Apr 15, 2019
Tips for finding side work?
I just recently started a new job as an ALT and I was wondering if you had any tips for finding part-time work while being an ALT?
Teacher, Traveler, Dancer -
Currently living in Gifu -
I love Japan, dance, cats, food, and fashion!
One of the good things about being an ALT is a relatively stable work schedule which, if you've still got some more teaching in you, means it's quite easy to schedule some private classes on the side. Also you'll have the long holidays to do some extra teaching, too. I once registered with a student - teacher matching website and got a couple of reliable students from that. You have to do some "trial" lessons first and it may take a little while to find those students that aren't going to waste your time but once you've got one or two regular students it can make for a nice bit of side income. You might find the more you network and socialize with the locals that other private teaching opportunities also come up. Always approach the private-teaching thing with some caution though -- stick to doing it in public places (i.e cafes) rather than going to someone's apartment who you hardly know.
I think if you already love teaching then that's a good option as Tomuu said. I know when I was living in Tokyo at a military base, some of the spouses were doing online English teaching through a site called VIPKID. Personally I haven't done this but a few of them really enjoyed it - from what I understood it was teaching elementary aged students English via Skype or a similar styled platform. I think they prefer American-English speakers (I have an Australian accent so I never bothered applying!) but I think I recall you saying you were from the States! An online teaching option could be a good way to earn some extra bucks and avoid the uncertainty of meeting up with people in person.
I've had the best luck with a free (for teachers) site called Hello Sensei: https://hello-sensei.com/en/sensei You can choose the location where you teach, so a cafe or community center you like that's public and free to use is ideal. Only women have contacted me so far. I think a lot of women prefer a female teacher. You might feel safer to only be available for kids or women's lessons, for example. Being an ALT is sort of awesome because of the long vacations, so work trades and temp work during those times is a fun option. (Since that vacation time isn't usually paid.)
You might find tutoring agencies that have clients in your area on https://www.ohayosensei.com/ Back when I used to tutor, I had a few client families through an agency. The mums picked me up at the train station and I did English lessons for a younger brother and an older sister. It was a lot of fun. The hourly pay was proper, too. Be careful if you use teacher-student matching services. Meet at a cafe or family restaurant. Also, don’t be afraid to turn people down. This is just my experience, but some clients I met were near native in English and lonely or troubled. English tutoring is cheaper than counseling, so they seek out English teachers to unload on. If you’re not up for that, be very specific about what kind of lessons you can give - English for travel or test preparation, for example.
Putting yourself on websites like Hello-sensei and a few similar ones would be good. I got a few students like that, and you can set it up both for meeting up and for skype lessons too. Another thing is word of mouth. Let people know you are available for private classes and they might come to you. I will let you know if I know of someone ;)