Caledonian School Reviews | Glassdoor

Caledonian School Reviews

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  1. "Reasonable for first teaching job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher
    Current Employee - Teacher
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Caledonian School part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Despite what some say the wage is actually ok for a graduate especially considering that it costs far less to live in the Czech Republic than some other countries. They also offer some benefits and they don't make you pay for printer paper in the library (you get 500 pieces a month). There are workshops for professional development however I have struggled to fit these around my schedule.

    I'm not planning on staying in TEFL as a career so I don't mind most of the disadvantages of the school.

    Cons

    There isn't much support considering I moved from abroad to the Czech Republic, there could be more social events organised in addition to improving the teaching support department (they direct you to a 3rd party agent for finding a flat etc). Unless you take their own TEFL course I have found it quite hard to meet the other teachers in the school because of the amount of travelling to in-company courses.

    Advice to Management

    Improve support for foreign teachers: settling-in, social events, free Czech courses (you have to work full 22 hours to apply this benefit). Multiple times a week for a workshop would help with calender conflicts for teachers.


  2. "Caledonian is a great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - English Teacher in Prague (Czech Republic)
    Current Employee - English Teacher in Prague (Czech Republic)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Caledonian School part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly staff, supportive colleagues, congenial students, easy communication, salary increase possible based on results, regular workshops for teachers, annual Christmas parties for teachers (free food and drinks) :)

    Cons

    Having to travel across the city for lessons (in-company courses), irregular salary (DPP contract/živno), no paid holidays, no other financial bonuses (at least once a year would be nice),

    Advice to Management

    It would be nice if there were more benefits for the teachers, eg paid holidays and lunch vouchers.


  3. "Stable employment and full-time schedule"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Prague (Czech Republic)
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Prague (Czech Republic)
    Recommends

    I have been working at Caledonian School full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - very nice staff, always friendly and helpful
    - enough lessons, you need to do lot of traveling though (in-company courses)
    - great resource center, coursebooks for free
    - always getting paid in time (which cannot be said about all schools in Prague)

    Cons

    - average pay but can be compensated by taking up more lessons


  4. "Part time in marketing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in Prague (Czech Republic)
    Former Employee - Marketing in Prague (Czech Republic)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Caledonian School part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly environment, young people, market leader

    Cons

    High fluctuation of people thank to high ratio of working students. Low salary.


  5. "Teacher factory with poor QC"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English As A Second Language Teacher in Prague (Czech Republic)
    Former Employee - English As A Second Language Teacher in Prague (Czech Republic)
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Considerable teaching resources available (e.g. library, helpful senior teachers, etc.)
    Broad range of personalities amongst the staff means you can probably find several people with whom you get on well, though be prepared for high-school-esque dramatics as well
    Normally extra work (e.g. substitutions) to be had if you need the dosh
    Public transport pass 'bonus'

    Cons

    Mistakes by the over-worked and unstable administrative staff (partly owing to the maternity leave problem, ubiquitous in the Czech Republic) often put teachers in a very bad spot.
    The school's massive turnover means most students are frustrated with the revolving door or teachers
    The school has focused on expansion rather than quality, its reputation has suffered accordingly
    Schedules are not always put together with consideration to the commute between classes
    Rather meagre base pay

    Advice to Management

    High turnover is to be expected in the industry but more effort should be made to retain quality, experienced teachers rather than relying on the next batch of TEFL trainees. Greater acknowledgement of good performance and taking to task those who just muddle through would go a long way in this regard.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Not a long term employer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in Prague (Czech Republic)
    Current Employee - Teacher in Prague (Czech Republic)
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Unfortunately not many but I will try to be fair:
    1) Travel pass paid which is valid 24/7 for travel in the city and to the suburbs.
    2) Access to a 'teacher's room' which is basically a dusty room with 8 computers and a few desks for 200 teachers to share, but you can use it about 14 hours a day 6 days a week so you don't need your own computer or internet access at home.
    3) Quite well stocked library and access to photocopier so preparing materials is not a problem.
    4) Free Czech lessons, although the times are a little strange and you will be lucky to fit them in with your schedule.
    5) Wages are paid on time, no problems there.
    6) They do ensure that your health insurance scheme is set up.
    7) Czech students are great to work with, a reason to work in CR, but not at this school.

    Cons

    I could make a lengthier list here but will stick to the main points:
    1) There is very little teaching support. The Course Management team are responsible for the day-to-day running of the courses but often their level of English is not great which results in misunderstandings. They also understand very little about teaching so will ask you to test a student for example but when you ask which skills etc to test it meets with a blank look.
    The Academic Office have very little communication with teachers apart from exchanging greetings in the corridor. If you ask a Senior Teacher for help with a problem they may take a few days to reply and then will give you a very general answer that you could have come up with yourself.

    2) There is almost no feedback on your work. According to their website they regularly observe teachers and take quality control seriously but in reality you are unlikely to be observed again after your first 3 months which means you sometimes doubt yourself and cannot improve your skills. They also regularly ask all students for feedback but none of this gets passed onto you unless it's a serious complaint.

    3) There is very little opportunity for professional advancement. The school organises a 1 hour workshop once a month but it is always on a Friday afternoon and you are often teaching a planned lesson or a rescheduled lesson, or if you are very lucky you are on your way out of Prague for the weekend. They also add on a 30 minute discussion regarding a teaching topic to the monthly group teacher's meeting but again you often cannot attend as it is early afternoon in the week. I do not have any experience of this but another teacher said that they would not support her in completing the DELTA.

    4) SaIaries are low compared to a number of other teaching opportunities in Prague. The school recently cut salaries blaming the crisis but made no other attempt to cut costs, there are still thick glossy brochures being handed out to anyone who visits the school. You will not receive any holiday pay or pay for bank holidays and the salaries after the end of this school year will probably be reduced even further.

    5) The school is promoted as being the largest language school in CR but in turn this means that you are just one of a number and the school management's attitude seems to be that everybody is replaceable. If you are used to working for a small company where everybody knows your name then you will be in for a shock.

    Advice to Management

    Teachers are your greatest asset . Teachers need to be supported, trained and directed by management to ensure high-quality teaching standards.


  7. "Caledonian School can not deliver on their offers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - English Teacher in Prague (Czech Republic)
    Current Employee - English Teacher in Prague (Czech Republic)
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    great resource library, and academic staff

    Cons

    Among the list of complaints: rude, impersonal, unprofessional staff; very high teacher turnover (never a good sign); and below average pay relative to other schools; and an oppressive and intimidating, authoritarian management style of treating new teachers. I would not recommend Caledonian. They are a large corporate franchise also in Bratislava; your efforts working there will line the pockets of Caledonian management and its owners–while you scrape by living hand to mouth. LOW LOW LOW pay in comparison and lack of respect by administration.

    Advice to Management

    Pay parity with other institutions. More support from Administration (personnel) staff.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Come for the city, come for the people, but don't come for the money."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in Prague (Czech Republic)
    Current Employee - Teacher in Prague (Czech Republic)

    Pros

    Live in Prague and meet young people who also enjoy traveling. In the heart of Europe you can find cheap flights to other beautiful cities. Prague is gorgeous though the long winters of little sunshine and cold weather can be wearisome. Learn the city as you travel about from class to class. Meet interesting people who have grown up in a different culture than most Westerners. Join a strong expat community coming from all over the world and centering in language schools such as Caledonian. Caledonian pays for you transport pass and helps you get you work permit and visa. The have a great cafe and resource library for teachers.

    Cons

    The pay is reportedly less than at other language schools in Prague. Management is very disconnected form the teachers as Caledonian has hundreds of teachers arriving and leaving every year. The only feedback you receive is negative. You spend as much time traveling to and from jobs as you spend working, and you only get payed for the actual time you spend teaching. (travel compensation is very poor) Make enough to get pay rent and have fun on weekends, but difficult to travel on this paycheck. Finding hours can be difficult and upper-management seems quick to cut you out. You must complete the signed contract (usually about 9 months) to get a recommendation from the school.

    Advice to Management

    Because so many teachers do go through Caledonian the process of becoming familiar with the school and the responsibilities of the teachers should be streamlined. Same with the pay process.