High School Systems and Jobs of Teachers in Japan

High School Systems and Jobs of Teachers in Japan


I have seen some schools in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and I felt the school system is different from Japanese one.

I would like to show Japanese high school system to the world and decided to write in English.


Entrance Examination

Regular exams are mainly conducted through paper tests and transcripts from junior high schools.

Some private schools conduct interview with examinee.

We also have recommendation exams in most of the high schools.

Some of you may think “recommendation” exams are only for the top students, but actually not.

Some high schools don’t conduct paper tests in recommendation exams but just transcript and interview, so examinees think it is easy to pass the exam.

Besides, in some cases, there are no failure.

If examinees are told “no paper tests, just interview and transcript, no failure”, they will want to take this type of exam.

Junior high schools must write a recommendation letter but they don’t consider whether each student deserves recommendation.

The letter is just paper work.


I have heard that in overseas, governments will decide each student will go to which high schools depending on where he/she lives.

Japanese(mainly in big cities) tend to choose “good” schools.

If a lot of graduates go to “good” universities, the high school will be good.

(“Good” universities means their graduates were adopted by famous companies who pays a good salary.)

Also, if there is a club, such as baseball, soccer and so on, which examinees want to join in the high school, they may want to take the exam of the school.

Of course, they will also care commuting time.



In this part, I will show you a usual school life.


Each class is 45 – 50 mins. There are 10 min brakes between each class.

I’m surprised that in some countries, they don’t have enough brakes between classes.

They can’t go to the next classroom in time.

The lunch time is 40-50 mins. One example is below.

1st period8:45-9:35
2nd period9:45-10:35
3rd period10:45-11:35
4th priod11:45-12:35
Lunch time12:35-13:25
5th period13:25-14:15
6th period14:25-15:15

Public schools usually have classes from Monday to Friday.

Some public schools and most private schools have ones from Monday to Saturday.

On Saturday, schools end at 4the period.

Club Activities

In Japan, students have club activities afterschool and those activities are usually under the responsibility of schools.

Not all of the students join clubs but more than half students in full time schools seem to join clubs.

I’m not sure but correspondence high schools may be difficult to have club activities, because they don’t gather every day.

The style or times of activities will be different from the ones of full time schools.


From now, I will write about the activities in full time schools.

Sports clubs, such as baseball, soccer and basketball and so on, have activities 4-6 days a week.

Cultural clubs, such as Science, English and calligraphy and so on, have 3-4 days a week.

The activities end around 17:00-19:00 (depending on schools or clubs).

Sports clubs have some match with other schools on Sunday.

In that case, students can participate in school events from Monday to Sunday!

Students take classes in their homeroom classroom.

In some countries, there are classrooms of each subject, such as math, chemistry, geography and so on. Students will move to the classroom.


In Japan, students usually take classes in the homeroom classroom.

However, on music, art, home economics and computer and so on, they need to go to each classroom.

Teachers must come to the classroom when they have a class.


Jobs of Teachers in Japanese High Schools

One teacher has these four kinds of jobs, like “This year, I am the homeroom teacher of 2-A, have 16 classes a week.

I am also in charge of the volleyball club and Educational Department and Health Department”.

Four kinds of Japanese teachers’ jobs
  1. Class
  2. Homeroom
  3. Club activities
  4. Divisions of school duties

It is easy to imagine what teachers do for classes and homeroom.

For classes, Preparing class, Conducting class, marking of tests, Evaluation.


For homerooms in the morning, attendance, telling information or instructions about such as school events or school rules.

We also have homeroom after the last class.

Usually just check everybody is in their classroom and say goodbye.

If there is another information to tell to the students, teachers will tell it.

After the homeroom, the students clean their classroom and teachers also do that with their students and see they do that properly.

Some tasks for club activities are planning, teaching, accounting, paperwork for school or each federations.

Activities begin at 4 p.m. and end 6-7p.m.

Most of the schools don’t pay overtime but teachers have to stay in the school.

Divisions of school duties has various kinds of jobs.

These are rough explanations of each department.

Divisions of school duties

Educational Department
Subject teaching, Annual planning, Adjusting timetable, Planning and conducting exams

Career Guidance Department
Giving a guidance about career or universities, Contact with universities

Student Affair Department
School rules, instructions about school life, trouble between students

Student Organization Department
Clubs, student committee, school festival,

PR Department
School seminar, School tour, Brochures, Web, Contact with publishers and cram schools

Health Department
Medical checkup for students, temporary care, counseling


Teachers in Japan are said to be busy because …

It is said that teachers in Japan are busy.

As far as I saw some schools in some other countries, they share jobs with proper numbers of people.

In Japan, various jobs go to teachers without increasing the number of teachers due to budget.

I hope Japanese government and people are willing to pay proper amount of money for education.