Worst school I ever worked
Teacher (Former Employee) – New York, NY – March 27, 2017
The students are great and other teachers are very helpful.
The pay and hours are horrible so turnover is quite high. You will only get about 20 hours a week teaching time. (When I taught abroad this was considered full time because lesson planning and grading are time-consuming.) Get ready for living with 6 roommates because you won't be able to afford even a studio in the farthest reaches of a borough. After a year, teachers can receive a 3% raise which translates to an extra 70 cents an hour. The schedule is flexible as long as you don't go on (unpaid) vacation during busy times of the year. There is sick pay only because NYC requires it. Teachers may be eligible for insurance, but low salary makes covering copay/deductible difficult. Teachers here are paid for prep which is good but it was half of teaching pay. If teachers did too much prep then they were pressured to do less!
Students reviewed teachers on a vague scale and if a teacher's score dropped below 4.5/5 then there was a meeting to review what went "wrong." There is no accounting for implicit bias in reviews. Teachers were given a work email address but it was more of a nuisance than helpful.
The center I was at had very few supplements. Course materials were outdated and students did not like them, so teachers had to spend a lot of time preparing and creating lessons from scratch. Kaplan has created their own materials, but it was not properly tested and was rather tested on an ongoing basis essentially using teachers as unpaid editors. The release was rather unorganized and created more work and stress for teachers. It got better with time.
Teachers can go from employed to unemployed any given week. Job security depends on student numbers. I saw them yank around good teachers- telling them there was no class(=no job) and then there was. This happened constantly.
It was a very corporate environment. Everything is top down. There is no room for teachers to advance unless you want to sell your soul.
Students and co-workers
Pay, No paid vacations, Unaffordable insurance, Zero job security