Instructor/Tutor (Current Employee), Maple Grove, MN – June 3, 2015
Pros: great coworkers, awesome students
Cons: short breaks
My typical day at Sylvan is very busy, it is very fun and really nice to be in a job that is so fast paced, because the hours just melt away.
I've learned how to manage my time a lot more and a lot better. I'm able to work on three things at once, and still get them all done very well.
The management are all student oriented and they work hard to make sure that the students and the teachers know – more... how much their hard work is appreciated.
The other teachers and the TAs are really great. They are hard working people who want to earn a little extra money helping kids boost their skills and their passion shows when they teach.
The hardest part of this job is when students are getting rowdy or rambunctious. It is a pretty easy fix with a ten minute break, though, which is also really great.
The most enjoyable part of the day is when you suddenly see a kid's lightbulb go on and you know that they know and understand what they've been working so hard to understand. That is really great. – less
Instructor (Former Employee), Los Angeles, CA – June 2, 2015
Pros: The children
Cons: low pay, unorganized and unethical management, poor support
As a former Sylvan franchise tutor I can personally attest to how poorly things are run at the franchise level. My center director's main goal was to bring in students at any cost, outright lies were told to parents regarding what programs were available - (i.e. biology and advanced languages being offered but no credentialed teacher in that subject matter being on staff to actually teach the subject). – more...
Parents often ask about the 3:1 ratio that Sylvan touts as being beneficial to independent learning - though the truth is that it has nothing to do with that, and everything to do with the owner capitalizing on squishing as many kids onto one teacher as possible to maximize profits.
Our center director would even feed the kids answers on the post evaluation test to ensure parents saw progress being made.
Pay for most teachers is woefully inadequate, topping in most states around 10-12 dollars an hour. Scheduling is a constant nightmare, teachers are asked to be "on call" and available close to seven days a week, especially during holidays, but given few hours (usually under 20/week) - forcing many of us to get 2nd and 3rd jobs. There are no medical benefits given to teachers.
Curriculum is adequate at best and bizarre and outright incorrect at worst. Most programs have kids plunking away at pre-calculated lessons (often repeated) and though teachers are told to spend as much time as necessary to help a student master a skill, so many kids are placed at tables (often needing extra help, or having behavior problems), real and meaningful one on one instruction is really not possible.
Corporate often takes little to no interest it seems when it comes to dealing with technical issues on the Ipad, and very little oversight is taken on the franchise owners themselves.
Sylvan's best programs are probably math, and some of the reading program, It's worst are study skills, homework support.
Avoid working here if you can help it. Theres literally no upward mobility, no raises, no professional growth, and no respect given to those doing the real educating. – less
Online Admission Coordinator (Former Employee), Fort Pierce, FL – May 22, 2015
Pros: best job
This was my best job ever. I used to love being in the court rooms and listening to everything going on. it used to be so much fun doing everything else too like typing the subpoenas for law enforcement.
Teacher's Assistant (Former Employee), Torrance, CA – May 19, 2015
Pros: Fun and welcoming environment
Cons: No work benefits
It was really intimidating being the youngest worker there but everyone made me feel really welcome. I learned how to be patient working with students. It was really gratifying being able to teach students and creating a fun environment to learn, but sometimes students would be difficult.
Grammar School Tutor (Former Employee), Peoria, IL – May 18, 2015
Pros: working with the kids
Cons: tutoring time ending
A typical day would begin afterschool by having the kids sign in and get their snack. Once snack was over we went to the classroom passed out materials and begin 45 minute tutoring sessions. I learned that kids as young as kindergarten are motivated by positive reinforcement. I worked at a few different sites and each group of co-workers were nice and always willing to help. The hardest part was ending tutoring sessions for the end of the year. The most enjoyable was noting their progress from day one to the end.
Teacher, Mathematics (Former Employee), Bridgeport, WV – May 8, 2015
The owners/operators of the Sylvan franchise that I worked for were complete opposites; and married to each other. He was an excellent manager, businessman, and operator. She was manipulative, emotionally driven, and at times erratic. The pay was terrible for the work being performed. However, there was some room for advancement - especially after the top two managers both left the franchise at the same time - which should have been a warning to the rest of us who were new hires.
Center Director (Former Employee), Webster, TX – May 5, 2015
Pros: Working with children
Cons: Long hours, didn't enjoy the selling aspects
Sylvan is a good company offering great products. Many centers in this area are thriving. The job roles are the same across all of the franchises, the only difference between them being the franchise owners.
ACT PROGRAM MANAGER AND SYLVAN TEACHER (Former Employee), Grand Rapids, MI – April 29, 2015
Implement lessons, tests, and writing seminars according to Sylvan ACT guidelines to develop individual growth, personal needs, and academic success. Implement lessons according to Sylvan guidelines in Mathematics, Reading, Writing, and Study
Teacher/ Tutor (Current Employee), Charleston, SC – April 17, 2015
You work and work hard here, but the students' success makes it worth the time, the deterioration to your car as you drive from one center to the other, and juggling at least 3 different topics at a time.
Tutor (Current Employee), Rancho Cucamonga, CA – April 16, 2015
A typical day at Sylvan begins with preparing for each instructional session; gather and prepare materials as appropriate. Greeting students and initiate instruction to personally engage each student. Instruct students according to the design of the Sylvan program criteria. Manage students, tasks and time to create a balanced and robust instructional session.The environment is very relaxed and is intended to help our students achieve their educational goals while having fun in order for them to succeed.
Marketing & Program Specialist (Current Employee), McAllen, TX – April 11, 2015
Pros: Team work atmosphere
Working for Sylvan Learning has been a positive experience thus far. Sylvan is committed to helping students of all ages advance academically whether it be through enrichment programs or academic camps. The Sylvan team in the Rio Grande Valley have created a work environment where they truly help one another thrive which in the end helps Sylvan thrive. I have enjoyed working with students and helping them enjoy our programs that we offer. I enjoy helping others realize their potential and helping them enjoy learning.
Productive workplace with a variety of educational needs
Tutor (Former Employee), Towson, MD – March 23, 2015
Pros: working with children
Cons: infrequent hours
It was very rewarding tutoring and helping children and adults get stronger in the areas that they needs help in. Everyday was a new experience because it was always unknown with student I would be assisting that day.