Great Oaks Charter School

  greatoakscharter.org
  greatoakscharter.org

Great Oaks Charter School Reviews

Updated October 21, 2014
Updated October 21, 2014
10 Reviews
2.9
10 Reviews
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  1.  

    Rewarding, hard work for low pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tutor in Newark, NJ
    Current Employee - Tutor in Newark, NJ

    I have been working at Great Oaks Charter School full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    THE STUDENTS!
    They try to train you as much as possible
    Constant PD

    Cons

    NO work/life balance
    Little support
    Ridiculous amount of work (you take it home everyday
    As an Americorps member, you have to work on the weekend
    Only 5 personal days...
    Leadership/administration provides very little support to Corps members
    Sometimes PD isn't helpful
    You will feel extremely overworked and vastly underappreciated.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out a different system for tutor corps members...it's way too much.

    Doesn't Recommend
  2.  

    great opportunity of service

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tutor in Newark, NJ
    Current Employee - Tutor in Newark, NJ

    I have been working at Great Oaks Charter School as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    You build amazing relationships that last forever and impact youth in a powerful way
    Provided housing
    Opportunity to learn many roles in the education system

    Cons

    long hours, little life/work balance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Using professional development sessions more proactively, allowing tutors to bring in new ideas and strategies that can benefit the students.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    Hard work; Good experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tutor in Newark, NJ
    Current Employee - Tutor in Newark, NJ

    I have been working at Great Oaks Charter School full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great Oaks is a growing school. It's ever evolving and always looking for feedback and input. The majority of the time, I feel like my ideas are considered. If I ever have a concern, it is always addressed and the admin does everything they can to address the concerns of all the employees. It is A LOT of work with long hours. You have to be very passionate and dedicated to really appreciate this type of work environment.

    There's really great opportunities to grow at GO. Including their partnership with NYU to create a teacher residency program for English teachers.

    Cons

    The work-life balance is rough depending on your individual responsibilities.
    Many of my coworkers were very negative, and it was easy to get sucked into that negativity. Being that it is a stressful environment, some people cannot handle that, and they like to complain and be negative. No work environment is perfect, and if you can realize this, you'll be good!
    Know also, that the tutor corps is a service year. You're entering into it with a stipend. It's not a surprise that you aren't going to make a lot of money.

    The school is very strict which was hard for me, but they are ever evolving, as I said. And I think overtime this will evolve too.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    The Tutor Corps Fellowship is a great opportunity for recent college grads looking to get into education.

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

    I have been working at Great Oaks Charter School (more than an year)

    Pros

    I found that the school was very open to feedback and that you could implement virtually any type of programming within reason. Made me feel like I was bigger than a cog in the machine.

    Cons

    A very strict, rigid approach to education and discipline, which doesn't necessarily cater to the specific needs and personalities of individual students.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6.  

    Current Tutor Corps Member

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Urban Education Fellow in Newark, NJ
    Current Employee - Urban Education Fellow in Newark, NJ

    I have been working at Great Oaks Charter School full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    As others have said, being a member of the tutor corps you will have the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and experience both challenges and triumphs. Great Oaks will provide you with housing in a very nice high rise in downtown Newark, however, you will have to share a room with one other person. Working one on one with five students all year has given me the ability to understand that each student is different and you have to be versatile in the way you approach subjects, I fell that this has been both a challenge and a triumph. Another pro is the closeness of the tutor corps. It's been great being able to meet new people and have a large group to share experiences with.

    Cons

    Although you know going into this job that the stipend isn't that great and the hours are long, the administration isn't clear on the extent of your workload. Teachers rarely grade their own assignments leaving teaching assistants to grade almost every homework assignment, quiz, and test. Enrichment is not respected and is just a way to kill an hour at the end of the day while detention is being held. Administration preaches "transparency" but keeps things from their staff until rumors are started and they want to end them. Tutors are often talked to and evaluated in the same manner as the students, which causes low morale.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest with your staff. When you advocate transparency in the workplace and fail to practice what you preach your staff begins not to trust you. Also, hold teachers more accountable for what's going on in their classrooms. It is a bit unfair that teaching assistants spend hours grading work when they tutor four hours a day and the teachers only teach for three. Treat the tutor corps with more respect because they are, after all, the majority of your staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    Life-Changing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tutor Corps Member in Newark, NJ
    Current Employee - Tutor Corps Member in Newark, NJ

    I have been working at Great Oaks Charter School full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Forces you to step out of your comfort zone and confront your weaknesses, allows you to build deep relationships with a wide variety of students, teaches you HOW to build positive relationships, gives you a crash-course in education politics and urban education, provides a supportive and tight-knit group of peers (the Tutor Corps) to laugh, learn, and cry with, gives you something powerful to add to your resume, allows you to build professional skills in a variety of areas that go beyond education, and (honestly) supplies a sufficient stipend + gorgeous housing.

    Cons

    Administration expects a lot from you, and some days you can handle it, and other days you just can't. The neighborhood is sketchy and you can't safely walk alone. The early mornings can be a drag, but you get used to it. Some students can be mouthy and push you to insanity, and you have to figure out how to get on their good side, which can take months of trial and error. Administration will often leave you in the dark about student issues which may directly affect you, your tutorial, or your relationship with the student, which can be frustrating. Tutors are scored on an elaborate rubric system which makes it close to impossible to succeed, even for the strongest employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep holding your staff to high standards...but let us know when we're meeting them, and not just when we're not. Do not preach "transparency" unless you actually follow through; the amount of secrets held from the Tutor Corps only make us feel increasingly disrespected. Find a way to evaluate tutors and hold them accountable without grading them like one of your students.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8.  

    Great Place to Work

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

    I have been working at Great Oaks Charter School part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great pay, laid back environment to work

    Cons

    Disorganized management, little to no chance of moving up

  9.  

    The worst experience of my life.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Tutor in Newark, NJ
    Former Employee - Tutor in Newark, NJ

    I worked at Great Oaks Charter School full-time

    Pros

    For the most part, the kids are wonderful and you're able to form great relationships with them.

    Cons

    The administration is incompetent, doesn't listen to the staff, holds long inane meetings, makes constant last minute schedule changes and has a complete disregard for the staff. They encourage you to have a life outside of work but keep you in the school for 11 hours a day. The pay is abysmal, living in Newark is terrifying and numerous students and staff have been assaulted/robbed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  10.  

    Inhumane

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher in Newark, NJ
    Current Employee - Teacher in Newark, NJ

    I have been working at Great Oaks Charter School full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Build great relationships with the parents and students in an urban environment.

    Cons

    -Incompetent leaders and staff. Tutors lived with their co-workers and some of them were harassed and the administration did nothing to solve the issues! Students would often disrespect (threats and cursing) teachers and staff.Several students bullied other students (leaders knew).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Appreciate your staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  11.  

    A rich and unique experience unfortunately marred by bad culture and unqualified leaders

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

    I have been working at Great Oaks Charter School full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You get to build amazing relationships with some wonderful students in a rich and dynamic urban center close to New York City.

    The real challenges of the job build your stamina to withstand uncomfortable and negative workplaces and deal with poor management.

    Cons

    The leadership is underqualified, inexperienced, and frankly incompetent at managing their staff and student. Dissatisfaction and unhappiness in the workplace is high, morale is low, and there is little support.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees with respect and dignity if you hope to create a positive work environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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