Relief teaching

In the main, absences by full-time teaching staff at KIST are covered internally where possible. For occasions when internal cover is not possible, however, KIST maintains a limited register of external relief teachers who may be called upon to substitute for regular teaching staff. There is no guarantee, however, of the frequency of relief work that may be available during the school year.


Relief teachers are responsible for leading an allocated class or classes to oversee activities as planned by the regular teacher. On occasions, if the regular teacher's absence is sudden, relief teachers may be required to lead classes without detailed lesson plans. Relief teachers may also be required to perform additional tasks such as playground duty or other student supervisory duties as needed.


In general, relief work is for a full day; however, half day work may also be available in certain situations.

Requirements for relief teachers

In order to qualify for registration as a relief teacher, applicants must meet the following requirements: 

  • Relevant classroom teaching qualifications
  • Experience teaching in a school classroom situation
  • Native or fluent skills in English
  • Evidence of no criminal convictions
  • Reside within one hour of KIST

For foreign nationals, as KIST is unable to arrange visas or visa extensions for relief teachers, the following are also required:

  • Valid visa in a category appropriate for working in an international school.
    Valid categories include: Instructor, Professor, Spouse or Child of Japanese National, Permanent Resident, and Working Holiday. Dependent visas are also acceptable for work up to the number of hours permissible in this category. Temporary Visitor (tourist) visas are not accepted.
  • Appropriate permissions to engage in part-time work.
    For visas in categories other than Instructor, Permanent Resident, Spouse or Child of Japanese National, Long-Term Resident or Working Holiday, "Permission to Engage in an Activity Other Than That Permitted under the Status of Residence Previously Granted" (Shikakugai katsudo kyoka) as issued by the immigration bureau is required.
    For working visa categories (i.e. Instructor, Professor), a statement from your employer/sponsor indicating their agreement for you to engage in part-time work outside your regular employment is required.

Applying for relief teaching

Expressions of interest for registration for relief teaching are accepted throughout the year and involve the submission of a written application and participation in an on-site interview. If you wish to be considered for registration, please e-mail the following items to the Director of Personnel at with the title “Application for relief teaching” in the subject field. All documents should be sent as PDF files.

  • A cover letter explaining your interest in relief teaching at KIST
  • Your complete resume, including details of teaching qualifications, relevant experience
  • A statement outlining your personal philosophy of education
  • Details of visa status and expiry date (for foreign nationals) and any relevant work permits
  • Contact details (e-mail preferred) for at least two recent professional references, including most recent supervisors
  • A recent photograph

Initial receipt of all applications will be acknowledged by return e-mail. Due to the volume of applications received, however, we are unable to contact each applicant individually if not selected to progress to the interview stage.


Applicants who meet the requirements for relief teaching outlined above and have included all the required items with their application, may be invited to attend an on-site interview with members of the school's administration team to discuss the position and to outline their thoughts in various areas including:

  • Educational philosophy
  • International school environments
  • Planning for student learning
  • Approaches to behavior management
  • Issues affecting relief teachers

Successful applicants are required to submit various documents including copies of teaching qualifications, passport and visa documents, criminal background checks and various other items as part of the registration process.