Kids Duo International Reviews

Updated Dec 4, 2020

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3.2
65%
Recommend to a Friend
  1. Helpful (2)

    "Not bad. Really good management."

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Current Employee 

    I have been working at Kids Duo International full-time

    Pros

    -Commute reimbursement -If you love kids, the kids at this school are no exception -The person leading our English team is great. Super supportive and actually cares about you.

    Cons

    -Really hard work -A lot of pressure on the kids (time pressure to complete tasks etc) -It can be quite overwhelming at times, especially with quite large classes -A lot of the work etc. is not always in the best interest of the kids (in my opinion)

  2. COVID-19
    Helpful (7)

    "Head Office To Blame for Most Problems"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in Tokyo
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Kids Duo International full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    As another reviewer noted, please see below.

    Cons

    In the wake of COVID-19 beginning to spread throughout Tokyo, most if not all nurseries and kindergartens have closed. However, due to orders from the Head Office, Kids Duo International remains open. With no requirements for continued student attendance, or temporary halting of extra after school activities. Furthermore, the parents who choose to keep their children at home to comply with the Government’s requests have been told they will not receive refunds. This puts the management of the school, the teachers, and other staff in an awkward position- they must deal with parental complaints, possible infection, and dealing with extra professional level cleaning of a school that hasn’t been professionally cleaned in it’s entire 5 years of being opened. The school’s management has their hands tied and must put up with these ridiculous requests made by the head office, resulting in a loss of trust amongst staff and the parents. It is severely short-sighted by the head office and will certainly result is negative impacts in the future. Furthermore, the head office has already agreed to pay 85% of the salary of other brand’s employees who get to stay home, while Kids Duo International employees are on the front lines without any mention of hazard pay or even a “thank you” from the head office.

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  3. Helpful (5)

    "Exactly what I wanted to experience real Japan"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Yokohama-shi
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Kids Duo International full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    This is a seriously rewarding job and a truely bilingual environment, perfect for trying a real Japanese experience. *Unlike most other teaching jobs, each teacher gets assigned their own class (Along with Japanese teachers) for a full year. I was surprised at how close I become with my students and how unique they each are. I am dreading the end of the year when I won’t have this group of students anymore. *The curriculum is well designed and detailed so that you know what to teach and you are trained on teaching methods and activity ideas to teach the content. There are smart boards and great software to create fun and easy classes. You also get to choose how you teach the lesson so you can teach according to your style and use games that you like. The curriculum teaches very useful words and after only a couple of months I am now able to have a decent conversation with my 3year olds. Students at this school have such a high English level you are able to talk to them a lot. The standard of equipment in the school is really high, sports equipment includes mini trampolines and other gymnastics equipment, there is a bakery where they make cakes, they have a pretend police station and shopping mall etc. There are really fun after school classes that you can choose to teach like robotics. *There are so many bilingual Japanese staff. They help with setting up all the difficult aspects of living, for example it is very difficult to get a bank account if you have lived in Japan for less than six months, and the staff will help with almost anything you ask for. Also it is great for becoming friends with actual Japanese people as well as foreigners. *Many of the school events are based around Japanese traditions so you get to learn about summer festivals, bean throwing and other common activities. At summer festival everyone wears the traditional dress and it is a really nice day. * The team structures are well designed so you have your immediate class teachers, grade teachers and then English leaders and higher management. You should always have someone you can go to for help with any task. Management are incredibly understanding of the foreign staff. It also means there is so much opportunity for career growth. There are meetings every few months where you get to discuss your goals and can quickly move into leadership positions. *The company follows all compliance regulations. Pay is always on time, you get public holidays over New Years, golden week, obon week and a weeks worth of annual leave days. If you work weekends occasionally then you will get a day in lieu, if you work scheduled overtime you get paid. The legal minimum pay for foreign staff is high compared to the average Japanese wage. You get good health insurance and transport fees are covered. *The company really focusses on using positive teaching methods. All teachers are trained on how to use positive motivation rather than harsh discipline. The goal is to make a fun learning environment and treat the students with kindness.

    Cons

    *Like any teaching position, this is a high energy role. If you’re looking for a cruisey desk job this is not for you. You will need to dance to songs (head shoulders knees and toes etc. ) run around during outdoor play and participate in sports classes. It is all a part of what makes the job fun but it does require energy. * Managing a classroom of children requires patience, they can be cheeky and you need to understand how to use positive reinforcement to encourage them to learn and behave. You can’t get frustrated easily if a student doesn’t do what you ask straight away. *You will be responsible for your class, making sure their book work is up to date, you know what to teach in each class, writing newsletters and organising holiday events like the summer festival. You need to learn how to multitask and have good time management skills. You get allocated a certain amount of time each day to work on things and it is up to you to make sure you are efficient and priories tasks well. Some teachers will end up working unpaid overtime because they don’t get everything done during the day. It can be quite stressful having a list of things that need to be done. *There may be culture shock if you are new to Japanese customs. The curriculum is quite difficult and the students are often learning more difficult English than a native English speaking child would know, you have to wear only clean shoes inside, in Japan it is very uncommon to get any paid sick leave etc.

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  4. Helpful (3)

    "KDI is a great opportunity that I highly recommend for individuals looking to teach in Japan and have a positive impact"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Native English Teacher (A Fantastic Opportunity) in Yokohama-shi

    I have been working at Kids Duo International full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    KDI provides great support to its employers living in Japan. KDI has a great training program that offers a large array of experiences, techniques and suggestions to improve yourself as a confident and effective teacher. This job can be challenging but it is both rewarding and fun. Through this role you are given the opportunity to shape young lives, giving them the skills to become fluent and ultimately bilingual at a very young age. Furthermore, the teams formed at KDI are great having you placed with a talented and diverse team from around the world. Management are very supportive and understanding towards native English staff. Management have been known to organize housing arrangements, assist with gaining Japanese bank cards, and personal appointments. From my experience they truly care for their workers. The hours are very good at KDI. You can almost always expect to go home around your contracted times, only having to work back around special events held at the school, overtime is included for these circumstances. KDI is very serious about its organisation and puts its best foot forward to ensure that it`s students, their parents and staff are all satisfied. Through this KDI are able to produce great results allowing its students to grow and learn in a fun and safe environment.

    Cons

    Hours at KDI during special events can require overtime. This job requires a lot of dedication and passion.

  5. Helpful (8)

    "Its what you make of it"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - English Teacher in Tokyo
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Kids Duo International full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Like all teaching jobs, it really depends on a lot of factors. Some schools have different owners so I'm certain some skills have a different feeling. The school I work at is very fair and reasonable with all things and they treat the workers who are foreign as well as they treat the workers who are Japanese, something previous jobs never did. Biggest Pros: You get to work with the same kids all year. You can learn all about your students, and you don't change classes every day. Its a regular Monday to Friday kind of job, where you can get home before the sun sets. Unlike other companies I've worked at, this company has overtime pay and overtime work if you want it, but if you don't then you can mostly just do a regular shift everyday. Very transparent if you ask the right questions. Management doesn't play games or hide information and when decisions are made they always seem fair and with purpose. The amount of lesson planning is minimal since they have their own curriculum that's actually well thought out and decent. They change it and update it often enough that it seems like they know what they're doing. Company helped with Visa and helped with housing. Pretty good holiday structure. Lots of variety in events that keep things interesting and break up the monotony of the day to day grind / routine.

    Cons

    At some schools, there's a divide between Japanese and Native English workers. Sometimes there are communication or culture issues because its a multi-language environment. While many things are translated, some things aren't and there's an expectation that teachers in the classes should share with each other, but sometimes that doesn't happen and can cause some issues. At the end of the day, its still a business and a school so you need to know that some decisions wont always be what you think they should be.

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  6. Helpful (7)

    "Lucky to have found this job over others!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Native Teacher in Yokohama, Kanagawa
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Kids Duo International full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Lots of vacation time -Golden Week, Obon Week, New Years week and also all national holidays plus your own personal days (A lot). If you work on a weekend day (once in a while you have to for some events such as Summer Festival or Setsumeikais to bring in new customers), you can use that day to take another day off in the week or save it for your vacation or a day you need it. Good pay A lot of companies in Japan start off with basic low pay, but KDI has increased its yearly salary so that we can be competitive. That is more money in your pocket to do whatever you want- Anime, Karaoke, food, clothes, wife (She will take all your money). You do get a yearly bonus. If you are a seishain, you get 2 of them! Training -The school provides really good training. You will first learn how the school is run and then you will be in the classroom with all the little cute kids chanting your name because you are so cool from time to time. You will learn and see and experience how to give fun and engaging lessons, how to deal with unwanted behavior from students, how to create and work on an event and how to over all be a great teacher. You will get feedback from your lesson and day. Other schools do not provide that quality of training. The students -They are all so cute and some are just really funny and will make you laugh. -There is no limit on how many hugs or high fives you will receive. -They have different personalities and you get to see them grow and achieve their goals throughout the year you spend with them. They achieve it because of you! -You are with you students all year and everyday. They become family whether you expect it or not. Japan culture -You get to experience Sports Day, Music festival day, Bean Throwing day, Potato Picking day, Field trip to zoo day, Summer Festival day and so on. And you do it with your class! -You learn a bit of business culture in Japan such as greeting and cleaning your classroom and school daily. Teaches you not to be a lazy person like myself. -Freedom -While we have a set curriculum and books/workbooks, we have some freedom to teach them through some strategies. Songs and games...you name it. -Each classroom has a smart board which is super duper fun for you, and students, and you once again. Build a career -Lots of opportunities for growth. Lots of positions within the school. -Schools are opening each year, with new positions opened. You may be the next one up for that leadership position you have always wanted. Hours -Imagine not having to work past 5:30PM and only Mondays-Fridays. Extracurricular -The school offers extracurricular activities. Some schools have science, arts and crafts, ninja sports class and so on. If you have an idea for an activity, the school will let you create it! Language classes -The schools offer language classes for Japanese (Native teachers wanting to learn English)and English (for Japanese teachers wanting to learn English). Also they offer online classes for free! Teachers can teach these classes if they want. Its different from teaching children and a lot fun! You can get over-time if you teach them.

    Cons

    Annual raises do not come often. They come based on your performance but it is ultimately decided on the people at head office. They do come though. -The school computers are outdated but luckily we have received money to get new ones. Some classes have gotten them, but not all. -Report cards take up a lot of time doing. Luckily they were made easier to do by being standardized. They take up time, but a lot less time now. -You cant wear earrings, watches or necklaces. The students tend to pull of them and might get hurt so you cant in the classroom.

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  7. Helpful (3)

    "A fun and fulfilling experience!"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Kids Duo International full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    + You get to work with kids and experience all the joy and excitement that comes with that. A truly amazing and fulfilling experience. + Your commute to and from the school is fully paid for. + You don’t need to make your own curriculum and materials. There is a detailed set curriculum which is broken down by week and subject. The students all have their own set of textbooks. All that is needed from the teacher are activity and game ideas for teaching the material (many of which can be found in an activities booklet for KDI teachers). + You can be challenged with something new just about every day; whether it's how best to motivate your students each day to increase their English output, coming up with fun and educational lesson plan ideas, or teaching young children (and sometimes adults) how solve their differences/conflicts with others, there is always something to challenge your abilities and help you become a stronger more confident educator. + You can meet new people and make lasting friendships with people from all over the world. Due to the size of the schools, there are a lot more staff in the building (roughly 40-60 staff) than many other smaller English schools with 10 staff or less. + You can have a more traditional working shift of 8:30am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday, which is quite rare for English teaching jobs in Japan (many of which have shift times starting in the afternoon, finishing late into the evening and include Saturday as a regular working day). + You are given a lot of assistance when moving to Japan. There is a Teacher Assist department which helps newly hired staff from abroad to get a visa and residence card, find a place to live, open a bank account, buy a cell phone, get necessary documents from city hall, etc., which can be very challenging given that Japanese language is usually necessary to get any of those things done. + You can study Japanese. Some of the school branches have recently been offering its teachers free access to an online Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) study guide website complete with video lessons to learn and study Japanese. + You can practice your Japanese language skills with Japanese co-workers (so long as it is not in front of the students). + You have the option of working paid overtime. Many English schools in Japan don’t offer paid overtime, but this one does, which is nice when you want to make a little extra money. + You have opportunity to advance your career. You can start as an English teacher, advance to a leader/supervisor and trainer position, advance further to a director position, and advance even further to be more of an area director and look after more than one school. Or you can change positions and transfer to the Recruiting department or Teacher Assist department with different advancement opportunity. In addition, the company is growing at a very quick pace. Each year one or more KDIs open up giving current staff more opportunity to grow within the company. + You can become a permanent employee or “seishain”, which means you won’t need to re-sign a contract every year, giving you better job security and typically comes with much better benefits. It can be quite difficult to become seishain as many companies don’t offer it to foreigners, but there are some KDI schools where more than half the English teachers are seishain.

    Cons

    - Given that there are two languages constantly being spoken in the school, there is a higher chance of misunderstandings occurring between staff than at a company where everyone is only speaking one language. - Not all staff speak English, so it can be difficult communicating with specific people in the school. - Some staff have personalities that may clash with your own, causing some tension and stress. - There are a few big school events throughout the year, most of which are on the weekend, which can get quite exhausting getting the students ready and making all the necessary preparations for them. - It’s a year-round school, which makes taking long vacations challenging, if not impossible. The longest vacation time available is only about two weeks and only during specific times in the year. - It’s challenging adjusting to the various differences between work customs from your own country to that of Japan. The same can be said about the many cultural differences. Some teachers don’t realize there are differences working in another country and expect everything to be just like it is in their own country. - The company has recently raised the starting salary for experienced teachers, and there are salary raises, but generally speaking, they don’t happen as often as they should. Although, I should say, it has improved a lot in recent years. - Working with children is fun and fulfilling, but it does have its downsides. One of which is many staff tend to get sick often with common colds, the flu, and any other viruses that are in season (especially the first year). - Another downside of working with children is there is a lot more cleaning involved than a desk job in an office. Teachers are required to clean up their own classrooms as well as pitch in to help clean the common areas in the school. - The schools are equipped with computers and interactive boards in each classroom, which is nice, however, one or the other (or both in some cases) sometimes break down or don’t work properly. Having a plan B is necessary just in case teachers are unable to use the interactive boards.

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  8. Helpful (3)

    "Completely fine job if you want to live in Japan"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - English Teacher in Tokyo
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Kids Duo International full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Pay is always on time. Salary is reasonable for English speaking staff. Being in the classroom with kids is fun and enjoyable work. Official overtime is actively discouraged. Some limited training is provided. Positive and friendly working environment. Senior management are all lovely to work with. Good work life balance by Japanese standards. Bilingual workplace actually functions pretty well, most written and verbal communication is translated and English and Japanese staff get along.

    Cons

    This isn't the job for you if you don't love kids. The days are long, the work is hard, it's emotionally and physically exhausting. If you have no teaching experience (most of the English speaking staff do not), managing a classroom of 20+ infants with a language barrier is nearly impossible. But the kids are gorgeous and deeply loveable and if you have the right attitude, you will have a blast in the classroom. The education culture in Japan could take some getting used to if you're from a western country. Parents have incredibly high expectations right from the start. There's a huge amount of pressure placed on very young children (18 mths - 5 years old) to perform academically. This is a feature of Japanese culture, not this school, but KDI has a rigorous academic curriculum that leaves little time for developmentally appropriate free play. Some teachers at KDI get swept up in the stress, but the job is what you make it. There are special events during the year that require huge amounts of time to prepare for. It's stressful, and working through lunch breaks and staying back late are extremely common. The paid vacation days are kind of a scam. Out of the official and not very generous 10 paid vacation days, half are compulsorily assigned to public holidays. As with all for-profit schools, the focus is on the bottom line, not child's best interest. Parents are customers, and the aim of the school is to gain more customers.

  9. "English Teacher"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher in Ōmiya, Saitama
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Kids Duo International full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I teach the young students from the age 2 to 12. I really enjoy teaching the younger students from age 2 to 5 enjoyable. I also really enjoy working with the upper level students too. I also enjoy doing the odd stuff for example sing, dancing, science, social studies, craft, math, origami, field trips, cook, etc. I love it when the student gets what I trying to teach (the light bulb moment). I enjoy when a game work out and students learn and had fun with it.

    Cons

    When you short staff. Many times, I learn to deal with this issue. You just make do and willing to change plans because of this. Sometime not have the right material to do a craft, science, etc. I learn to willing to change or adapted to make do what you have. Also try to plan better. When students misbehave. I learn how do deal with students who don’t want to do something, not listening or just cause trouble. You must learn how to deal with them, so they behave better.

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  10. Helpful (1)

    "Nice place to work for a year or two."

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Kids Duo International full-time

    Pros

    Enjoyable job overall. Sociable working hours. A certain amount of freedom to teach how you want to. Nice school buildings with good facilities. Opportunity to work paid overtime.

    Cons

    Noncompetitive salary with pretty poor annual pay raise. Compared to other teaching jobs the amount of work required is not reflected by the pay. Bare minimum vacation days offered. Some very lazy and unmotivated teachers employed.

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