Tokyo (JPN-0218)

This position is not currently available

An able and experienced educator (or teaching couple), effectively bilingual in English and Japanese, is required for a long-term assignment starting in as soon as possible. The role involves tutoring one boy aged 12. It will suit an energetic, inspiring and knowledgeable Tutor who is both kind and firm in their approach to teaching. The role will initially be based in Japan with a move to America (or England) likely at some later stage.


The student is the youngest in the family. His parents came into their wealth during the gap between their youngest son and his older siblings, and as a result the student has enjoyed a privileged childhood and early adolescence. This sequence has had a significant impact on the family dynamic. The student has learned to place a monetary value on everything and struggles to see value in other ways. He is consistently dismissive of other children at school, and frequently ferments trouble between himself and his peers, between himself and his family, and between himself and his schools. His access to the family wealth has led to his ability effectively to ‘buy’ friends, and as a consequence he has trouble identifying true friendship from those who are simply taking advantage of him. Indeed, it is unclear whether he has any real friends at all.

Away from academia, the student has more than a passing interest in cars, and has shown some entrepreneurial initiatives. He dreams of being able to make some aspects of owning vehicles into a business, but beyond this it seems that his interest is relatively superficial and cars could hardly be called his passion. He plays piano and enjoys predominantly solitary sports such as trampolining. This isolationism at his age is almost certainly not a conscious one, but because he has had little meaningful exposure to team sports and does not recognise the social value of teammates. More recently he has shown an interest in cooking but it is not known if this is superificial or authentic.

In trying to prove his monetary value to his own parents, the student’s relationship with them has become toxic. When in their company, he is antagonistic, manipulative, poorly behaved and can be extremely spiteful. When away from both parents and in the company of adults, he is more relaxed, talkative, polite, engaged and engaging. He wants to excel and have his father be proud of him, but lacks the emotional maturity and interpersonal skills to get to this point.

Over the years the student has come to rely on his father’s money to solve all sorts of problems, and he has become desensitised to the effect that his father’s name and notoriety have on other figures of authority. His entrenched sense of entitlement has also led him to the conclusion that there is no point in trying too hard at school because whatever his ultimate grades, his father’s money will be more than enough to last him throughout his life.

The student’s academic track record up to now is mixed. He is an intelligent child and he certainly has the ability and tenacity to excel, but historically his attention has been misdirected and his attitude to education has been poor. He attended a number of good schools in foreign countries, but has ultimately been expelled from (or asked to leave) each of them. The student has recently returned to Tokyo, where he is predominantly looked after by his mother, and he has been enrolled in a local public school. Under Japanese law, public schools are not permitted to exclude children for any reason. Predictably, the student’s response has been to become increasingly aggressive and destructive at home in an attempt not to go to school at all, or to mishbehave while at school.

Despite the student’s current attitude to learning, the family have high hopes for his academic career. His father would like his son to be able to share these feelings through diligence and responsibility to learning. In an attempt to set him on the right pathway, he is currently receiving tuition for entrance exams to two of Tokyo’s best private schools. One of the school entrance tests is at the end of February, and if he passes this, he will begin at that school in April 2018. The other examination is in June for a school that would start in September 2018. In the short term, this role requires the Tutor to take over the exam preparation and also ensure the student is being fully supported during his regular schooling. If the student passes either of these exams and chooses to take up the place, the Tutor will be required to support him to try to make a success of his enrolment in these schools, if possible. It is by no means clear whether he will pass these exams, or that he will choose to go to the school if he does.

If he does choose to go, the expectation is that the all too familiar pattern of self-destruction will repeat, and so his parents are looking to put in place a full time tutoring solution ahead of time to ensure that this time there are contingency plans should he fail to get into one of the schools, not survive in a school if he does get in, or indeed chooses not to go to even if he passes the entrance exams.

If the schools in Tokyo don’t work out, or if the student chooses not to go, the most likely next step is that he would travel to the US with his Tutor(s) who would act in loco parentis while he enrols and studies courses at Flex School, or a similar establishment. The Tutor will continue to offer after school support and extension lessons, as well as provide a home environment so that the student does not have to board. There is also a slim possibility that he will opt to travel to the UK in place of the US, but since the route to a Japanese university is easier from the US system, this is very much an outside consideration at this time.

Role of the Tutor

This position requires an energetic, enthusiastic and interesting teacher who has experience working with bright but troubled children of age 12 and older. The Tutor will need to be bilingual (or very nearly) in Japanese and English, and have experience of working in the American high school system. The ideal candidate will also have experience of the Japanese (and possibly the British) curriculum to help facilitate a smooth transition between the systems. The ability to work in Japan and the US, probably through citizenship, is essential, and so the ideal candidates will be dual US/Japanese passport holders.

There is currently some flexibility in the education plan and the path forwards is yet to be established. Initially, this role is based in Tokyo. The Tutor will be tasked with fully preparing the student for his school entrance exams while supporting and guiding him with his current school’s homework and lessons. Should he succeed in gaining entry to his chosen school, and if tutoring support can keep him on the right path there, the Tutor will stay on for at least one academic year to ensure he remains on track with his schoolwork, and to offer extension lessons, support and guidance as he navigates his early teens. It is also possible that under the guidance of a firm but fair Tutor, he may opt to stay in school in Japan regardless of the outcome of his entrance exams.

More likely, based on past school performance, the student will move to the US for the start of the new academic year, or possibly earlier if the family decide to incorporate some time at an outdoor educational program before he starts his formal studies again. The right kind of program would help him to rediscover a sense of self-worth that is not linked to his or his father’s financial prowess. It will also help him develop his self-confidence and understand that not all successes can be measured by profit figures, and that money is not the root of all happiness.

Should the student’s education take him to America, once formal schooling starts again, the role will become much more involved as the Tutor will be required to live and work with the student, acting in loco parentis and being fully responsible for his health, wellbeing and education while in the US. The student will likely enrol at the Flex School (or somewhere else that can offer a flexible approach and also sponsor a student visa), and the Tutor will be required to work with staff at the school to design and deliver his core lessons. The Tutor will have a great deal of freedom to add to the education as they see fit, perhaps teaching additional subjects such as astronomy, photography, mechanics or philosophy, depending on their own interests. Likewise, should the student express an interest in a particular subject, the Tutor should use that as a springboard for exploring around the topic in more depth.

Regardless of the location, emphasising the importance of service to others may be a key component of helping to broaden the student’s world view. The Tutor should therefore seek opportunities for volunteering where possible, and should use them as the basis for their lesson planning. Project-based learning would also be suitable – projects such as making a shirt from scratch (sourcing raw materials such as cotton, wool, silk etc. spinning yarn, weaving or knitting fabric, dyeing and fixing the colours, and then sewing the pieces together) would offer tremendous potential for learning across several subjects, as well as insights into the lives of others less fortunate than himself.

It is vital that the student is socially engaged and does not become isolated during periods of home schooling. Even while he is in a formal school environment, the Tutor will have to be proactive in searching out appropriate clubs and activities with which the student can become involved. Team sports and drama societies are a good start – art clubs, volunteering opportunities and groups akin to the scouting movement would also have significant value.

This is not simply a tutoring role – the successful candidate will have to work as a Tutor, mentor, guide and friend, and in some ways a surrogate parent. Given that the student will likely be residing with his Tutor, this role may be suited to a couple who can share the responsibility for him between them, and bring a range of talents to the tutoring.

Away from Japan, the student will likely feel that he is in a very alien landscape and not simply because of the cultural differences between East and West. Moving away from Japan and away from his father’s influence and income will likely come as a shock to the system – the student will have to find a new sense of self and a new set of values in order to make genuine friends and restore his confidence in his own abilities.

The Tutor(s) should be eloquent, able to explain concepts simply, and to inspire with their enthusiasm for any given subject. They will need to be a natural communicator with a kind and caring disposition, and a firm-but-fair approach to their work. The Tutor(s) should have a sense of adventure as well as a good sense of humour. They should be flexible enough in their lesson plans to allow tangential lines of enquiry to be followed, but structured enough to ensure that their lessons are not consistently hijacked. They must be able to balance excellent teaching with accurate record keeping, research and administrative skills.

The Tutor(s) should be willing to try new things, and should be prepared to learn various new skills with the student. The right Tutor for this role will have a very positive attitude and will embrace the opportunities that this position affords.

While this is undoubtedly a fairly challenging role at the outset, it should become easier in many respects relating to behaviour as the student settles in to his new life. Although he will have frequent trips back to Japan, without the immediate influence of his parents, it is likely that his poor behaviour will improve immeasurably, and beneath his prickly exterior, the Tutor will find a charming, funny, intelligent and kind young man.

Hours and Holidays

While the student is at school in Japan, the Tutor will typically work with him for about 20-30 hours over 5 days each week, usually Wednesday-Sunday, with preparation in addition. The timetable must be established with reference to the any extracurricular activities and travel arrangements, and be flexible enough to accommodate unexpected changes.

Assuming that the location of the job will change to the US, the hours will also change. At this point, the Tutor is likely to be acting in loco parentis to the student, and so it becomes a much more intense role. The Tutor will effectively be on duty all the time (unless the role is shared by a couple), but not all of this time will be taken up with formal education. Aside from the formal lessons and additional tutoring, the student should be involved in preparing meals and in general helping with the running of the household as well as having some unstructured time of his own.

The Tutor is entitled to an average (over the course of the contractual term) to two consecutive days off per week, but should not expect these to occur at weekends or to be regular in their timing. As far as possible the Client will try to give the Tutor at least two weeks’ notice of when their ‘weekend’ break will be, but the Tutor will need to understand this is not always possible. The standard minimum 9 weeks (45 working days) of paid vacation allowance applies to this contract, with these breaks being taken at times convenient to the Client.

Any untaken vacation allowance or untaken weekend days that have accrued will be compensated by payment in lieu at a pro-rated day rate.

Accommodation, Travel, and Miscellaneous

The Tutor will be provided with furnished accommodation in all locations. The rent, utilities and Internet on this accommodation will be arranged and paid for by the Client. The Client is not responsible for the Tutor’s personal phone bills.

A car will be provided for the Tutor to do local errands and shopping as well as taking the student to his extracurricular activities. The Tutor will be reimbursed for all local public transport and any travel costs incurred while in Tokyo. The Client is not responsible for the costs of personal travel when the Tutor is taking paid vacation beyond the requirements regarding flights and airport transfers to the Tutor’s place of normal residence as defined in the Commitment.

The successful candidate will be able to offer more than the minimum requirements of this position and will need to have been raised in a socially appropriate background. He or she will not only be an excellent educator, but also a good role model: educated and polished, with excellent manners and personal values.

The Tutor should be fit and healthy, a non-smoker.

Contractual details

Start: As soon as possible

Duration: At least two years, renewable annually

Hours: Full time

Salary: Minimum of $225,000 USD per annum

Accommodation: Provided

Car: Provided

Vacation: Minimum 9 weeks per annum

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