Heart English School Reviews | Glassdoor

Heart English School Reviews

Updated March 30, 2017
33 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

1.8
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
CEO
0 Ratings

33 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

  1. "Could be much better"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Heart English School full-time

    Pros

    If you want to get your foot in working in Japan with a lot of freedom whilst working, then Heart is a starting point as they don't seem too fussed about who they employ.

    Cons

    The pay is terrible, no bonuses or transportation. Their contracts change so much from year to year, even if you have worked in the same city previous years. They don't pay you for extra summer work even if you have to work it. If you do an exceptional job for the company forget about that because they don't acknowledge hard work. Only your schools that work at make it bearable to work with them. If you need to go the immigration office for your visa during a school day for 1 or 2 hours, expect your salary to be deducted regardless of importance.

    Advice to Management

    Any advice will be disregarded by management. They know the issues but fail to address them because they can and simply don't care. They WILL pay you as low as possible and won't care. This is one of the reasons they lost a valuable contract at a good city for the 2017 -2018 school year because the conditions they offered to ALTs were atrocious whilst their incoming competitor offered much better pay and conditions.

    Management, get your act together because I have seen great and experienced teachers leave the company including me.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "I stuck it out for a few years, it could have been worse."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ALT in Katori (Japan)
    Former Employee - ALT in Katori (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    It's very easy to get a work visa through Heart. Essentially, it's a stepping stone to getting a better job in Japan.
    Most of the coordinators and office staff are very helpful and try their best to support ALTs.
    Heart do not micro-manage their ALTs - if you're doing a satisfactory job, they will leave you to it.
    Always paid my salary on time.
    I'd recommend it if you're young and have recently graduated, and you just want to experience teaching in Japan for a year or two. I came with an open-mind, no big expectations and a realistic idea of what living in the inaka could be like.... and I really enjoyed working at the schools I was allocated.... so I stayed for a couple of years.

    Cons

    They will take on "anyone" as an ALT. During my time in the company, I met a lot of ALTs who applied for the job and moved to Japan for the wrong reasons. They didn't take the job seriously and they didn't have any interest in teaching. In my opinion, some of them were completely unsuited to working in schools with children.
    High staff turnover - It seemed like every month or two, an ALT "suddenly quit".
    Training is unpaid, holidays are unpaid and they offer very little opportunity to work at summer camps etc in the meantime. No summer holiday pay means that you will struggle to get by in the fall term if you do not have a second job.
    There are no sick days, no bonuses and they will make you pay for anything and everything that they can get away with (school textbooks included).
    Think twice about taking a job with Heart if you do not have a driver's license or do not intend to drive a car in Japan. You may well find yourself stuck in a tiny village with no train station, no buses and only a bicycle to get around.

    Advice to Management

    QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. This company cannot grow and compete with larger ALT companies until you start investing and improving in the quality of your ALTs, your office staff, training and the educational services that you offer.
    A company with 30 competent, smart and professional ALTs is a lot more appealing than a company with 100 prematurely balding, socially-awkward boys who have no interest in teaching English and lack professionalism, enthusiasm and basic personal hygiene. Your company should focus on excelling in teaching English and sharing foreign cultures - not just trying to squeeze as much money as you can from dumping awkward, introverted guys into Japanese public schools.
    To attract talent you need to offer at least a couple of paid sick days, paid compulsory training, a little holiday pay and more opportunities for ALTs to work during holidays/weekends. Keep good teachers and staff by offering bonuses at the end of the year.
    Stop being cheap-skates and spend a bit of money on improving the appearance of your website, design a better company mascot, invest in some reputable educational materials - make it seem like this is a company where people WANT to work and not a last-resort for the desperate. If the company looks good, is obviously making an effort to support their staff and provide excellent English teaching... you will win contracts with schools and educational boards.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Do this as your last choice"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Heart English School (More than a year)

    Pros

    Relaxing schedule
    Don't have to deal with management

    Cons

    Very low pay
    No benefit (Insurance, travel expenses, paid holiday...)
    No raise, but that's typical for an alt position

    Advice to Management

    Should tell employee if the company is not operating well, not just screw them up in the last minute and put them in hot seat.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "Cheap, but up front about it."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tokyo (Japan)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tokyo (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Pay was on time. Pay what was promised.
    Left alone. No micro managing or prying.
    If a school day was canceled, make up days given.
    Good job for spouse needing extra money.

    Cons

    Terribly cheap daily pay.
    All of August, most of July, December and March unpaid.
    Transportation not paid, no matter how far away from school you live.
    Hideously unnecessary and expensive medical check required. Not paid.
    Unnecessary and unheard of documents required. (Can bully your way out of them.)
    Pay can actually decrease over time.

    Advice to Management

    Why bother.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Awful at effective communication and dealing with problems"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Saitama (Japan)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Saitama (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    they will hire anybody

    Cons

    Chaotic and disorganised at first. Malicious and back-stabbing later. If you have any issues with your school, be it food restrictions, rude and abusive japanese teachers or any type if office bulling don't expect Heart to step in and cover your back. Any type of problem scenario that might arise will simply be brushed off or blamed on you. This company above all operates on guilttripping people into doing doing things they don't want to do. In my opinion their management lacks basic idea of how to run a group of foreigners and what effective business communication is really all about.

    Advice to Management

    Spin on it


  7. Helpful (1)

    "The worst ALT dispatch company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    It is easy to get a visa from them.

    Cons

    As mentioned by others already.

    Advice to Management

    None.


  8. Helpful (4)

    "It's....it's a dispatch company."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Heart English School (More than a year)

    Pros

    +Nice schools! (If you get lucky, of course.)
    +Located in Kanto region only.
    +Gets you into Japan.

    Cons

    -Apartment is pricey for what you get.
    -Nickels and dimes you on EVERYTHING.
    -Exploitative. Makes you pay for your own hotel room for training in Mito, costing a nice penny. Good luck saving money from the get go.
    -Unpaid training.
    -You can only use the car they give you to get groceries/everyday needs and school. Want to go on vacation? Lol, pay for a train. Oh and they only pay you for gas on days that you work. This wouldn't be too bad if you got money during summer vacation, but they don't pay you at all then :).
    -Aforementioned car? Crap. Utter crap. You're paying 200 bucks for a clunker.
    -Hard to get time off to take care of your health or personal business.
    -Company is shady in general. Many rumors surround the business and no one seems to last long working there. Hmmm~.
    -Lowest pay in the business.

    Advice to Management

    PAY BETTER. Seriously. Your employees won't stay long if you treat them like cattle. I think this makes the kids suffer more than the company too. Oh, and let people take care of their health and personal lives, you never know what people are going through.

    Invest in better cars.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Good for new and inexperienced teachers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ALT
    Current Employee - ALT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    - Because they are desperate in need of Instructors, they hire pretty much anybody. Thus, it is easy for you to get to work in Japan.
    - Great chance to start out if you are new and inexperienced in teaching
    - I appreciate the Japanese staff (coordinator) for her support because of her English ability..
    - The monthly ALT meeting is really helpful.
    - As long as you don't get into trouble, you are pretty much left undisturbed (no micro-managing).
    - They make an effort to have meeting with BoE schools and teachers to discuss and get feedback about their ALTs
    - Provides training
    - Lucky to get good schools and build a strong relationship with teachers and students.

    Cons

    - Contract given is very ambiguous, we aren't exactly considered full-time employee because it is a yearly contract, however, we are labeled 'Semi-full time'. Very confusing.
    - Hire a lot of weird people who come to Japan for the wrong reason.
    - Top 2 people in the company are concern more about the business profit than the welfare of employees.
    - Apartment contracts are too expensive. (They charged double more than the real actual rent)
    - Pay is low (No summer holiday pay, no paid holiday and weekend, no paid sick leave); you are only getting paid if you are in school.
    - Have to pay for your own hotel and meals during training.
    - Employees are not praised for good work, some Heart staff actually forces teachers to give criticism even when they have no bad feedback.

    Advice to Management

    Thank you for this opportunity for me to teach English in Japan. I understand how hard it is to hire people from other countries and they might have a hard time trusting employees to stay longer.

    It is better if the management can care more and appreciate the ALTs that stayed longer than a year. Raise the salary for ALTs who are doing well in schools and have been committed to the contract for more than a year. For example, give stable ALTs a chance to have a full-time monthly pay (with paid holiday and sick leave). Give a better contract, make sure to tell the truth.

    Also, give ALTs a chance to work during the summer holiday. Give them at least 40% of the salary of that month and make sure that ALTs who are staying in the country are still basically available to be on-call whenever schools need our help with students who need extra lessons in English.

    This will not only rise the reputation of the company for BoE but also will attract more potentially good teachers who are passionate about teaching.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Assistant language teacher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ALT in Saitama (Japan)
    Current Employee - ALT in Saitama (Japan)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Heart was incredibly easy to interview, get a job with, and leave you alone most of the time.

    Cons

    Pay is low, don't compensate for travel(sick or vacation days either), only in the Kanto area, communication was limited and usually not helpful, and the coordinators can be rude and hard to talk to.

    Advice to Management

    Teach people about the zairyu card and apartments BEFORE they get to JapanJapan, and give more benefits to employees - its too much to not offer sick pay when you work with kids almost everyday!


  11. Helpful (4)

    "All a matter of perspective"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Former ALT
    Former Employee - Former ALT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    They leave you alone for the most part, and do not constantly hover over you, to see if you are doing things to protocol. They gave me a great JHS and Elementary school and one less then satisfactory Elem. Really with schools its mostly the luck of the draw. They people at the schools were really nice and at times kept things from Heart like times I were late or left early. They pay you on time, they'll check in with you if you check in with them. Probably your average alt company. Nice people in the office honestly.

    Cons

    They leave you alone for the most, part and are not checking in as often as maybe they should. Pay is less then average since they pay a daily wage. Don't work as an ALT if you are expecting to earn a fortune.

    Advice to Management

    Consistency in contracts and more communication. Pay more and have a bonus incentive.


Showing 33 of 46 reviews
Reset Filters