Institute of Reading Development

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Institute of Reading Development Reviews

Updated September 28, 2014
Updated September 28, 2014
83 Reviews
3.7
83 Reviews
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Dave Soloway
23 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • If you want to work from home the company does offer positions where you can do that (in 25 reviews)

  • Can help you become a better teacher or give you initial teaching experience (in 5 reviews)


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

  • The call volume does fluctuate as you go through the season (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    If you love books and are either interested in teaching or think you'd enjoy it, this is the job for you.

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

    I worked at Institute of Reading Development as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    I was a teacher for IRD the summer of 2014 and it was a fantastic experience.

    So, IRD is really cool because you get to interact with all sorts of ages. You teach students in Program R (pre-schoolers and entering Kindergartners) up to Program 7 (high school seniors and adults).

    You share and read great books with them (Cat in the Hat; Where the Wild Things Are; Frog & Toad; The Stories Julian Tells; Banner in the Sky; The Fellowship of the Ring; Blink) and many other books. IRD gives you a program to follow during class, so you have some guidance as what to do.

    It's not just books, however. You also teach (depending on level) phonics and other grammar type lessons to prepare students for the next year in school. If a student's abilities are such that they need to be moved up or down a level, that decision is up to you, but IRD puts you through training so you'll know exactly what to do.

    For the older classes, you focus on reading speed. This isn't speed reading gimmick, it's just showing them how to make the most of their reading time.

    Also, during training (some of it is online, some of it is distance) you meet a lot of other fantastic teachers. We all did our training in Anaheim over the course of 4 days, and it was a great time. Each person got their own large hotel room where there was a continental-type breakfast served, and each day we were given lunch at the great cafeteria on Biola's campus.

    IRD is on top of everything. You don't have to worry about being paid late, not being reimbursed for gas or school supplies you buy, or anything shady. The staff is passionate about what they do. All around, great experience.

    But keep in mind, teaching is hard work. So, if you make it past the interview process, be prepared to do a lot of work. The first week is the toughest, but after that, you get into a groove.

    Cons

    I wouldn't call this a "con" so much as it is a challenge. Working for IRD builds character because it's a lot of work. So, if you don't want to work hard, then think twice before applying. Dealing with students (and parents) can be exhausting at times. Inputting reading scores and hours, does get tiresome. But, in my opinion, the people (other teacher and staff) you meet, the memories you make, and the experience you gain, is so worth it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Fun and Fulfilling Summer Teaching Opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Teacher  in  Norman, OK
    Current Employee - Teacher in Norman, OK

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

    Pros

    This is an amazing learning experience for those interested in teaching. The training is thorough and ongoing throughout the summer, so I always feel prepared when I step in front of a classroom full of four and five year-olds or freshman and working professionals. Supervisors are readily available, receptive to concerns, and consistently helpful. IRD’s guiding belief, that fostering an early and life-long love of reading in our students is the key to their future happiness and success, as well as their capacity for compassion and empathy as adults, has been personally meaningful and professionally motivating for me. Especially on the really hard days, when it seems like all the kindergarteners skipped naptime and the high schoolers collectively decided they weren’t feeling discussion that class, it’s really helped me contextualize the work that I do. I don’t just teach reading skills in a vacuum. I give my students the skills they need to read that one book that changes everything. I know they’ll find their Harry Potter or their Hobbit, and they’ll understand what I meant when I said reading is the coolest thing I ever learned to do.

    Cons

    This job requires stamina and—occasionally—thick skin. 9 to 5 feels a lot longer when you’re teaching back-to-back classes that don’t go according to plan. There are days when you kind of feel like equal parts zookeeper, circus performer, and riot cop. Luckily, these days are few and far between. I have to remind myself that generally the grumpy kiddo or the flustered parent is out of sorts due to something completely outside of your control. All you can really do is ask what’s up, help where you can, and continue to bring your A-game.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    The best hand-on experience for pre-service teachers.

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

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

    Pros

    The Institute of Reading Development has their stuff together. The training process is rigorous but essential, and I learned so much during that moth of training. By the time the first day of classes came around I really felt prepared. This job is an amazing opportunity to gain some practice with classroom management, lesson planning and time managements, and working with parents, not to mention you actually see your students get better at reading in front of your eyes. I recommend this job to all my fellow teaching majors every summer.

    Cons

    The only issue I have ever had with this job is the lack of professionalism coming from our PARTNER companies and universities. We teach out classes in borrowed classrooms from universities and colleges in the area, and those partnered sites have given me problems with being late to open doors, not having the required materials, heating and cooling the buildings, and all around bad professionalism, none of which was IRD's fault.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    A Summer of Growth

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

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

    Pros

    I really loved the training that I received from IRD. They taught us so much in a short amount of time, but now I feel like I could teach any class if I had the time to read the material first. This type of teacher training allowed for me to just love going into my first day class because I knew what I was doing. Also, the people are great. The trainers, fellow teachers, and IRD support are amazing. They are all willing to help and give you the best advice.

    Cons

    The worst part about this job is the balance between working and having a life. I felt that even in my free time I was still prepping for lessons or calling parents. You really have to force yourself to just let things go and give yourself free days or you will go crazy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would encourage you to really give your employees some time off. Even during off days we had meetings or had to do parent phone calls. That should be included in work days.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Working for IRD provides a challenging yet rewarding work experience.

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

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

    Pros

    One of the best parts of this job was getting to work with kids and people of all ages. This job allowed me to share my love of reading with others, and to help them grow in their appreciation of reading and their reading skills. While the work can be challenging, and there is a lot of travel involved, IRD provides good compensation for their teachers. But the best reward is seeing the improvement of my students over the course of the summer. I have worked for IRD for four summers, and I have definitely grown as a teacher, becoming more confident with myself and with working with others. The staff and supervisors at IRD are wonderful to work with, they are very efficient, and they are willing to help you with any problem that arises.

    Cons

    The most challenging aspects of working for IRD are the schedule, the traveling, and being able to teach people of all ages. (This last one is not necessarily a negative aspect, it just brings its own set of challenges.) Working for IRD usually requires teaching on the weekends, and there will be travel involved. However, IRD does compensate you for this. You teach approximately 10-12 classes per week, so there is also a lot of prep work involved, but that does get easier as you get used to the class structure. It can be difficult balancing your personal life with teaching for IRD, mainly because of the travel and working most weekends.

    Recommends
  7.  

    Great seasonal employment, positive, supportive environment, good pay.

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent training both initially and throughout employment. There was always support for any question or issue. Everyone I worked with was professional and knowledgeable. The ability to work remotely is very convenient but you are never "alone". The position allowed me to be myself and offer products and services that genuinely help students. Pay structure and bonuses are very good.

    Cons

    The call volume does fluctuate as you go through the season. The are times when it is very heavy and times when it gets very slow so paychecks can vary.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to incorporate new techniques and strategies into the programs. Change the high school program so that it is not so similar to the middle school program.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    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
  9.  

    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
  10.  

    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
  11.  

    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

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