It is the Golden Week vacation here in Japan and that is certainly a good thing. I am lucky enough to have nine days of to spend with friends and family. I have been running a lot and daydreaming of upcoming marathons. I have ben playing with my son and spending time with my wife. I have been eating good food and doing what one should do on vacation.
Japan has more than its fair share of public holidays. There are many reasons to love Japan, but the quantity of holidays makes it even easier to love. Vacation in Japan makes me feel good.
I have to admit though, as of yesterday I started to feel bad. Japan has a little to do with that, but news from Canada hasn't helped much.
After ten years in Asia, I am ready to come home. I have made no secret of that. I enjoy life in Japan, but my home has been calling me for some time. My family supports that and are very willing to pack up and move to the land of bears, maple syrup and people who say "Eh?"
There's a problem though. As you all know, I am a teacher. I am a teacher not just in Japan, but am an elementary school teacher in canada as well. there is a serious problem though that I have mentioned before. There are simply too many teachers in Canada and not enough classrooms for them. I was recently reading that a typical new teacher coming out of a teacher education program in canada can expect to languish in supply teaching (substitute teaching) purgatory for five years or more before landing a permanent contract. I'm not willing or financially able to move my family home and not have a steady income.
I have seriously thought about locating in Northern Canada and that is something I will look into further. Again, my family is supportive.
I had a "Plan B" as well. I have put serious thought into applying for work with the Government of Canada. I come from a family of career government workers and myself spent many summers as a student working at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. Finding work with the government would mean a good income and stability; something teaching used to offer when there were jobs for new teachers.
The current Canadian government has recently started to slash and burn the civil service in Canada in a form of austerity measures. News came down yesterday that thousands of civil servants received their pink slips. It appears as if up to 120 of those people at the park that I worked at for so many summers will be affected by these cuts. Lives will be devastated and my home town of Louisbourg will receive yet another kick while it is down. Sad stuff.
It also makes me sad because I had thoughts of working for a government that is now laying off thousands of people across the country.
No jobs for teachers and now, a bleak future for those wanting to work in government. This complicates my "exit strategy" from Japan. This has been a vacation "low."