The teaching staff of preschools and elementary and secondary schools are required to have a teaching certificate as specified in the Educational Personnel Certification Law (Kyoiku Shokuin Menkyo Ho). The staff at the majority of schools consists of the principal, vice-principle and teachers.
Most elementary schools use the kurasu tan'nin-sei, in which one teacher (homeroom teacher) provides instruction in almost every subject to a single class. In the upper elementary grades, other teachers may teach specialized courses in specific subjects such as music or science. In junior and senior high schools, students are assigned to a specific homeroom class presided over by a teacher (kyoshi), but each subject in the curriculum is taught by a teacher who is trained especially in that field. The students basically remain in the same classroom and the teachers change with each subject, following the lesson timetable.
In addition to providing instruction in regular subjects, teachers are also involved in other activities, such as supervising extracurricular activities and providing advice and guidance to their homeroom and other students.