The ALT lifestyle in Susono is fairly easy going. There are three ain holiday periods. Typically graduation is in the latter half of March. After that is the spring holiday which lasts for about two weeks. During this time as an ALT we have most of the time off. This year I had a 1 hour meeting with the Board of Education; went in for the teacher leaving ceremony at school – 離任式（りにんしき）(ri-nin shiki) – for half a day and then went in for a day and a half at my new schools prior to the students coming back to meet the teachers.
The summer holidays last for about four weeks. Pretty much we get the whole of August off. Sometimes we are asked to go to school for things like speech contest practice. The Board of Education also arranges meetings and training days, approximately 3 days. Other than that we have the whole month off.
Compared to back home, the holidays around the Christmas and New Year period seem quite short. Usually the winter vacation is just a bit less than two weeks. The good news is that we aren’t really expected to show up to school at all during this time.
There are about 15 public holidays that fall outside the above school holidays. During “Golden Week”, from the end of April through the beginning of May, there is a series of 4 days off. The rest are spread throughout the year.
On top of the above holidays we have 20 days off to choose at our leisure. The catch, if there is one, is that sick daysa count as a day off and taking omre than 2 days off in a row during term time is frowned upon.
All told though the holiday entitlement of a Susono ALT is pretty good. In total we get about 3 months off a year!