San Francisco Unified School District
Work wellbeing score is 74 out of 100
3.7 out of 5 stars.
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San Francisco Unified School District Employee Reviews

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3.6Work-Life Balance

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Most of our students are willing to learn

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Many students hangout in the hallways and cut their classes without any serious consequences. There needs to be more leadership and better administrative Management of the whole school.Most enjoyable part of the job is knowing that you are making a positive difference in the school and social lives of our students that are willing to learn.


Free lunches for students


No free lunches for teachers, paras, nor staff. We have to pay $5.50 per lunch daily if we want to eat cafeteria food.
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Hit and miss depending on school

Very competitive to be hired at a school that is pleasant to work for, and they proudly use their own weird system for applying instead of EdJoin that is infinitely easier and better. Pay is "good" relative to the rest of the US but not enough to rent more than an okay 1-bedroom in an okay neighborhood in San Francisco. If you have high other expenses like childcare or medical needs you will not be able to afford it without a second income. The schools are a hodge podge of whatever the families demand. Teachers are not really respected and you will be at the mercy of the current cohort of families and the principals. Guidance from the top is completely disengaged from actually working in a classroom. There is a vague "restorative justice" management system with no help or tools to put in place. Some curriculum is provided but is not always relevant to your students. Thankfully I haven't heard of anyone needing to submit lessons plans, but you do need to waste your time posting the standards.HR is very hard to get a hold of and routinely messes up paychecks and benefits. Know all your rights and keep advocating for them. The union is strong and very good. This is an okay district to work for overall. It will not be as cuishy as a nice suburban district where the families respect teachers and the education system. There is a lot of pushback and scrutiny under the name of including and empowering the families. There are a lot of problematic systemic factors in San Francisco that this indebted public education district is somehow expected to solve.
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San Francisco Unified School District insights

Based on 56 survey responses
What people like
  • Supportive environment
  • Clear sense of purpose
  • Ability to learn new things

Great children but staff is too political

Low pay for the location of the schools. Teachers need to be able to pay their rent/mortgage if they want to work for the district. Prior to my departure from SFUSD, I heard they were building some homes for teachers to be able to rent but we don't know where those are.
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Make sure you are at a well run school

Each school is so different. The principal and your co-workers really make a huge difference. District office and HR can be very difficult to get a hold of and get your needs taken care of.
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Important and necessary work that is not sustainable in its current paradigm

What is the best part of working at the company?The best part of working at SFUSD was working collaboratively with other educators, families, and students to contribute to the community.What is the most stressful part about working at the company?The most stressful part of working with SFUSD was that the size of the district made it difficult for oversight at the site level. As a result, incompetence (mismanagement) went unaddressed and unchecked.What is the work environment and culture like at the company?The work environment and culture vary from site to site. I experienced a disconnect between the mandates of the administration and the needs of the teachers, students, and families. The financial fiasco added another layer of stress to the worksite.What is a typical day like for you at the company?A typical day included working to meet students' academic, emotional, and social needs in an unpredictable and fast-paced setting while maintaining professionalism. The work was often isolating and emotionally taxing. The relationships with a few colleagues and families made it bearable when I was there.
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A Bit Toxic

It can be a good place to work if you're in one of the schools where there are few discipline problems. Otherwise, it's extremely difficult since there is little discipline. Students are coddled, shielded and enabled. Accountability is not a core value of the district. There is also a culture of bullying from administrators. Students and administrators are rarely held accountable.
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Great learning opportunity, but hard to stay longterm.

As a para educator, you're not expected to be the main teacher in the room which allows you to be more flexible and stay within the work boundaries you expect when signing up.From observing other staff, there's a huge difference in the people that spend long hours after the school days ends and those that leave right when the clock strikes. If you're looking to pursue a career in education, there's a ton of opportunities given the lack of interest in the field and professional development resources, but that also means sites will be understaffed and you'll be left with little time to yourself.
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Committed teachers and administrators, appreciative bilingual students

They recognized my qualifications and upgraded me to my own classroom teaching ESLThey were kind to staff and students with disabilitiesThe school lunches were upgraded where do improved students abilities
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Great place to get experience working with kids.

Great place to work if you want a career in education. I have a great supervisor, she is very supportive and wants to see her employees grow; even if it means moving on.


Great benefits


Classified staff are not paid year round
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Very supportive work culture, team focused while providing care and growth.

I was new to the work and received excellent support training, direction and encouragement. The work while being hands on was led by a team effort and group collaboration always focused on the students. A excellent part-time jod.


Positive work environment


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Decent place to work

SFUSD has amazing free health insurance! The Paras are hit or miss. Some really have the best interest of the kids in mind and others take it easy and know they are Union so they can never be fired.


Amazing health insurance


Can have lazy Co-workers
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Helping special education students be the best they can be

Very worthwhile work with special needs students. Each school is different. All schools accessible by public transportation. Given no training or info about various disabilities. Coworkers were kind and understanding. Administration okay, but difficult getting ahold of the correct person. Forgiving of mistakes. Need a lot of patience. Good way to get experience to qualify to work in private child development center.


Very worthwhile to help and learn from special students, teachers and other paraprofessionals were careful I got all my breaks, other paraprofessionals are great people, you can choose which schools to work in.


Some students’ situations break your heart, occasional disorganization about where you work in the school, difficult going to many unfamiliar schools at first.
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Horrible work-life balance

You must love teaching to do this job, because you will spend all your free time trying to finish everything you are supposed to do. Do not expect to have a life outside of your job.


Working with the kids


No work-life balance
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A great place to gain experience and move on

San Francisco Unified Schooldistrict provides education to SF public school children. It is a shame that the diversity of the district is not reflected in leadership. Culture is cut throat. Get your experience and move on.


Salary, benefits


Culture, politics
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Opportunity to positively impact the lives of children

Commitment to educating diverse children is required.Wide range of students, parents, guardians. Significantly more resources needed to perform optimally.


Opportunity to positively impact children’s lives


Managers often lack appropriate skills
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Fun, interesting work, but not easy.

I've been doing this work for a while and experience generally makes for greater responsibility in this line of work. Love the job and dislike it at the same time--the people are there for the kids truly, not the money. But the kids can be pretty tough to work with, however, even with experience. All in all, it's decent work.


Sense of community


Emotionally draining for introverts
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I had the ability to set my schedules, determine my lesson materials and do what I needed to do, within certain limitations.

I worked at five different elementary schools each week and had to adjust to different schedules. I worked with an array of students of different socioeconomic status, ethnicities and backgrounds. The management, for the most part, didn't micromanage my program. I met with fellow teachers for staff meetings monthly, and occasionally more often, as needed. My fellow teachers were great to work with and a very dedicated group. The hardest part of my job was when administrators wanted to mess with the structure of my program. The best part was doing what I loved, and seeing the growth of my students. There was something special happening when students tapped into their creativity and made beautiful music, both individually and together.


Freedom to do what it took to get the job done.


I don't really remember any.
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Prefer to stay neutral. Too many chiefs not enough Indians. Over police and under represented and management is unfair in their expectations. No care for workers.




Too many
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productive and sometimes fun work place meaningful

Overal good experience...however prolonged wait in receiving post retirement benefits. Choice of health benefits ok otherwise employees could engage with their own plan through City Health.d


paid vacation safe work place paid leave


shorter breaks not enough time to get from class to class
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Great job

A good place to work with great hours and work life balance. Good opportunities for extra pay via after school program work. Good people and environment.
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Very good

I would like to make a change in the life of the students in San Francisco. The training, salary, and benefits are good. I enjoy the spring, summer, winter breaks, and other holidays. I have time for myself and family.
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Overall rating

Based on 126 reviews

Ratings by category

3.6 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
3.7 out of 5 stars for Compensation/Benefits
3.3 out of 5 stars for Job Security/Advancement
3.2 out of 5 stars for Management
3.4 out of 5 stars for Culture

Ratings from women

InHerSight Score
2.1Personal Development
4.3Career Opportunities
2.4Family Support
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