Citizen Schools Reviews

Updated July 27, 2015
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3.0
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Steven Rothstein
7 Ratings

Pros
  • The people, the professional development, the commitment to the mission (in 4 reviews)

  • There is only room for growth if you worked for TFA check out their website and look at each person's bio (Majority to all products of TFA) Get real (in 2 reviews)

Cons
  • Big gap in perceptions between Teaching Fellows and full-time staff (in 8 reviews)

  • Slow-moving at times, but then again, it is a non-profit company (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

62 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great mission, dedicated staff

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Citizen Schools full-time

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Vibrant culture Enthusiastic and creative team members

    Cons

    Change seems constant and that can be challenging for staff Can feel unfocused


  2. Intern

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

    I have been working at Citizen Schools

    Pros

    I loved my internship with Citizen Schools. I was just there for the summer but it was a laid back environment with wonderful people and great mentors. I recommend it to any intern interested in education non-profit, Americorp, and the like.

    Cons

    No real cons. It was an overall great experience.


  3. Deputy Campus Director

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Citizen Schools

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Challenging work, lots of responsibility, great opportunity to work with students and have a leadership position. Citizen Schools also provides great opportunities for professional development with trainings in Boston and 1K development money after you have been a full-time employee for a year.

    Cons

    Can be a lot of work hours and depending on your region you may not have a large cohort of peers to support you.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (1)

    Started with 30+ teaching fellows, ended with 12

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

    I have been working at Citizen Schools (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The students, being able to truly learn how to budget money, learning how to work within a corporation and understanding how small your voice is as entry level but realizing that you do the most man power and work. Perfect motivation to go back to school and get a degree far away from non-profits.

    Cons

    Within the first month of our school year 7 people left the job. Next year none of the Campus Directors are returning. Of all the teaching fellows only 8 will be returning next year. The executive director resigned. Their director of external engagement also resigned mid-year. We got a grant but somehow we weren't allowed to buy simple things that we needed for the apprenticeships. It takes days to get reimbursed. Our budget was capped at $30 for each apprenticeship...that's insane when apprenticeships can have anywhere from 7-37 students in them. We keep getting all this money but where is it going? Why don't we see it or why can't we access it for our students whom we swear we are here to serve? I'm already making less than the poverty line, how can I give these kids opportunities kids from middle class families get if I'm in the same financial boat as their parents are?

    Advice to Management

    Be honest about what is happening, if your employees aren't happy...your mission is going to crumble. Look at the real raw data, something isn't right something clearly isn't working there.


  6. Hard Work, But Managable

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - National Teaching Fellow in New York, NY
    Current Employee - National Teaching Fellow in New York, NY

    I have been working at Citizen Schools full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The students are my main reason for working here. They struggle, but still try their best when pushed in the right direction. The Americorp grant helps also. The DCDs and the CD on my campus were helpful.

    Cons

    The hours are long and sometimes tedious. School staff are known to treat Teaching Fellows as though we are not equals and give us tasks they would rather not do.

    Advice to Management

    Really establish a region-wide culture that is united. Give more opportunities for the cohort to meet up outside of work during the year.


  7. Teaching Fellow

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

    I have been working at Citizen Schools full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Working closely and building relationships with students and school staff, gaining professional development via training and lead role projects, gaining experience in the social sector/nonprofits

    Cons

    Long hours, low pay, emotionally exhausting

    Advice to Management

    Focus on retention. Many TF's could make great campus leaders.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Teaching Fellow

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Citizen Schools full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    A lot of great people work there A lot of great teaching experience and the kids will change your life Mission is good and people care about what they are doing Apprenticeships are amazing and really give students new and enriching learning opportunities

    Cons

    As a TF you are required to work really long and stressful hours Structures are not really in place and training is weak Every school is so different that it is tough to learn from other campuses TF's have to manage other TF's all the time, yet they are not given adequate support to Headquarters and administration is often disconnected from the work on the ground You should try to gain some background knowledge in the subject you will teach before you start, because once you get going you will get little support and not enough time to do that learning on the side

    Advice to Management

    You really need to be a creative self-starter in this job because if you aren't then you will have little support in how to get your job done. Start messaging earlier (and recruit specific talents in the hiring process) to TF's that they will need to do a lot of learning by doing and things will not just be done for them. And because of this, and other people have said this too, administration needs to recognize the efforts and talents of the TF's and TA's much more frequently. They tell you are the "life-blood" of the organization but members of the administration almost never ask them for critical feedback. Ask for it, because TF's and TA's have a lot of insight.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Teaching Fellow

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

    I have been working at Citizen Schools full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Expose students to new experiences and skills that they wouldn't otherwise have access to.

    Cons

    Very poor compensation. Difficult to have work/life balance. Systems are not consistent.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on staff retention. Increase 2nd year pay. Include performance bonuses.


  10. Teaching Fellowship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teaching Fellow in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Teaching Fellow in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Citizen Schools full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Fantastic mission. Citizen Schools prioritizes professional development. You are constantly evaluated in an continuous effort to grow. Get to work with a lot of business professionals who partner with your organization to teach apprenticeships. There are a lot of leadership opportunities.

    Cons

    The Teaching Fellowship is a very demanding and stressful job. You are working with low-income middle school students and communities. Can be very challenging.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Teaching Fellowship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow in Charlotte, NC
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow in Charlotte, NC

    I worked at Citizen Schools (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great Cause Experience in Public Schools Professional Development Networking Opportunities

    Cons

    Your experience, whether positive or negative, is completely dependent on the manager or campus director at your school. Poor training and development of management Teaching fellows (TFs) not respected as professionals - culture issue at the organization - regardless of skills and experience, TFs are viewed as if they have no skills and experiences, and are often considered to be disposable by upper management

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees with the same values you are working to instill in educators toward students. Look for strengths, skills, and unique abilities. Listen to the ideas of everyone in your organization - especially people working directly with schools and students. Do not simply use students and communities for your fundraising needs. When your focus is legitimately on ensuring the success of students and providing access to opportunities, you will easily find support for this cause.



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