I have been a Japanese teacher since I graduated from university. I majored in Japanese language teaching. This year will be the 15th year.
What kind of lessons are you giving?
At Japanese language schools we basically teach using the "direct law" teaching method. It is one of the teaching methods for foreign languages and it consists on teaching and explaining only in the foreign language without using the learner's mother tongue.
I usually teach using Japanese only, from beginner to advanced. However, because there are some students who cannot speak Japanese well in the beginner class the words are quite restricted.
Therefore, in the beginner class we use many picture cards and teach classes with actions and gestures. Long ago, my university teacher said that "Japanese teachers are actors" because in order to understand the feelings and circumstances we have to act exaggeratedly and sweat a lot.
First of all, in order to make students think "I want to go to Japanese classes" I try to keep a happy environment.
For students from intermediate to advanced classes we will provide necessary knowledge for living in Japan such as Japanese news and current events, trends, travel destinations, coping with problems at part-time jobs, etc. International students have a strong feeling of supporting themselves in Japanese society so we prepare such lessons.
I think students want to learn not only the vocabulary but also the Japanese culture and way of thinking so they won't have problems while living in Japan.
How do you do career counseling?
In order to decide the field of choice you I will ask them "why" several times giving each person time to think carefully.
I also recommend not one college but two or three to those students who want to enrol in university and to go to open campus.
The open campus is a valuable opportunity to talk with teachers from the school and listen to the contents of the lessons. It is important to judge whether the school meets your needs or not so I want the students to take part of it.
Finally, a few words for the future students.
It is important to do your best but don't forget to enjoy studying abroad in Japan, it is also very important. Do not only study Japanese but experience properly intercultural exchanges in Japan.