Great Hearts Academies Reviews | Glassdoor

Great Hearts Academies Reviews

Updated June 6, 2017
51 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.9
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Dr. Wade T. Dyke
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51 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good benefits and generous vacations (in 4 reviews)

  • The curriculum is rigorous and rich, with a strong focus on reading and writing, the fine arts, primary texts and liberal arts content knowledge (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Low Pay (they are working to increase it) means that turnover at some schools is high (in 8 reviews)

  • Also, the pop culture taboo is something I can recognize has it's place, but it seems a little extreme in some cases (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "Prep Teacher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Teacher in Phoenix, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Great Hearts Academies full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Having taught at another school prior to Great Hearts, I cannot imagine teaching elsewhere. I worked for the first 3 years of my teaching career in a school that had a very unhealthy "us vs. them" mentality, a place where the students were not curious to learn, a place where I was a manager rather than a teacher, a place where little respect was given to the teachers from either parents or students, and a place where I left every day feeling down and depressed.

    Great Hearts takes care of its teachers. Teaching in general is demanding of one's time, but at Great Hearts, the load is more manageable and more fulfilling. The normal teaching load for a Prep Teacher is 4 classes at 55-minutes each day. At nearly every other school in Phoenix - from charter to private to public - the normal load is 5 classes at 55-minutes each. Also, instead of tedious in-services where you have to sit and listen to who knows what, for our in-services, we attend museums or discuss a book. Great Hearts's health insurance is also remarkable considering the state of AZ health insurance today: Signa costs only $25-$35/person/month and covers 90% of all in-network doctor's visits. It also includes a generous pet insurance policy, great for my older, 16-year old furry best friend.

    To work at Great Hearts is to be a part of a family. Everyone is so nice! I began my teaching career at a school where I was placed in a classroom, given a set of books to teach, and had no support from anyone. Literally, the doors closed behind me on my first day and I was left to survive on my own. At my Great Hearts school, it was the exact opposite. My Headmaster and Assistant Headmaster are always helping me become a better teacher. There is collaboration among my colleagues - we share lesson plans and ideas and work together to ensure a vertical alignment of skill sets exists from grade to grade. I love hanging out in the faculty office - my colleagues are intelligent and positive and our lunch conversations continually delve into the Greater Ideas. We are all lifelong learners who genuinely love what we do. Sure, there are days when someone may complain about something, but overall, I am surrounded by positive, happy people who love life and love teaching.

    The students, too, emanate that positive and curious spirit. They do their homework, they come to class prepared, they want to be at school...they want to learn. My greatest discipline issue are side conversations in class or a uniform violation. The students want their teachers to be a part of their lives and I find myself receiving invitations to attend their soccer games, piano concerts, plays and other performances on a daily basis.

    Great Hearts is a very happy place to work. I love my colleagues and I love my students. I've been with Great Hearts now for 5+ years and can't imagine teaching anywhere else.

    Cons

    No school is perfect. Great Hearts is not perfect. But overall, its flaws and cons are worth the benefits.

    Cons: teacher pay, feeling obligated to volunteer for certain tasks or duties, little teacher autonomy when choosing what books to teach

    Advice to Management

    We (the teachers) like to feel appreciated. Please take the time to appreciate us!


  2. "Good place for a couple of years, not sustainable as a career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Teacher in Phoenix, AZ

    I worked at Great Hearts Academies full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Administration supportive of the arts
    -Room to grow
    -Good benefits and health insurance
    -Plenty of planning time
    -Work/life balance somewhat encouraged

    Cons

    -Some faculty are seriously unqualified, due to their habit of hiring uncertified teachers. It can be frustrating to work with people who don't know what they are doing.
    -Salary is low, typical of Arizona.
    -Stringent rules about not mentioning pop-culture in the classroom.
    -Schools vary drastically in quality and culture.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to retain teachers, pay them well.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Lead Teacher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Teacher in Goodyear, AZ
    Current Employee - Lead Teacher in Goodyear, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Great Hearts Academies full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very willing to hire new college graduates and offer training and support

    Willing to pat relocation costs for out of town hires

    Most of the staff are kind, committed and supportive of one another

    Cons

    They require 100% commitment to every aspect of their vision and mission. People that have different viewpoints or lifestyles are often very quiet about them for fear of being ostracized or fired. For example, I knew of a lesbian teacher at a Great Hearts academy who told only two or three employees of her lifestyle out of fear.

    The pay is low. Starting pay for a lead teacher is capped at $33,000 per year with no regard for experience or qualifications that would demand a higher salary.

    Raises are typically only %3 cost of living raise each year.

    Despite the low pay, they demand teachers to work upwards of 70 hours a week. I was working 10-12 hours a day on week days and 4-10 hours per weekend.

    The administration at my school retaliated against employees on a regular basis despite the "no retaliation" company policy. Any employee who spoke up against the unreasonable work demands and lack of administrative support was quietly phased out, given less an less responsibility , and not offered a contract renewal for the following year.

    Because they hire new college graduates the faculty and staff tend to be young and very naive. They allow themselves to Often times, I felt like I was in a college dorm again based on the way the faculty related and spoke to each other. I guess that whether this is a plus or minus depends on your point of view. It was huge minus for me because this was my fourth job our of college and I really wanted to be interacting with professional adults.

    The culture is extremely authoritarian. My advice: Don't teach here if you have better options.


  4. "Great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Special Education Teacher in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Special Education Teacher in Phoenix, AZ
    Recommends

    I have been working at Great Hearts Academies full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great staff, everyone is like a big family, good hours, pretty decent pay, good benefits.

    Cons

    No paid holidays or breaks for hourly employees, only 4 sick days and 1 personal day.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Disorganized, managing-to-the-bottom-line cluster"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Great Hearts Academies full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The classroom still works, but beginning shift. They are straying from their origins and yielding to the demands of wealthy parents. No longer have a true sense of identity.

    Cons

    I struggle to think of one good thing to say about the Lead Offices. Five CEOs in three years. Chairman of the Board, Development VP, Marketing Director, Facilities Director, and CFO have all left out of frustration or been reorganized. Our organization used to have a mission and values, and yes, we still have them on our website, but those have been reduced to marketing material. GH is no longer a network of liberal arts schools who are focused on bringing a revolutionary education to the masses, but cutting corners, increasing class sizes, increasing school sizes, and decreasing teaching assistant pay.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up. You have a great product, unfortunately you see it as a marketable product and not something that is intrinsically good.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Not the best..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - After School Instructor in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - After School Instructor in San Antonio, TX

    I have been working at Great Hearts Academies part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Family-oriented company with a strong focus on the family experience and the child
    Lessons are thoroughly written, and provided to employees, however, these leave little room for interpretation

    Cons

    Strict dress code
    No collaboration on lesson plans
    Highly disorganized management of afterschool programs

    Advice to Management

    Your staff has real life experience teaching- let them use it instead of belittling them.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Don't look behind the curtain"

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

    Pros

    You don't need a teaching certificate to teach at Great Hearts Academy.

    Cons

    Below average pay, A retirement plan that you can't retire on ever, long hours, little faculty input into school management, no pop culture allowed: you can't even play pop cultural music in a classroom, expected to do extra curricular work with no pay increase, leadership lacks experience, leadership will lie to your face, Great Hearts has a political agenda and everything they do serves that agenda. Leadership will talk about morals, but they behave in amoral ways. This is a scary company to work for.

    Advice to Management

    Fire yourself.


  8. "I love going to work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Health in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Health in Phoenix, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Great Hearts Academies full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people are great, hours of work perfect. Overall very satisfied.

    Cons

    Not being paid during breaks.
    Only located in AZ & TX


  9. "Lead Teacher Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Third Grade Lead Teacher in Goodyear, AZ
    Former Employee - Third Grade Lead Teacher in Goodyear, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Great Hearts Academies full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Amazing community of teachers; Socratic seminars; involved parents

    Cons

    Low salary; overworked; standardized testing is becoming a problem


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Work here if you like toxic work environments"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher, Elementary School in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Teacher, Elementary School in San Antonio, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Great Hearts Academies full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The students and parents that send their children to charter schools are usually heavily invested in their education.

    Cons

    Low pay, inexperience management, differing standards for admin's favorites, overreactions to mistakes, inexperienced teachers, little proper training, lots of infighting, teachers are expected to create scope and sequences that should have been created by Great Hearts Texas.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to communicate properly and treat your teachers how you want the students to be treated. Espouse the virtues you claim to instill in students instead of treating teachers as second class citizens. Please stop asking teachers to work more as we already work sixty to seventy hours per week for no extra pay.


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