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Challenger School Reviews

Updated January 15, 2018
82 reviews

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2.4
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Hugh Gourgeon
30 Ratings

82 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Working here you will be implementing a great curriculum (in 5 reviews)

  • Thoroughly enjoyed working there (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • I worked there for 4 1/2 years and was never really thanked for my hard work (in 5 reviews)

  • When I would give a teacher a positive assessment, upper management would prod me to find something - anything - wrong (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good Employer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Educator
    Current Employee - Educator
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Challenger School part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great training and support to all employees in the company.

    Cons

    Not any cons for this campus

    Advice to Management

    Keep allowing in house growth


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Room for Improvement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Teacher in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Challenger School (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The mission of the school, rigor of the curriculum, support of my co-workers and the energy and eagerness of my students all make my job worth while.

    Cons

    The management’s lack of managing in an effective manner, absence of competitive benefits, less than market rate pay, archaic facilities all contribute with my frustrations with my company.

    Advice to Management

    Acknowledge your committed, rockstar teachers. Compensate at a competitive rate. Have faith in your staff.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Bad outweighs the good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Teacher in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Challenger School full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Loved my students, lots of different cultures represented. Most of the teachers were awesome to work with...we bonded through mutual hatred of management.

    Cons

    Management was some of the worst I've ever worked for. I don't necessarily think it was one particular person, as much as it was pressure from corporate. They aren't very flexible with schedules and they put an extreme amount of pressure on teachers to reach results (which is understandable, but resources should be provided to achieve said results). The two biggest reasons I left was Money, they grossly under pay their teachers and staff when comparing to a similar job with a public school (they won't pay for days off teachers are forced to take, i.e. Christmas break, Government holidays etc...) The other reason I left was because there wasn't a lot of room for growth within the company. It's very difficult to get raises, and change grades etc... I felt stifled and my willingness to work hard was constantly taken advantage of. They definitely have the highest employee and enrollment turn over rate that I've ever seen. One year I went through 4 co-teachers (they kept quitting because of management) and the parents were never informed that their children would be getting a new teacher. So I was left to deal with upset parents and an untrained co-teacher. The communication is truly terrible between management, staff and parents. I had more than one parent teacher conference where my director reprimanded me in front of the parents for issues that I had nothing to do with. It was a very discouraging experience, I would leave work each day emotionally and physically exhausted, only to go home and work some more (unpaid). My prep time was unpaid and I was often left alone with 30+ students. I worked there for 4 1/2 years and was never really thanked for my hard work. I had the best test scores and highest enrollment for my grade and all I ever heard was negative comments from miserable management who were choosing to stay stuck in a soul sucking job.

    The benefits are terrible and very expensive. I left Challenger in July and I'm just beginning to feel normal again. It's like I'm recovering from emotional abuse. My new job is amazing, who knew work could actually be a happy, uplifting and fun place to be! I actually get paid for days I'm not at work (sick time, vacation, personal days) It's a revolutionary experience that I'm basking in. I just hope my equally unhappy co-workers are eventually able to break free of the chains of Challenger.

    Advice to Management

    RESPECT your teachers. No one likes being talked down to, your teachers are intelligent men and women who work hard to keep your school running. If we don't feel like you have our back, then resentment will grow! You better believe if you tell off a middle school teacher for something undeserved every teacher from middle school to preschool will hear of it before the school day is over (usually courtesy of the secretaries).


  4. "Specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I enjoyed working at this company. The staff/teachers/directors were helpful and loved the relationships I had with my students.

    Cons

    Expectations for students performance are unreasonably high, especially with the amount of time given.

    Advice to Management

    More support from management


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Need to be consistent with philosophy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Challenger School full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great curriculum, wonderful teachers and students

    Cons

    Inconsistent administration, some will support the company mission statement and philosophy while others only care about keeping parents happy through grade inflation. You will be reprimanded for following company policies and student work examples in the guidelines.

    Advice to Management

    Be consistent with policies and procedures. Don't give teachers instructions, have them work all weekend, and then change to something else on Monday.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "I was miserable here."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Middle School Teacher in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Middle School Teacher in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Challenger School (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I worked with some of the most wonderful students I’ve ever taught. They are respectful and genuinely interested in learning. The teachers are delightful human beings, too.

    Cons

    You will be obsessively spied on through the one-way mirror each classroom has. You will be treated as an intellectual inferior. You will be made to rewrite tests and then, after you have done the rewrite, you will be told to throw your rewrite away and administer a completely different test. You will be made to regrade assignments. You will be “corrected” in class in front of you students. Your students will be told behind your back in another class that you have taught them incorrectly. Your authority will be undermined. You will work seven days a week. You will ultimately lose all joy you once had for teaching. And then you will leave.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Preschool teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Preschool Teacher in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Preschool Teacher in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Teachers are all caring and nice ! They all truly love and care about the kids. School has a well-planned curriculum for children and teachers to follow.

    Cons

    Teachers are lack of motivation to teach, and teachers are too layback! Administration is not working well together with the classroom teachers.

  8. "Curriculum That Delivers Results"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Teacher in Las Vegas, NV
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Challenger School full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great time tested curriculum that really gets the preschoolers reading and doing simple math quickly with so much fun. As a teacher, there was so much creative freedom to deliver the lesson. Thoroughly enjoyed working there. Not to mention, the teacher I worked with were phenomenal and fun to work with. I still keep in touch today!

    Cons

    The pay. Definitely not something you stay with long term. Not enough benefits.

    Advice to Management

    Offer more pay to keep quality teachers.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Only desperate people work here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Teacher in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Challenger School full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The kids, though no different than kids in the public schools, are enjoyable (if children are your cup of tea).

    Cons

    You will not get paid for every minute or even hour that you work. Lunch breaks are not the amount of time you are clocked out for and may be interrupted, there is always take-home work (don't believe their lies), 401K can't be utilized by most because you need to put in 12% of your pay to get their contribution, no life insurance, no holiday pay, etc.

    Management reprimands you like a child for not reading their mind or refusing to brainwash yourself with their ideologies.

    New teachers are expected to sink or swim - training is nonexistent, yet you must do everything their way.

    Most employees are "joyfully stupid" or financially desperate.

    Lots of racial bias! Very strange curriculum. School's goals are to brainwash children to be Libertarians. A Libertarian doesn't want the government to impose rules, so instead you are subject to the rules/laws of your employer. Challenger wants to impose their own laws on employees which are not in employees' best interest. They do not like, and try to circumvent, following current government laws that protect employees - such as getting paid for all hours worked!

    The place is corrupt with many spouses and family members working there. Do you think a teacher would be reprimanded if her boss's boss is the teacher's husband? Lots of that going on!

    At $15 an hour with unpaid prep-time and limited benefits, anyone can do better, especially someone deemed a "professional."

    Advice to Management

    Hahaha. They don't want anyone's advice. They want everyone to conform to their brainwashing.


  10. "Teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Challenger School full-time

    Pros

    Rewarding, great curriculum, good behavior management and support

    Cons

    Leadership of directors depends upon location


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