News: Teach Abroad in Tokyo - Aug 20, 2019
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Tuesday, August 20, 2019School Spotlights

Teach Abroad in Tokyo

KAIS Elementary & Middle School (KAIS EMS), conveniently located one minute away from Toritsudaigaku station in the Meguro ward of Tokyo, provides an academically challenging, creatively stimulating, and safe and caring learning environment. One of the core principles at KAIS EMS is for students to develop the habitual inclination to learn about and respect the traditions of any country they live in or visit. The school says on its website,

Our students are seekers of truth and promoters of compassion; we are co-authors of a future that values equality, global awareness, resilience and responsibility over all else.

The school stresses the importance of its students’ behaving in a way that is in harmony with Japanese mores and culture, particularly when they are out in public or interacting with locals. Only by making this transition can students develop the ability to “code switch” from one culture to another, an essential skill for succeeding in any international environment—be it in school, in public, or in the modern workplace.

Accredited by the Council of International Schools, KAIS EMS currently enrolls 90 K–8 students, one-third of whom are Japanese. An additional one-third of the students come from North America and the U.K. The school frames its inquiry-based learning around the U.S. Common Core Curriculum. High academic standards and attentive, personalized education are delivered through a blend of traditional subject teaching and inquiry-guided, project-based STEM and humanities lessons. The total teaching staff of 17 includes three from Japan, seven from North America, and three from the U.K.

To facilitate bonding among students of all ages, KAIS EMS groups students at all grades levels into distinct Houses that compete in daily challenges—morning workouts, reading competitions, trivia, spelling bees, and more. Earned points are carefully tallied and announced every Friday at school assemblies.

Interdisciplinary projects are an important part of the school’s curriculum. Engaged in a collaborative enterprise, the staff members brainstorm project ideas that blend subjects together and capitalize on students’ interests, encouraging them to use their existing knowledge and abilities to tackle a variety of tasks. This student-centered interdisciplinary approach has so far contributed to increased student engagement, a deeper understanding of the rich tapestry of life, and an interconnected worldview which allows students to world around them in a new light. Many of these student projects are due the final week of the term—known as Project Week—which culminates with a special school-wide event. Numerous classes are on hiatus during this week, making it an intense and exciting time that challenges the students to focus their attention and learn to handle pressure similar to that of an upcoming performance or publication date.

Students have dubbed Wednesday as “day off in the middle of the week,” but it is actually one of the most activity-filled days on the calendar. On this “day off,” students take part in elective classes that they have selected at the start of the term. Some of elective classes that have been offered thus far include: cooking, table tennis, manga drawing, yoga, game design, dance, language and culture (Greek, Mandarin Chinese, Korean), architecture and design, film and digital photography, 3-D printing, arts and crafts, digital music production, and much more. Each term there are about 20-25 choices! Everyone, students and teachers alike, bring to each lesson a heightened level of enthusiasm and effort. On its website, KAIS EMS adds,

Wednesday’s elective classes also provide an opportunity for students of all grades to explore a shared interest together. The feeling of community this engenders permeates the entire week and helps to break down barriers among students of different ages and academic ability.

After-school activities, running the gamut from competitive sports to both relaxed and cerebral activities, round out the KAIS EMS experience. The after-school athletics program is a great place to develop skills in soccer, basketball, volleyball, and cross-country while also developing teamwork. In the Cinema Club, students watch important classic and contemporary films, discussing the great masters of film and their contributions to the ongoing history of cinema. Robotics Club provides students with hands-on, project-based activities that teach the engineering process using the popular VEX IQ program. Students can also opt for a Focus Group, in which they develop academic skills and complete their work assignments on campus in the presence of the teachers who assigned them. To help build a sense of community, a school assembly at the end of each week celebrates individual student work and victories and congratulates the weekly school House winner.

KAIS EMS prefers to hire singles, interns, and couples with a non-teaching partner. They will also consider teaching couples, outstanding newly-certified candidates, experienced teachers lacking certification, and those certified in non-English speaking countries. Candidates need not possess their academic degree in the subject they will be teaching, and there is no age limit to obtain a work visa.

The benefits package includes airfare at the start of employment for teachers arriving from overseas and transportation to and from work for all teachers. Over 75% of the tuition is covered for teachers’ dependents, and professional development is provided. Local health insurance is covered, with the employee paying a percentage. Teachers have access to vacation properties in Atami and Hawaii as well as to an employee recreation center, which houses a gym, sound system, billiards room, and viewing room. This package allows for some fine savings!

To gain access to KAIS Elementary & Middle School’s full profile on the Search Associates database, including a list of all open positions, candidates can apply for membership by clicking here. Candidates already registered can easily access the school profile directly through their dashboards.

Please note: The information presented about this school was valid on the date published. This information may change, and the most up-to-date information can be found on the school profile.


Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Julie Ryan was named a National Distinguished Principal by the U.S. State Department and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.