and Gero, and have no reason to care. If anything goes wrong or you need any extra help, they likewise have no reason to do you any favors.)
Here is the address and phone number of the Anchorage office:
Consular Office of Japan TEL. (907)562-8424
3601 C Street, Suite 1300 FAX (907)562-8434
Anchorage AK 99503
(Ask for Mr. Yasushi Kakizaki !)
Applying for your VISA to Japan
WHAT YOU NEED TO TAKE WITH YOU TO ANCHORAGE:
★ How long will it take for them to finish your visa? Please ask Mr. Yasushi Kakizaki when you call to make your appointment.