American English Center

  americanenglish.ua
  americanenglish.ua

American English Center Reviews

Updated July 11, 2014
Updated July 11, 2014
6 Reviews
2.8
6 Reviews
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  1.  

    No opportunities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - English Teacher in Kiev (Ukraine)
    Former Employee - English Teacher in Kiev (Ukraine)

    I worked at American English Center full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The work schedule is good, evening hours between 3pm and 10pm, Mon-Thurs., 12pm-6pm on Sunday.

    Cons

    Curriculum is not very engaging and is strictly regulated by the administrators causing a lack of creativity and flexibility for the teacher. Student often get bored from the activities you are forced to do, and the teacher takes the blame...
    The 8th week off is not paid and interferes with any plans you may have, lack of income can be an issue if you do not manage your money with prejudice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More flexibility in the curriculum would be more beneficial, having an exact outline that all teachers MUST follow is a BIG negative. The lessons were built for one person and are specifically aimed to that persons strengths, modification required.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2.  

    Good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teacher in Kiev (Ukraine)
    Former Employee - Teacher in Kiev (Ukraine)

    I worked at American English Center full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    - No TEFL needed, one of the few places where its easy to find work not in Asia without a TEFL
    - Almost always delivers promised hours
    - Its hard to mess up the system is simple
    - Free accommodation during 10 day training period
    - Quality of branches vary SIGNIFICANTLY you could get a good school with excellent students and management.. or not..
    - Bonuses are possible
    - Ongoing training but once again this varies by city and school.. managers decide what they want to do with this
    - Great starter position to get your foot in the door for finding a better job in Ukraine or somewhere else teaching ESL
    - You can get extra hours teaching business clients in the morning if you are good.

    Cons

    - No VISA support although during the interview they do say its possible, that is a lie. However you can get in and out of the country with paying a fine every 3 months
    - Materials are irrelevant and boring
    - Few resources although at my school they had more books, games, magazines etc than other schools.
    - Students who never showed up for your class not even once but didn't drop are kept on your roll and included in your retention bonus statistics!! That isn't fair!
    - Apartment quality varies.. i've seen some overpriced crappy apartments
    - If you work at a school with not enough students they may send you across town to make up for the hours. There is no pay for commuting.
    - Low pay compared to other English teaching gigs.
    - 8 hour sundays!! (with small breaks) unless you have a great manager that will give you more during the week

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get some VISA support! They keep raising the prices, but last time I checked if you leave the country after overstaying your VISA past three months you have to pay 112 USD. A guy I know did this 3 times and on the 3rd time they told him to stay out for a while. The told another guy this but he begged and they let him stay.

    Also get more resources to your teachers! It also helps to get some quality control on those apartments. People with 3 bedrooms shouldn't have to pay as much as people with 2.

    That 8 hour Sunday has to go!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    A good last option

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - English Teacher
    Current Employee - English Teacher

    I have been working at American English Center full-time

    Pros

    CELTA or TEFL certificate not necessary, many hours given, good bonus

    Cons

    low hourly rate, no cohesion within company, unmotivated students, boring and repetitive lessons, no Visa support (which other companies DO give), no next step/career opportunities

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Visa support is very important- almost all of your employees are working illegally. Invest a little bit in your American teachers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Bare bone facilities....and books

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher in Zaporizhzhya (Ukraine)
    Current Employee - Teacher in Zaporizhzhya (Ukraine)

    I have been working at American English Center full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    You are picked up at the airport, have help at the local school. basic and simple system to learn. A ten day training program. A non paid break between semesters along with a bonus if your students come back (more then 60%) paypal friendly.

    Cons

    No visa offered at this time. You are FORCED to play games in your class, along with no extra books unless you are at the main office in Kiev. Meetings on days off sometimes were forced, along with poor books. Working all day on Sunday (8 hours)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It would be nice for management to update the books, along with peer evaluation. I would also suggest to stop copying other books, (American streamline) The head trainer should be more organized along with do a little bit more for the school, as in more creative ideas and extra supplies for the school and teachers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  6.  

    You'll get by.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - English Teacher
    Current Employee - English Teacher

    I have been working at American English Center full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    - it's easy to get hired.
    - 10 days of training before you start teaching. No pay during this period but free (shared) housing.
    - the company has branches throughout the country so you can choose from several cities
    - the material is rather repetitive. This means less prep time outside of class.
    - management is usually accomodating about schedule requests (at least at my branch)
    - the students are awesome! Respectful and enthusiastic
    - vacation time: every 7 weeks there is an (unpaid) week off.
    - the school offers to help you find housing.
    - decent salary. You can live on it. Not live big, but definitely stay alive :p
    - you get paid on time.

    Cons

    - as of June 2012, no work visa.
    - lack of advancement opportunity.
    - last-minute notice about everything (what classes you'll teach each semester, covering for another teacher's class, mid-terms, moving to a new apartment, etc.) Meanwhile, if you want to change something (quit, change apartments, switch to PT) you need to give the school one - two months notice or they may penalize you financially (withhold a paycheck).
    - no feedback from the school. The students fill out a satisfaction survey every semester but teachers rarely see the results.
    - the school operates out of elementary schools after the students have gone home for the day. Be prepared for ancient, cracked blackboards and for less than stellar bathrooms (holes in the floor, but of course it's the same all over Ukraine). You usually need to carry your supplies to and from work daily.
    - if the students find you boring, you'll get fired.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - figure out a way to give teachers a legal work status.
    - give new teachers more advance notice about things. For example, a schedule with the dates of the midterm and picture day. I saw one guy quit over this issue.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Standard Ukrainian workplace = draconian in America

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Kiev (Ukraine)
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Kiev (Ukraine)

    I have been working at American English Center

    Pros

    Students are great, you don't need experience, dynamic and social workplace, you learn how to teach on the job, you can travel and still live up (relatively speaking)

    Cons

    management is not sympathetic to teachers' needs, you sign a contract that allows them to cancel penalty free while you must fulfill your end or lose 2 paychecks, material in the curriculum is incredibly boring

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more American in terms of workplace respect, be more flexible with sick time, begin to transition into legal salaries and visas rather than trying to fly under the radar.

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