Institute of Reading Development

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Institute of Reading Development Reviews

Updated September 17, 2014
Updated September 17, 2014
76 Reviews
3.7
76 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Dave Soloway
19 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • If you want to work from home the company does offer positions where you can do that (in 23 reviews)

  • The full time employees are generally nice people (if anyone is still there (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Everything* is scripted, down to the lesson plans (in 5 reviews)

  • Talking for long periods: If you work full-time, you may feel pretty beat at the end of a day (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    One of the few companies that care about what they do and how how they do it.

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

    I worked at Institute of Reading Development part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    An easy and fun way to make money. They train you well, both in small groups and individually. They arrange your schedule around they time restraints that you decide will work for you. They want you to be successful and you can be by focusing on the child's needs.

    Cons

    Not every call will be fun nor easy. The call volume is anything from constant to slow.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    A great opportunity for people who love teaching!

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

    I have been working at Institute of Reading Development for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I have worked as a summer teacher for the last three summers and have absolutely loved each summer. I enjoy working with children and adults and it's a great way to earn extra money over the summer months, when my full-time tutoring and teaching work is a bit slower. The things that drew me to the position (and keep me coming back) are:

    1) The students and parents are great.

    2) I am by nature a more independent worker and my supervisor gives me the support I need without micromanaging.

    3) The lesson plans are intuitive and easily adaptable to my classes' needs.

    4) I can easily escalate issues to a supportive supervisor who is receptive to my needs.

    5) The vast majority of my students see results - giving me a rewarding experience as well.

    Cons

    As all positions, there are some downsides. I will preface this by saying that ALL of these downsides are discussed in depth during the initial training process. The interviewers are open and honest about the hard parts of this job and work with you as a teacher to help you with any issues that arise.

    1) There are a lot of materials to carry to and from the teaching sites during the first week of each term.

    2) There can be a lot of driving.

    3) You do work on weekends and sometimes have long days.

    Basically, if you are not an independent person, with attention to detail, you will not do well at this job. Some of the other reviews here seem to be from people who are just not the best suited for this kind of work. It does take a certain kind of person to be successful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have more opportunities for upward movement for teachers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Overall, I enjoyed this job more than any I have had and would highly recommend it to anyone.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teacher  in  Indianapolis, IN
    Former Employee - Teacher in Indianapolis, IN

    I worked at Institute of Reading Development full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    1. The age range of students - Having only taught at community colleges before, I was worried at first about interacting and managing classrooms full of little kids. However, they turned out to be the most fun and, long before I entered the classroom, the Institute prepped me to walk in confident in my ability to do a great job.

    2. Lesson Plans - First, it's great that the lessons are all prepared for you ahead of time. And second, the choices of texts are excellent and lead to some great discussions.

    3. Support - Supervisors and other higher-ups are extremely generous with their time, advice, and have always been there when I needed help.

    4. Pay - I was very satisfied with the pay I received given the number of classes I taught, plus my travel expenses were reimbursed.

    5. Experience - Lastly, while I enjoyed teaching before, I now feel well-equipped to teach any class size, be it extremely large or very small, and any age group.

    Cons

    1. Travel - Depending on where you live and where you teach, there can be a significant amount of time spent driving. If necessary, though, the Institute pays for you to stay at a hotel, which is what I did when I had to go to a site that was particularly far away.

    2. Work Load - Teaching so many courses at once can be draining at times, but in my opinion, if you're the kind of person who enjoys teaching, working with people to improve their writing and reading skills, and genuinely enjoys literature, the challenge never becomes impossible. I would highly recommend, though, against having any other serious time commitments while working for the Institute. I tutor on the side but even keeping my few tutees during this past summer was taxing after spending so much of my time driving and teaching already during the week.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I honestly don't have any complaints about my experience with the higher-up management. In fact, I absolutely loved the in-person training I received. I can only say that I hope to work with the Institute in some capacity in the future beyond the commitment I have already made to teach a few more classes next month.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Demanding job but very rewarding!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Enrollment Coordinator  in  Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Enrollment Coordinator in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Institute of Reading Development part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I just completed my fourth season with IRD as an enrollment coordinator. I am a Mom and love the fact that I can work from home and be here when my kids get home from school. IRD provides great training and they continue to offer help throughout the season. Fortunately they do provide you with a script so when you first start out you have some guidance. Once you get some experience they want you to stop using the script. They encourage you to listen to the customer and do a thorough discovery about the child's abilities. If you implement the skills you were taught in training you can earn great money.I worked part time 25 hrs/wk and made $350-$700/week. IRD provides excellent support and my supervisor was always available to me.

    Cons

    This is very demanding work and in the height of the season it can be exhausting.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Caring Company- IRD

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

    I have been working at Institute of Reading Development for more than a year

    Pros

    Most of my working life, I have always worked as a 1099 contractor. I have high standards when it comes to integrity and most companies are more concerned about the bottom line, then the service and product they are producing. I'm very happy to say that in the 2 seasons that I have worked for Institute of Reading Development, I have found a company that stands behind their product and truly tries to do the "right" thing to make it a good experience for all involved. I received
    great training, constant support and a feeling of a team working together. I'm always proud to tell someone that I work for IRD. I have worked as an enrollment coordinator in the sales team, in customer service and as a customer service supervisor and enjoyed each unique aspect of the company. I love being able to move from one department to the next as it keeps me fresh and learning and each day is a new adventure, which is what I love. You can make very good money, but you will need to work as they are not giving it away.

    Cons

    Most of the time you are working remote, which I consider an advantage, but some might consider it a challenge if they are not technically savvy. During the busy season, you may be needed to work some overtime, again, that can be viewed as a blessing or as downside. The biggest con is that for most everyone employed, it will be seasonal and you will have a period of time that you are laid off. Obviously, if you don't produce, you will not be asked to come back in the next season. That does not bother me, because if I were running the company, I would only keep the strong also. It is still a business.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    The best "work-from-home" opportunity available.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Enrollment Coordinator  in  Novato, CA
    Current Employee - Enrollment Coordinator in Novato, CA

    I have been working at Institute of Reading Development full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    For those of us who work remotely, the training and ongoing support from Sales Supervisors is the best I've encountered in my career as a work-from-home employee. Software is easy to understand and work with. Personal technology requirements are very liberal and the Tech Support is exceptional. Inbound calls only, volume keeps you busy, income is great.

    Cons

    Opportunity for advancement seems limited for those of us that are working as remote employees so the season is limited.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The compensation plan from 2013 was far better and bonus incentives were very attainable than the 2014 season. There's something to be said for the base + model. It acknowledges the professionalism of the staff and provides a slight feeling of stability that translates into a more comfortable and productive sales representative.

     Returning veterans still need support during the first few weeks, especially after a 4-6 month absence. Getting back into the rhythm of the sales presentation can take more than a few days.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great income if you are a top performer.

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

    I have been working at Institute of Reading Development for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Flexible hours. Good support and great income for strong salespeople.

    Cons

    Being laid off is a bummer but it is a seasonal position. There are opportunities for top performers to have continuous employment.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    SATISFIED SEASONAL EMPLOYEE

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Enrollment Coordinator  in  Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Enrollment Coordinator in Charlotte, NC

    I have been working at Institute of Reading Development part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I just finished up my second season with IRD and I am very pleased. The pay was great, the hours were very flexible for my family and school schedule. The supervisors are well trained, encourage you and offer help with being successful in the position. Most of all you get the satisfaction of helping students and parents on a day to day basis

    Cons

    I only have one con and that's the short season however I can assure you that if you perform you will be one of the last ones standing which will give you more incentive to be successful each year. They always invite the top performers to come back the next season

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer programs throughout the school year for all age groups

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Rewarding Experience

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

    I have been working at Institute of Reading Development part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Summer 2014 marks my second season as an enrollment coordinator with the Institute of Reading Development. I have found this position to be most rewarding because we are helping families seeking a solution for their children who need to either develop their reading skills or further advance them. As a parent, I feel a personal connection to the families who reach out to us because I know how overwhelming it can be, at times, to keep your child on track academically and to position them to have the best possible chances for success in school. This is far more than a sales position. It provides an opportunity to serve as a consultant as you lead productive conversations with families seeking to understand their options. I would highly recommend this position to anyone who is motivated by making a difference in the lives of others. The flexibility of working from home is icing on the cake!

    Cons

    I have experienced last-minute schedule changes that made it challenging to schedule the rest of my week around IRD business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide more balanced feedback to employees. At times, the criticism seems to overshadow the positive reinforcement.

    Accept American Express as a form of payment. Many callers have asked if they could use their AE card.

    Give Spanish callers an option to speak to a bilingual enrollment coordinator.

  11.  

    Inspiring mission and colleagues. Good teaching experience. Dysfunctional working environment as a supervisor.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teacher Supervisor  in  Novato, CA
    Former Employee - Teacher Supervisor in Novato, CA

    I worked at Institute of Reading Development full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    As both a teacher & supervisor, you're helping kids learn how to read better and love it (hopefully as much as you do).
    You're working alongside and/or supervising incredibly talented, passionate readers/teachers who care about sharing that love.
    You get tons of supervision experience, get to be the hero, and grow as a manager through challenging experience.

    Cons

    In the main Novato office, the workplace can be very emotional/charged. Having a dissenting opinion can get you in hot water with management. It's hard to move up beyond supervisor. The summers can be brutal, although they're better than they used to be with more support. Worrying about getting fired/whether you should quit before you get fired is the ever present Sword of Damocles. Upper management can behave very inappropriately with few checks and balances.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a real HR department and consider sharing responsibilities and power outside of a handful of people at the top.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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