I don't imagine I'll pursue teaching in the states. Actually, I know I won't. I have thought about it, moreso in the early days of being in Japan, when I kind of realized I was getting a kick out of it. But even the most cursory of research into the American educational system these days is rife with bureaucratic regulations and nonsense of the highest order. There's at least as much bureaucratic nonsense here, of a slightly different sort, but by virtue of my position here - not to mention the language barrier and the somewhat, ummm, racial, expectations of foreigners in Japan - I'm effectively removed from 99.9 percent of it, of which the net result is awesomeness.
Plus, here I get all the good parts of teaching - the teaching and connecting with kids parts - while having little to no responsibility at all for things like discipline and grading. Shoot, the sheer amount of rough housing, wrestling and judo I play with the elementary and Jr high kids would be enough to get me barred from most schools in the US. And while the slightly conformist nature of Japanese culture still can rub me the wrong way, in schools - it, um, works to my advantage. So my powers of denial deem that an acceptable trade-off.
And while I've not any teacher experience in the states to compare with, there's so little disciplinary difficulty here... regular disciplinary issues are things like dyed hair and short skirts. Maybe sleeping or being a little noisy. I mean, come on. And schools and teachers are still deferred to by parents in Japan, not the - obviously - other way around in the states. Where insane and irresponsible parents hamstring the educational system in the US with their sense of entitlement, leaving teachers and administrations living in fear of the inevitable lawsuit. At least that was my impression as the husband of a high school teacher for a few years. And from reading too much on the internets.
As an aside, there's actually a rise in this kind of parental behavior here in Japan, called "Monster Parent" - so much so that it achieved the pinnacle of Japanese culture last year - The TV Drama.
Monster Parent - DramaWiki:
"Monster parents-a neologism that denotes parents who repeatedly make unreasonable demands to their children’s school and prevent it from functioning normally. Takamura Itsuki is the ace lawyer of a major law firm. One day, she is assigned on a case requested by a school board, and learns of the existence of 'monster parents.' She meets a parent who wants the school to fire a teacher with a dialect for fear that he may exert bad influence on her child, a parent who insists that her son get a regular position on the soccer team, a parent who refuses to pay the lunch fee because it doesn’t taste good and so on. She is, at first, reluctant about this case, but gradually becomes determined to solve the problems. --Fuji TV"
Conservative Japanese, of course, blame this type of Monster Parent behavior on "foreign" influence. Sigh.