ELS Educational Services - A good short-term experience, a little too unstable to consider for a long-term career. | Glassdoor
There are newer employer reviews for ELS Educational Services
There are newer employer reviews for ELS Educational Services

See Most Recent

Helpful (1)

"A good short-term experience, a little too unstable to consider for a long-term career."

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Associate Instructor in Berkeley, CA
Former Employee - Associate Instructor in Berkeley, CA
Recommends
Neutral Outlook

I worked at ELS Educational Services part-time (Less than a year)

Pros

The center management (AD, CD) at ELS Berkeley was pretty great. The students were really fun and definitely more motivated than other private language schools I've worked at (and even some universities and CCs). ELS is the most put together ESL curriculum I've seen, and that comes from their long history in the field. The fact that passing their 112 class can be used as an alternative to TOEFL should tell you how legit they are. The materials provided were good, and teachers are given a lot of freedom to contribute their own lessons and materials. I really like the in-service training they provide--I have my MATESL, but their online modules are good refreshers, and the in-person meetings were very helpful. The compensation was very fair...better than any other private school that I've seen.

The best thing here is the community. The other teachers were very helpful with giving advice about students and lessons. People share materials and ideas in the staff room, and it built a good sense of solidarity.

Cons

Because it's a for-profit company, the copyright restrictions on materials in the classroom can be a bit constraining. Teaching at ELS falls under "commercial use," so you can't use TED talks and podcasts and videos unless they've already been approved.

Also, the 4 week session calendar is pretty rough if you're new there. Depending on enrollment, you may or may not have a job after four weeks. I definitely don't recommend moving to a new location for this job unless you've got another one in your back pocket, because there are no guarantees. You find out the day before classes start if you have a class (or classes), and if so, what those levels are. It would be pretty stressful as a new instructor. But for someone who either has a more constant afternoon/evening job, or for someone who just wants to start in the field, it's a great crash course in teaching.

Advice to Management

Create some sort of test bank for teachers. We're not experienced test developers, so it would be beneficial to have some examples for the quizzes and tests during the session, especially for the Masters Level RW classes.

Other Employee Reviews for ELS Educational Services

  1. Helpful (6)

    "So much paperwork for so little pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructor in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Instructor in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at ELS Educational Services full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great students and awesome teachers! Health benefits for teachers working 20 hours a week.

    Cons

    Badly managed. Fearful middle managament constantly dump on the teachers. Crazy system of giving teachers their assignment the day they start teaching. Antiquated textbooks. Teachers are expected to fill out massive amounts of paperwork - company mantra "numbers don't lie". Forms for everything. Expectations for students to progress from one level to the next in 4 weeks is unrealistic - a recipe for disappointment. No guarantee of hours for teachers - not a good job is you are the sole breadwinner. More teachers than hours available - keeps everyone on their toes. Teachers are treated as disposable cogs in the machine. Pay is low. Teachers are expected to spend a lot of unpaid time generating tests, typed lesson plans, and grading. The 1/4 hour of paid prep time could be used just filling out forms!

    Advice to Management

    Spend one month a year teaching a full load and see what conditions are really like for teachers.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Tough but Worth It"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English As A Second Language (ESL) Instructor in San Rafael, CA
    Former Employee - English As A Second Language (ESL) Instructor in San Rafael, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at ELS Educational Services full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Working here gives you the chance to meet young people from all over the world without traveling out of the country (mostly East Asian students, but also some European.)
    You needn't have a certificate/degree in TESOL to have a chance at a job there, but you do need to have the ability to form lesson plans, teach English to students whose native language you don't know, be patient with both the system and the slow learners, find innovative teaching resources, and have a sense of humor--in the classroom and with the chaos that the way the school is run creates.
    You're given a lot of independence.
    It's rewarding teaching these students. They often give you small gifts of appreciation.

    Cons

    They hire many teachers during the summer--prime time for them--and the chances of staying on afterward are slim.
    A new session begins every 4 weeks, and you will not know what area or level you are teaching until the day before, so lesson planning is a crazy, crazy process, especially for new teachers, as they have their own curriculum that you must integrate with your own innovative methods (adding games, fun exercises and assignments, coming up with group activities.
    At the end of each 4 weeks the paperwork is massive.
    I tend to be more serious and had a hard time getting the Asian students, who tend to be more passive in the classroom, to participate. The Asian students also interpreted my seriousness as "meanness", so I wasn't always well-reviewed by them (I'm not really a laugh-a-minute teacher, and ELS wants "Edu-tainment".)
    There is a lot to know about the English language, and having worked here before completing a good deal of coursework in that field, I had a hard time explaining concepts. You must be good at that to succeed at ELS.
    Classroom management can also be tricky; these are kids who come from very strict educational systems and homes, and some tend to go wild when they get this freedom. You'll find them talking in class, listening to their MP3 players/texting/etc., goofing off and not listening, or even falling asleep.
    Don't take this job if you aren't patient, creative, resourceful, able to handle chaos, an edu-tainer, and someone willing to learn (quickly) about the cultures your students come from. Otherwise, pardon the expression, but you are "dead meat."
    D

    Advice to Management

    Do a better job educating yourself about your clients' disabilities and the possible consequences of the way you deal with them. The job coaches are there to help work adjustment employees learn to work with their disabilities, not retaliate against them for them.

There are newer employer reviews for ELS Educational Services
There are newer employer reviews for ELS Educational Services

See Most Recent

Work at ELS Educational Services? Share Your Experiences

ELS Educational Services
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
 
Click to Rate
or