Challenger School Reviews | Glassdoor

Challenger School Reviews

Updated June 9, 2017
70 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.8
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Hugh Gourgeon
25 Ratings

70 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Working here you will be implementing a great curriculum (in 3 reviews)

  • Great teachers and students are so eager to learn with brilliant, creative minds (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • It is hard work, but the results are worth it (in 4 reviews)

  • Management sucks, there is no communication and there is lack of guidance (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Teacher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA

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

    Pros

    Good morals and standards within the school

    Cons

    Poor balance among academics, sports, activities.


  2. "Meh."

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

    I have been working at Challenger School full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful kids, co-workers are nearly all hardworking, classy individuals.
    Great benefits for kids' education.

    Cons

    Management struggles to properly coach, manage people.
    Managers feel persistent stress, and this flows directly to teachers.
    Time off is expected during designated breaks and the summer.

    Advice to Management

    Treat teachers with respect, understanding.
    Put managers through training and practice what you preach in terms of your mission statement to students.


  3. "Taking advantage of hardworking employees"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Preschool Teacher in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Preschool Teacher in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Working with children is rewarding and fun. The pay is great for virtually no education or experience. There is always something new to learn, and room to improve yourself.

    Cons

    Management and HR do not care about employees. You will not be compensated for all of the work you do. We all take work home. Mandatory unpaid time off during school breaks. At times I have been over child to teacher ratio, which is illegal and stressful because the teacher is liable for what happens to students.

    Advice to Management

    At least pretend to support your employees. They want to do their best. You hire great people, just appreciate them and don't take advantage of their work ethic.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "You will regret it."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Middle School Teacher in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Middle School Teacher in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Challenger School full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The children are wonderful to work with.

    Cons

    Management has no training. One manager told me the people working for her were too stupid. That's why she couldn't get anything done.

    Advice to Management

    Completely reorganize.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "This is NOT a SCHOOL"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teaching in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Teaching in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    They wish to appear as having students' interest at heart.

    Cons

    They want only beginning teacher to brain wash. They give canned curriculum that a monkey can teach and do not have respect for those who think for themselves. They will chew you up and spit you out.

    Advice to Management

    Where to start....there is nothing they can do except support the Republican agenda.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "Never Recommend"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Extended Care in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Extended Care in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Good curriculum. Encourage kids to think. Good training for lower elementary.

    Cons

    Extremely poor and incompetent managers and directors. Inconsistency in everything except curriculum. Focus only on Math and English. Not worth the money.

    Advice to Management

    Choose qualified and intelligent people as directors. Some of the current inefficient directors will ruin Challenger.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Teacher, Elementary"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great teachers and students are so eager to learn with brilliant, creative minds.

    Cons

    Management at certain schools is horrible as well as highly unappreciative of their staff and drives teachers to leave and quit - they don't help their teachers, yet micromanage on an annoying and unnecessary level. Low salary but long hours!

    Advice to Management

    Please stop micromanaging and nitpicking on things that don't matter such as dress code or classroom details! It's really leaving a bad taste in teachers' mouths and contributing to the high turnover. Also, salary is on the low side for all the work that is required to do.


  8. Helpful (15)

    "A factory, not a school"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance in Sandy, UT
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance in Sandy, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are some good people working there. The kids can be cute. Parts of the curriculum are good.

    Cons

    Where to start?
    Hiring - You are required to write an essay on your opinions of America and take a test designed to suss out your political leanings. There are wrong answers. You had better not believe in universal health care, affirmative action, governmental oversight of schools, public television, the NEA, BLM, ACLU, national parks, welfare, WIC, SNAP... If you love Ayn Rand, that's a plus.

    Curriculum - parts of the curriculum are good, but people developing curriculum are a mixed bag. The company gives preference to family members, which leads to unqualified people developing bad or biased curriculum and insisting it's good. The preschool curriculum is pretty solid, but it gets stranger and more political as the grade goes up. The school is highly protective of its intellectual property, but has no issue using other people's copyrighted information, such as songs or books, without license.

    Employee Treatment - my job was to assess the performance of teachers throughout the company. The corporate attitude toward their employees is abysmal. They think the curriculum is infallible and anybody can deliver it, so they do not value their teachers as individuals AT ALL. Teachers are not welcome to bring outside ideas or projects into the classroom. Teacher feedback on curriculum is mostly ignored or derided. They strive to find flaws with their employees. When I would give a teacher a positive assessment, upper management would prod me to find something - anything - wrong. I saw some wonderful teachers there, but they were excellent in spite of Challenger, not because of it.
    Turnover was very high. Challenger tries to hire individuals with no teaching experience or education background so that they can be brought around to the Challenger model more easily, but they do not provide enough instruction on how to manage a classroom.

    Corporate culture - very, very strange. Some people are protected, others are picked apart for every little flaw. The company would support political candidates and expected some employees to help with campaign events, which I felt was far outside of proper job duties and was not disclosed as a possible duty at hiring.
    The best managers and headmasters had previously worked as teachers. However, increasingly headmasters and managers were being hired who went directly to the management track and had very little classroom experience and so were little help to teachers who were struggling.
    There was a weird, pervasive undercurrent of racism and classism that permeated the corporate office.

    CHALLENGER EXISTS AS A FOR-PROFIT ENTERPRISE. The goal is to make money for the owners with the side benefit of indoctrinating kids. Tuition is high, but that money is nowhere to be seen inside the classrooms. Employee pay is on the low side. Supplies and books are rarely replaced. They expect you to be grateful to them for giving you a job, but they have no gratitude for you as an employee.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your teachers and listen to your parents. You are educating children, not selling a product. Put money back into the schools and supplies. Encourage some creativity. Recognize that the world is perhaps more complicated than you think and acknowledge that children operate on both logic AND emotion and their emotions should not be outright ignored.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Disposable teacher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher, Elementary School in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Teacher, Elementary School in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Everything is given to you - teacher manuals and keys, tests, worksheets, lesson plans.
    Good students in general.

    Cons

    Teachers are disposable and easily replaced, not appreciated or allowed to think for themselves and be your own.
    Management is inconsistent, unprofessional, not very experienced. Some treat you like idiots.

    Advice to Management

    Challenger teachers work very hard and sacrifice many hours of their personal time. Please treat us with respect. We are humans too. Challenger's success depends A LOT on it teachers - don't forget this!


  10. Helpful (9)

    "That's not my school"

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

    I worked at Challenger School full-time

    Pros

    The teachers cared, and the children really did learn a lot. The curriculum was great. That's all I can say about the good.

    Cons

    Where do I start?
    The management didn't care about you unless you fit in to their political mold.
    They literally made me watch movies about how the public school system was set up like the Natzies. (What?)
    They wouldn't let me take time off for my husbands surgery or my cousins wedding. Even though I requested it a month in advance
    They treat you like you're an idiot
    Their rules are always changing.
    I wouldn't trust them to save my life. You
    I quit because I couldn't work for such a dishonest company

    Advice to Management

    Respect your employees. Respect the parents


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