Chicago Public Schools

466 reviews

Chicago Public Schools Employee Reviews

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Bilingual Education Leader enjoys a weekly staff reflection with free lunches for teachers
Resident Principal, New Leader (Current Employee) –  Chicago, IllinoisJune 25, 2014
A typical day at work is highlighted by engaging parents, teachers and students through dialogue in the process of equal access to a quality education. What's most exciting is the celebrity status I have at my site; everyone knows and call out to say hello. Some students even reach out for a hug. I have learned that the life of a teacher and an administrator varies immensely even though the intended outcomes are the same, "educate the children." As a classroom teacher I managed, engaged and interacted with a small community of learners every year. First, we became a family, then we spent an entire year sharing and caring about each other, then we said your sad goodbyes. Subsequently, the year begins again and another group completes the cycle year after year. Hellos and Goodbyes"

As an administrator, I serve a more expansive community, the demand for personalized attention becomes greater, while increasing the pace of the school environment. My responsibility is now all classrooms, all students, all parents and the entire community--those external partners as well, how do I engage them all, "how do I get buy in," even from Walmart, and Jewel etc?

The need to build trusting relationships among all stakeholders; students, teachers, parents, LSC, BAC, PACs, and board personnel become extremely important factors in achieving success. Moreover, the key constituents-- parents and teachers require different levels of coaching, coupled with persuasion. Some parents need guidance and information on how to educate and discipline their children. Meanwhile, teachers must be supervised,
  more... monitored and introduced to the new motivational instructional strategies, which sometimes require modeling. Based on observations I have learned that teachers greatest trial is how to "differentiate" their classrooms, so that all children could have equal access to the core curriculum."

The hardest part of the job is observing some families' lifestyle and how this influences and impacts the children's lives. The task at hand embodies efficacy, changing their mindsets. The most difficult challenge is having teachers embrace the Common Core Standards and understand how their roles have now evolved into facilitators. In other words moving away from "teacher run" to students' centered classrooms.

The most enjoyable part of my job is observing children in an authentic learning setting, where ideas are being exchanged and their voices and opinions are the loudest in the classroom. In this learning environment, the stage is dominated by children teaching children (peer tutoring) while teachers cheer and encourage them.

This typical classroom's noise echoes students' excitement about learning, while exploring in the process. In this classroom, they feel safe to make mistakes, when they blunder along the cognitive road, they show courage to become engaged again without hesitation and embarrassment. The excitement children show when they have accomplished a learning task and/or mastered a skill is the best and greatest joy for me as an administrator.

Cheers!
  less
Pros
free after school programs and extra curricular activities
Cons
contractual rules that impeded instructional success
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During my 15 years of public school teaching, coaching was my favorite job.
Teacher/ literature and writing coach (Former Employee) –  Chicago, Il/September 29, 2014
A typical day always involved a change in the game plan. No day went according to plan. One gets used to this over time. Planning and preparing meaningful lessons was my specialty. Days began with securing and planting the materials needed for the day as well as making copies for homework and writing out the day's objectives and expectations on the board for students to see. I learned to adapt to students' needs as well as how to coexist with the variety of colleagues in a public setting. I had to be on top of my game for classroom management because in the inner city where I have always taught, one has to think on their toes and be ready for just about anything. I had to find a balance between being street smart and nurturing at the same time. This is not an easy task. I worked well with all of my coworkers and collaborated on a daily basis. I also joined many school-wide teams where I gave thoughtful input as well as received constructive input from others. The hardest part of the job has been the exhaustion I have been feeling in the past year. This did however, lead me to a point in my life where I know I need a change of pace and a turn in direction within education. The most enjoyable parts were the satisfaction gained when students learned the material I taught and even felt excitement about it. Also, I loved coaching teachers and running professional developments over the years.
Pros
seeing growth in students
Cons
lack of respect
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If you have children the schedule is great.
Lunchroom Attendant (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILJuly 7, 2014
My work day starts at 8:00am I come in and get prepared to work with food. I am the person that prepares the different sandwiches and wraps. I have to prep the the needed which includes washing and cutting up my lettuce and tomatoes and whatever else is needed for that particular sandwich. Ones I'm done with that I help whoever needs help. I then go upstairs where we will be serving the children. I work the canteen which is where we sell snacks that the kids can buy. I have to prepare my slushie machine,my cooler, and my rack. I then open for business. Once all four lunch periods have been served I break down, clean up, count whats left, and the prepare my bank and deposit. I go downstairs and prepare for the following day. I have learned quite a bit I have learned the inter workings of a kitchen and how it should and should not be ran. My manager is great she goes above and beyond the call of duty. However CPS management is changing and with new technology being used its hard for the older managers to keep up. I have worked with some good people. The hardest part of my job is dealing with so many troubled people. I enjoy working with food and making it look pretty and the conversations that I sometimes have with the kids they are hilarious.
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Productive, enjoyable work environment
Administrative Assistant (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILMay 23, 2012
I loved working for this company especially before the owner died. This company gave me flexibility as far as my schedule was concerned. I enjoyed that I was in the office part time and in the field part time. This position helped me to really hone in on my interpersonal skills because I would deal with a variety of customers and businesses everyday. I would regularly negotiate contracts which forced me to think on my feet in order to make sure the company and the customer were taken care of. I enjoyed managing others and the trust that the owner put in me to run his business successfully.

The hardest part of the job was to make sure that everyone was working in an ethical manner. Due to the nature of the business being customer service orientated the employees were field based. There were occasions when I became aware of certain staff doing extra work for additional money and not reporting it. So the biggest challenge was to follow up and to make sure that the employees were conducting business in an ethical manner at all times.

The most enjoyable part of this job is that it was somewhat of a family atmosphere. Mostly everyone had a good repore with each other and the company had persons employed there that had been there for numerous years and therefore had the same pride in their work as the owner. So it worked for the good for the company as a whole.
Pros
field base/office split, good repore with employees and owner
Cons
following up with customers, dealing with unexpected repairs of the machines
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Productive day at work
Bilingual Special Education Assistant II (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILJuly 9, 2012
Working with student with special needs has enhanced and completely changed my life. I have learned and remember that students with special needs are not students who are incapacitated or unable to learn. As a bilingual instructor in a special need preschool classroom I have learned to differentiated instruction to the students distinctive learning abilities. For example I modified the curriculum either by using flip charts, color coding, use sight words, and or highlight. I also make activities concise and short so they can have a better understanding. If a student needs special accommodations to take a test, then I will provide the appropriate assistance, such as extending the time needed to take the test or reading the questions aloud. I have learned to accommodate students based on their IEP goals specifically for each students needs and ability. As with children in a general education setting, those with special needs have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Regardless of the type of delay a child experiences, I have kept in mind that all children can learn and should be allowed to participate in everyday routines and activities to the best of their capabilities. Teaching is very rewarding, and even on the most stressful days, I go home knowing that I am making a difference in every students life and community.
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Tyrannt Principal
SECA /Substitute Teacher K-8 (Former Employee) –  OKeeffeOctober 31, 2015
days started with meetings before your start time that you did not get paid for but were required to attend "She" called the school her "Queendom" and made it clear it was her way or the high way. The children were treated in a selective manner as if they did not fit into the principals definition of a likeable child them they were somehow "trouble" or as she put it if I don't like them then there is something wrong with them. The diverse learners were underserved and the IEP's were not followed. Those of us who dared to mention or complain were put on the short list not to return. Management was clique of its own. 12 teachers gone the 1st year 13 the 2nd year The hardest part of the job was watching people you work with who were new to the workforce struggle and give up what they thought was going to be their life long career co-workers were strangers you barely had time to connect. It shouts volumes about school reform and the turn around schools system in Chicago.
Pros
The wonderful diverse learner students and LBS staff
Cons
All of administration they create the problem
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Productive and enriching environment.
Teacher (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILAugust 27, 2015
A typical day, is never all that typical. As a teacher, I plan well but allow for flexibility. I teach all subjects all day to a fourth grade classroom of up to 30 students. I ensure technology is incorporated into most lessons and students in this generation respond well to this learning mode.

I've learned that each student has different learning needs and levels. For this reason, I must differentiate instruction to meet their needs.

The management within my building is excellent. They are very supportive of teachers and students alike. I know that everything they do is within the best interest of the students. I have four direct co-workers. Each of them is more helpful than the last. We have worked together as a teach for three full years already.

The hardest part of of the job is when students are sick. We call home and, many times, parents are not able to come get them so watching them sit while sick is difficult.

The most enjoyable part of the day is when I teach reading. My students are at an age where they are starting to read more independently. They are really getting it and are so proud of themselves.
Pros
Summers off, rewarding career
Cons
No lunchroom, not enough time for each class
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Professional and Outgoing Team Player
Sub School Clerk (Current Employee) –  Chicago ILDecember 19, 2014
Managing a school's office was challenging and fun. I can be creative and team oriented with the staff. My leadership abilities and delegate responsibility is what makes the office run. A typical day would be fast-paced. Working with parents,staff, teachers and students is very rewarding to me. I like being in control of myself and any situation that was placed into my hands. To be able to problem solve, trouble shoot and multitask, all at the same time proves my ability to be sharp, driven and organized within the school. I am the "face" of the school. I represent the school's office and I have to do so with poise, personality and professionalism. Treating everyone with dignity, respect, and honor with the right attitude with love in your heart and the right motives with the right work ethic, people walk in to the office and it doesn't go unnoticed. I enjoy most about my 20 years working with CPS is the lasting friendships and relationships that I have with the teachers, staff and students and I have made a difference over the years and I carry that with me and it speaks volumes. There is nothing hard about your job if you do it to the best of your ability.
Pros
working with some amazing people
Cons
healthcare
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Excellent opportunity to learn, contribute and grow
Administrative roles (Former Employee) –  CitywideAugust 1, 2015
I was extremely fortunate to spend three very rewarding years serving CPS students and families in various roles. I had the opportunity to develop multiple skill sets including: project management, public speaking, coaching, community relations, event coordination, strategic planning, data analysis and more...
CPS is, above all, a DYNAMIC environment in which you can be offered an array of opportunities to stretch professionally and personally. Enter with a growth mindset and willingness to manage your own orientation. Be comfortable with blurred lines and be nimble and savvy enough to QUICKLY seek out your own mentors and allies (across departments, offices, networks and schools!) Be sure to document all of your work and achievements (which will more than likely be collaborative pieces) during your tenure in the district. Stay focused on your PURPOSE not politics. My purpose was to do the best work I could to improve outcomes and equity for students and school communities.
Pros
Public service, professional growth, exposure
Cons
Turnover, lack of organizational stability (all levels)
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great place to work:
Full time substitute teacher - CPS (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILJuly 30, 2015
CPS needs to develop teachers willing to teach not strike. They need to do more monitoring of high school teachers and their methods of teaching. They also need a method of dismissing teachers with tenure who can no longer relate, change to better teach the students. I enjoy being with the students and I often got their cooperation and confidence. I gained their trust and they listen to my advise. My focus was on developing the student's self esteem and confidence in self. I believe as substitute teacher I accomplished that. I see the students today and they acknowledge me before I see them. That I enjoy. I once met one of my student in MN at Audi. He saw me first. I have ran into special edu students and they remembered me. One of them own a car wash which he said his uncle set up for him. How great that can be to find that student something he could do and help him do it. The hardest part of my job was watching tenure teachers not wanting to change methods so they could better teach.
Pros
health talks, exercise in school and outside of school for all students.
Cons
non-working showers for students after exercise. What happen to time for that.
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It was a pleasure working with children pre-school - 8th grade
Teacher Assistant (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILOctober 15, 2013
I' ve worked with children for over 19 years. I have four grown sons of my own and I love to see the expression on a childs face when they learn something new. I started out working in special ed. I worked with children with learning and behavior problems. Once a child sees that you are there to help them they open up to you and try really hard to accomplish they're goals. I let each child know that I'm their school mom and I'm responsible for them once they step inside that school building. You have to show the students that the assistant and the classroom teacher are working together as a team. The hardest part about the job is seeing some of the hardships that some students go through at home and being unable to help them.
The most enjoyable part of the job is seeing the students grow, graduate and coming back to see me and to say hello and let me know how they're doing in high school.
Pros
having the summer months off sometime and spending more time with my sons
Cons
not being able to leave the school grounds to get away for lunch
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Very productive and efficient workplace
Mentor/Tutor (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILSeptember 12, 2012
The most enjoyable part of this job was being able to interact with such a diverse group of students. They were all very goal-oriented and were able to follow directions with little to no further instruction. I remained steady and understanding with each indivisual and praised them for their achievements. I understand how hard it can be when someone is pressured and that can cause discouragement. I am firm and can be very educational with unique techiniques that everyone will enjoy. Developing relationships with my students is cruicial and a priority. I strive to find solutions to an individuals problems and help them overcome their flaws. Team work is essential to success in my opinion. What I have learned from my job experiences is that everyone is different and learns in differnt ways, being patient and supportive is important to helping someone understand a certain subject. Being superior to many students and program participants did not affect the way I taught students. I treated everyone equal and either acknowledged or conductively critisized work performance.
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There was no other school like that one and I was glad I was part of it!
Spanish Teacher (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILAugust 22, 2013
As a kindergarten bilingual teacher I had two sessions a day. I loved it. My job was to facilitate the student falling in love with the school experience and getting them ready for it by exposing them to a variety of learning experiences in listening, speaking, reading, writing,math and social skills.

I learned to break down every concept into very little pieces so that no gaps could hinder the students' learning. I developed my listening skills, patience and creativity.

Excellent classroom management skills and strategies were critically important not only for the success and well being of the students, but also for the success of the program I was working for. I balanced classroom and administrative duties successfully.

My coworkers were the best! They mentor me. I felt blessed to be part of a professional team like no other.

The hardest part of my job was creating by hand almost every concrete and semi- abstract teaching material since there was a limited budget and lack of technology back then.

My students' accomplishments were always my greatest joy.
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Productive and Very Challenging.
Cadre/Substitue Teacher (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILOctober 15, 2012
A typical day at work for me was very challenging. Keeping the students focused was my number one goal. I used various stratigies to encourage them to stay focus. Once this was achieved we all had a productive day. Classroom management was not very difficult when there were smaller groups (15 to 20) students to instruct. My co-workers at times would team up with me to assist with classroom management but only when the size of the classroom increased in the number (30 to 40) students. Many time I received no assistance.

The hardest part of the job was controlling disruptive behaviors. For example, disrespect to me as the classroom teacher, bulling, fighting and dismissing themselves without permission, for example, walking out of the classroom after being reprehended.

The most enjoyable part of the job was when the students would come to school, stay focused, and complete all classroom assignments within the time frame allowed. Also, when they would go home and return the next day with my assinged homework totally completed. They loved to be rewarded and I loved to reward. Oh, I would be so overjoyed.
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Rewarding and Demanding
Substitute Teacher (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILNovember 5, 2014
My time at the Chicago Public Schools has been an invaluable experience. When I began my career, I worked as a Special Education Assistant, primarily in a one-on-one setting with students with varying disabilities. I found the work extremely rewarding, and became determined to attain the role of a Regular Teacher. After graduating with a degree in Elementary Education, I achieved my objective in the 2013-2014 school year. The classes of students I worked with last year will forever be engraved in my memory. Teaching can be demanding and exhausting, but the moments of revelation and discover from the students you've dedicated your time to, make all the work worthwhile. Last year's budget cuts forced many newly hired teachers into reduced roles, and I am currently working as a Substitute Teacher. Teaching is amazing, yet not having a group of students to commit myself to, is by far the most difficult thing I have thus encountered in the profession.
Pros
helping students become better people and more intelligent individuals.
Cons
grading!
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Substitute teachers need flexible nerves of steel.
Substitute Teacher (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILJuly 25, 2015
Substitute teaching is a very challenging job. Although most schools will try to hold on to their favorite floating subs, most substitute teachers do not know where they will be assigned next. Furthermore, they may not find out the nature of their assignment (grade level, specific classroom, special education, etc.) until they get to the school. Sometimes there are lesson plans and/or resources ready for use, other times the substitute teacher has to make something happen. For this reason, substitute teachers need to be prepared for anything. Substitute teaching requires a lot of nerves. One can use it as a temporary source of income. I would encourage those who are interested in doing long term substitute teaching to simply consider becoming a full time teacher.
Pros
One can plan their availability and has the option to accept assignments
Cons
Every day is a new day at a new location in a new class room with a different set of challenges.
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Great place to work, and I enjoy working with children!
Special Education Teachers Assistant (LRE) (Current Employee) –  8150 S. Bishop StrretOctober 28, 2013
A typical day at work for me is very fast paced, the children keep me busy at all times with not asecond to waist. Working within the school system one learns to deal with issues as they come. I have been working with children with cognitive or social emotional empairments for over 10 years, and enjoy doing my lifes work. I have managed co-workers within the military as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army National Guard. I have operated as Platoon Leader as I highly dedicated soldier mentor, and team player along with others. My entire life has been dedicated to helping others in need. Working at (CPS) Chicago Public Schools, has given me the oportunity to assist in the development of children, and there families. The most enjoyable part of my job is watching the maturation of the children both mentaly and socially.
Pros
my experience has been the strongest portion of my development.
Cons
being contained within the same system for 10 years without change.
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Everyday work pattern, with employers and employees.
Food Service Worker (Porter, Food preparation) (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILApril 9, 2013
Starting off in a fresh morning at work, the first thing is goodmorning to all employees I come in contact with, that helps a lot. Also listen to your manager instructions for that day to avoid any mistakes that may take place later, The (worst) thing, is for a employee to start talking about their personal family problems while your trying to concentrate on your job performance, that can distract you from your work. Wraping up job details at the end of the day is the hardest part I realized, everyone is ready to go home to relax. A Days work is paid off with success. Its true where ever you work, work as a team and with repect for others regardless of their position. Working as a team on a job is true , it pays off!. Chicago Public Schools operation has improve in the years, and will steady expand over the following years for our childrens future.
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Not a great place to work more than 2 years
Executive Assistant (Former Employee) –  Chicago, DowntownSeptember 14, 2015
This is a good place to get a good start on your resume, or to beef it up. This is not a career type of place. You have to get what you can out of it and move on - revolving door. The benefits are ok. This was a very fast paced environment, no nonsense atmosphere. Not much development or growth. Lots of hard work for last minute rushed projects. This is a who you know atmosphere for higher level positions. I learned how to stay on my toes, be a professional, to be proactive, to anticipate next steps and solve problems. I learned the importance of trust and confidence as well as being very detailed and keeping impeccable records. CPS is a huge company, easy to get lost in the shuffle. Company seems to cater more to people with children.
Pros
close to public transportation, lots of different food
Cons
It gets very cold in the winter months
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Enjoy working with elementary school students Prek-8th grade
Substitute Teacher/Assistiant Pre-k Teacher (Current Employee) –  ChicagoAugust 10, 2014
A typical day is assisting students with breakfest, taking students down to classroom in orderly manner, help them wash there hands and put bookbags away, lead small groups doing reading, writing, math, letters and numbers, pass out prepared lunch assist in serving, music and art,help students in music ,gym and computer classes. I have learned to work with children in all grades and deal with parents when they have concerns.I would like to have more communication with my co-workers. I enjoy sharing ideas and concerns about the school and students. The hardest part of the job is when there are behavior problems and there is no help from parents or administration. I enjoy helping students learn to read, wirte and learn the basics and seeing the smile on students faces when they get it.
Pros
being appreciated throughout the yaer
Cons
not enough breaks
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Overall rating

3.9
Based on 466 reviews
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