Some vending machines offer drinks at reduced prices near my English school (英会話), Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi (スミス英会話塚口校) in Tsukaguchi, Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture. Drinks that used to be 120 yen are now 100 or even 80 yen. This is an example of the deflation in Japan that is going on now. Lower prices can bring lower quality which in my view is not a good thing at all. As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for”.
Smith’s School of English teachers teaching English in Japan own and operate their own franchise schools. They do not receive salaries like some teachers at other schools because they work for themselves. They get no bonuses like many company workers in Japan. Smith’s teachers live off the monthly tuition (月謝) and joining fees that they collect from their students. Their monthly pay is what they collect from their students minus the expenses of operating their schools. Teachers who put in a decent amount of effort, devote themselves to becoming great language coaches, care for their students and follow Smith’s Head Office’s advice can do very well and live comfortably here in Japan at Smith’s current monthly tuition levels. OK they may never be movie star rich but those who put in the effort stand to earn very well and can be happy and proud of their work. Being proud and comfortable at home allows them to be happy and to give students high-quality lessons in a caring environment. If monthly tuition prices were lowered as so many other prices are being lowered in Japan now, it would have a direct impact on their livelihoods which in turn would no doubt put lesson quality at risk.
From the students’ perspective the price is quite fair and because Smith’s School owners depend on students coming back to school month after month students can be sure that Smith’s teachers will be doing their very best every lesson. Smith’s asks only a fair monthly tuition in exchange for a fair day’s work by their coaches. That is why Smith’s School of English Head Office has never, since its’ founding in 1996, lowered the monthly tuition prices used by its’ franchise schools. Smith’s School of English wants to maintain the current high-quality lessons that all Smith’s students get now. Proud, happy teachers giving high-quality lessons in a caring environment leads to happy students, a real win-win situation for both students and teachers. (^.^)
I’ve been teaching English in Japan at Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi since 2002. I love the freedom having my own school gives me and the great life it allows me to live here in Japan. I have such wonderful students and I always try to give them high-quality lessons in a caring environment. When they leave my school with big smiles on their faces, I know that I’ve done my job well. (^.^)
Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi