I was given the full-time position with my company so I had to work eight hours everyday even though classes didn’t start until 3pm. My day started at 12pm and ended at 8pm. For the first 2 hours I would clean, write lesson plans, make decorations for my classroom, or hand out flyers promoting my company. Then I would have a lunch break for an hour, which I could leave the building for.
The first class would start at 3pm if I had one. I usually had on average 3 – 4 classes per day. Each class was about 50 minutes long. Generally the younger kids came earlier in the day and the older kids at night. I taught kids ages 3 – 17. Most of my students were around 7 or 8 years old.
The classroom had small tables and chairs for the kids in the lower English classes (That correlated with their age) and the higher levels had normal tables and chairs. All of our materials had to be exactly the same as everyone else’s, so I didn’t have to provide any materials and I wasn’t actually able to use anything of my own. For the lower levels, we would go through on average 6 – 8 different English grammar or vocab activities that all lasted around 7 minutes. So this was very fast paced and high energy. In congruent with the lower levels of English was also a mandated phonics class. It was taught much the same as the conversation based classes by using games to learn concepts. There was however more emphasis on writing.
The upper level English classes had textbooks so it was a little more low key. You were actually discouraged from using the textbook very much in the class. Mostly just as a guide for the conversations and assigning homework. The games for older kids were more complex and would usually take more time.
In between classes you have 10 min to clean up and prepare for your next class. This makes the time between 3pm and 8pm go by super fast but it can also be really draining. Generally I would leave work on time or a few minutes after 8pm. The Eikaiwa I worked at had a clock in and out system and which saved me from doing any “free” overtime than many Japanese companies have you do.