December 26, 2003 – The out group

(original post)

Last day of work before holidays! Today was a good day, but I noticed that after work some of the teachers went out for drinks. They were very careful about who they invited and made a point of avoiding questions about where they were going after. The Japanese get a bad rap for being very cliquey and keeping their own little “in” groups, but it happens just as much or more with non-Japanese as well. I kind of felt like I was back in high school again.

(2013 update)

There was a cliquey “cool” group at Kawasaki Nova, but looking back on things it is very likely that the teachers were going to hang out with students. Interacting with students outside of the classroom was officially not allowed, both because NOVA wanted to avoid teachers poaching students for private lessons and because NOVA wanted to avoid teachers doing anything that could affect repeat business. Failure to follow this rule could lead to anything from official warnings through termination.

I was definitely not part of the “cool” group, but I would prefer to think that my exclusion was due to interaction with students. It really doesn’t matter now, but I was feeling pretty excluded at the time, in addition to being homesick for Christmas.

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