On the bus ride back from Tohoku Machi (where the aforementioned Chuutairen was held) I was talking with Tomabechi-sensei about my plans for when I (eventually) return to Canada.
I think it's fairly safe to say that, unless something terrible happens this year (here or at home) I'll stay for at least 3 years (i.e. until August 2010). After that, though, it's really a big question mark.
In terms of the job, I think I'd be happy staying for the maximum five years, but there are lots of other considerations.
For one thing, I'd be 29 when I finally returned home, and 29 seems a little old to still be deciding what the heck I want to do with my life.
Then too, I really do miss everyone, especially from MCBC. I also miss having a church where I feel at home and part of the community.
Perhaps most importantly, I don't know if I'd still be growing and improving as a teacher at Kirita if I stayed for a fourth or fifth year. I definitely wouldn't stay if I felt like I was just going to be recycling lesson plans and sticking with the status quo. Plus I wonder if it might be better for the school to get a new ALT with fresh ideas after three years with the same person...
A new consideration (just came up today!) is that I've started thinking I might like to take a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification course when I go back and go into immigration/settlement related work, or possibly head off to Korea or Hong Kong to teach English (probably at the secondary level)...
Of course, that wouldn't help with the "missing everyone" consideration, but at least it gives me some possibilities for future employment.