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Block system

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Starting in 2009, Akita Prefecture initiated the block system. This system is designed to create a better local support system concerning work, Japanese Culture, and January re-contracting decisions. Officially, there is a block meeting (ブロック会議) sponsored by the International Affairs Division each January.

What does a block leader do?

Block leaders are people willing to share local information with all new incoming ALTs. In some cases, sempai ALTs or supervisors are unable to do so (for various reasons). In these cases, the block leader is a person you can contact about local information such as where to buy stuff for your apartment, find interesting places, or show you a good place to meet locals. Your Block Leader keeps in contact with the PAs to provide feedback and help with outreach and support.

The Block Leaders coordinate our official January block meetings. In some cases, Block Leaders also coordinate with sempai JETs in organizing smaller local block meetings in August and March/April. Also, Block Leaders attend Akita orientation to welcome new JETs and give presentations concerning work and life in Akita.

It is important to note that block leaders are not trained or expected to give counseling of any kind. If you require any form of mediation, consultation, help with work-related issues or any problems that you find difficult to deal with by yourself, please contact your Prefectural Advisors. If you want counseling, please contact your CO or Prefectural Advisors for information on finding a counselor.

Block Meetings

Held in mid January, these one day conferences provide a forum for exchanging teaching ideas, tips to survive and thrive in winter, and are also a great way to reconnect with local JETs after the holidays. The PAs also use this opportunity to talk to the JET community about the recontracting decision (unless the recontracting deadline has already passed).

How are the blocks separated?

Akita's Blocks
Original block layout 2009-2012

Akita Prefecture is separated into three blocks, with two block leaders for each. The blocks are North (県北), Central (中央), and South (県南).

2017-2018 Block Leaders

Block name Leader Cities Year
North Aaron Kern Fujisato 2
Tristan Hill Mitane 2
Central Didy Huang Akita City 2
David Wilson Akita City 5
South Chloe Doole Nikaho 2
Liam Fahy Yurihonjo 3

2016-2017 Block Leaders

Block name Leader Cities Year
North Michelle Berent Odate 3
Hannah Phillips Kosaka 2
Central Cari Johnson Akita City 2
Rebecca Bamlett Akita City 2
South Jackie Jean-Francois Yokote 3
Danie Manos Yuzawa 2

See also