Director of Education (Former Employee) – Kirkland, Washington – June 20, 2015
I worked with Center Directors to build educational programs for youth. I was a teacher, tester and overall administrator for the program. I loved the people I worked with and the children were wonderful. The most enjoyable part of this job was working with the Children and Families.
Instructor (Former Employee) – Los Angeles, CA – June 2, 2015
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).
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 reallymore... 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
low pay, unorganized and unethical management, poor support
Online Admission Coordinator (Former Employee) – Fort Pierce, FL – May 22, 2015
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
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
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.
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
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