Student & Teacher Schedules in Japan


Previously, I posted my work schedule for when I taught in Japan, but what’s life like for a typical Japanese student or teacher? As I was never a student in a Japanese school and I didn’t have the same schedule as my co-teachers, I can only speak from observation and some conversations I had. The examples below are entirely fabricated based on these.

Student (Middle/High School)

Walk or bike to school (perhaps take a bus or train in)

7:30 – 8:30 – Arrive. (I’m not quite sure when. Some clubs might also have meetings before school.)
8:30 – 3:30 – Classes + lunch.
3:30 – 3:45 – Cleaning time
3:45 – Off to clubs.
5:00 – 7:00 – Finish with clubs and return home. Some students then had eikaiwa with me or my friend at 7:00 or 8:00 PM.

My students didn’t have cram school (juku) because the nearest city was an hour away. I wouldn’t be surprised if students who attended cram school were out until 10 PM.

Other notes: third-year students may have extra review classes before and after school, and by the end of the first trimester of their third year, they typically finish club activities so that time can be used for the review sessions.

Teacher (Middle/High School)

6:00-8:00 AM – Arrive at school. Earlier if they have to open up or stand at the crosswalks for students. I’m not sure of the exact times. 7:00 to 8:00 is probably typical, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some teachers had to arrive between 6:00 and 7:00 AM.

8:15 – Teacher’s meeting
8:30 – 3:30 – Classes
3:30 – 3:45 – Cleaning time
3:45 – Those who oversee clubs go off to do that
5:00 – 7:00 – Return home

I’m sure the schedule depends on who opens the school, who has to stay and close up, what time clubs end, and so on. That’s why the arrival and departure times span two hours. Those are my guesses based on talking to some teachers.


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