I worked at Poly Languages Institute part-time for less than a year
Pros – - Getting paid on time
- Established syllabi and textbooks (at least for the non-TOEFL class) so you don't have to invent the wheel
- Establishing friendships and interacting with a variety of students
- Seeing your students learn and make progress (the reason you're doing this job anyway)
Cons – - Dead-end job; same low $16/hour wage forever as you're just a warm body who's replaceable - high teacher turnover rate once people realize how difficult it is to afford living in LA on a part-time (MAYBE 30 hours a week) $16/hour wage without benefits.
- Parking is awful and if you want it to be free, you've got to fight for local street parking over by Park La Brea which means a lot of walking and sometimes running out on break to change spots (hourly restrictions). If you want to park in the building's lot/garage, you're paying for the monthly pass out of your own pocket. Hence, the boss is cheap. He could easily afford to cover it with the bloated tuition students here pay, but he doesn't.
- I'd recommend staying away from teaching the TOEFL class - it's the same wage, but pressure is higher and the curriculum isn't very good. They just threw together a bunch of random page assignments from 2-3 different textbooks so it doesn't have any logical flow - and if I remember correctly, there's not enough time to keep up with the pace of the syllabus as well. A lot of extra stress without any extra benefit whatsoever.
- No real management or support if you have any overly entitled/disrespectful students - that's a rare problem though.
- I know it's a business and the customers need to be kept happy, but students have too much input into whether they can move up to the higher levels before they're ready - then they'll struggle and get frustrated and look for people to blame probably.
- It can get pretty boring when you're teaching the same material every 2-3 months - especially from some crappy NorthStar reading book - but supplement with your own stuff if you think it's better for the students - or at least more interesting. They deserve it with the overpriced tuition here.
- No real organized testing/grading system
- You're an ESL teacher in Los Angeles - probably one of the most competitive/worst markets to be one in. Unless you have a Master's, you're pretty much a dime a dozen.
- LSI in Ktown is probably a better place to work - their wage is higher, at least - and students have more fun while paying a cheaper tuition.
Advice to Senior Management – The small extra cost to you of increasing teacher wages would go a long way towards boosting morale and retention and increasing the quality of your product.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
2013-12-22 09:44 PST
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