Kinder Kids International School Employee Reviews about "kinder kids"

Updated Aug 9, 2020

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4.0
85%
Recommend to a Friend
91%
Approve of CEO
Kinder Kids International School CEO Kimiko Nakayama (no image)
Kimiko Nakayama
22 Ratings
Pros
  • "I will never forget the four the years I spent teaching with Kinder Kids(in 11 reviews)

  • "The kids are great and the emphasis is on learning through having fun and having their interests piqued(in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "They would stay at the school (with unpaid overtime) to work on lesson plans they had no time to work on during the day(in 8 reviews)

  • "Shortage of cover teachers and/or day care help can mean very little prep time for teachers(in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

Reviews about "kinder kids"

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "Kinder Kids"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School full-time

    Pros

    Kinder Kids provides a wonderful opportunity to embrace and encourage a new culture to students. Children get to explore and learn a lot about the English language while also learning about the power language has in this world. The families, staff and children are all lovely to work with and provide a positive learning environment as long as you also put forth that effort. The Japanese staff are extremely hard working and supportive. I loved my experience working with my school. There are a lot of challenges that come with this position as any teaching job does, it is important to remember this as it in turn can be very rewarding. Lots of supplies and materials to support and encourage learning in the classroom. Excursions for K grades provides great opportunities to explore further on the material learned and see the students use their language outside in different contexts. Moving abroad can be a big transition and Kinder Kids was really helpful in this phase. It also provided an amazing opportunity to live in such a rich culture.

    Cons

    You don't have to be a certified teacher to teach children here so often those without the background knowledge are upset with the extra time you spend in your classroom. You should know coming into a teaching position that unpaid overtime is a part of the job and there are lots of extra tasks you should do to be fully prepared for every day's lessons. The Japanese co-teachers are wonderful and hard working. Be ready to support them in just as many ways as they support you. This will help your classroom environment and partnership run smoothly. Each week there is an extra class you will teach (Grad class). Unfortunately this can be a very long day as you will be teaching your whole shift. The material is laid out and direct but can be a bit dry. Would be nice to see schools getting nice playgrounds for students outside and upkeep. It seems that more focus is put into expanding the business and less focus is put on the existing schools.

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  2. Helpful (6)

    "Inspiring and challenging work environment with lots of opportunities to learn"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School full-time

    Pros

    After working as an ALT at all grade levels (K-12), I came to Kinder Kids because I wanted to have a bigger role in the classroom—which Kinder Kids definitely allows for! As a teacher at Kinder Kids for three years, I learned so much about the profession from my veteran colleagues and received a ton of ongoing feedback and support, which especially helped when managing my more challenging students and classes. The staff is among some of the most motivated and hardworking group of people I’ve ever worked with and an inspiration to be around. Although the work is tough, it’s both rewarding and gratifying.

    Cons

    This job isn’t for everyone and demands a lot of time, energy, and effort. For those looking for an easy teaching situation, you won’t find that here. Success as a teacher in this company requires proactivity and resilience. I enjoyed my experience a great deal, however, I encountered many moments of stress.

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  3. Helpful (10)

    "Native English class teacher"

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

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The kids is the only this that comes to mind.

    Cons

    Since KK wants to remove my review I’m going to write this again: You can fly to the Democratic Republic of Congo and gather a random assortment of bonobo monkeys, and they would do a better job empathizing with and managing their staff in the Tokyo branches of this company. There is constant staff turmoil and turnover and you will get no support when you’re told as you’re walking in the door that you need to have extra kids in your class because the management team refuses to hire an adequate amount of staff to cover the needs of legal student to teacher ratios. You can have students in your class with special needs and it will be entirely your responsibility to manage that, again with no support, despite you not being a special ed teacher. A/C machines will be broken for months in the middle of summer to the point where classrooms reach 30+ C and childrens faces turn red and you will be patronized for reporting it. A teacher had a life threatening health incident and they taped up a tarp to the staff bathroom and made her stay in there for 3+ hours as she was bleeding profusely so they could call her family to pick her up in a taxi from a town over. Because an ambulance could, under no circumstances, be seen at the school. If you’re not Japanese and have no family in the country you would probably die if you experienced something similar due to the company threatening staff from calling an ambulance for its image alone. You do not matter to these people. You are disposable. My mental health sky rocketed the day I left Kinder Kids after spending years being belittled by people that can never do what the teaching staff does on a day to day basis. The environment is toxic in Tokyo and the turn over rate is embarrassing. Don’t be naive like me and get attached to the kids, nothing about you as a person matters to this company and they will make that clear. Favoritism is does happen but the main culprits of the toxicity are the management of the Tokyo region. You will get next to 0 class prep time but be expected to produce hand crafted curricula for both your class time and the day care shifts that nobody tells you about until you’ve signed your contract after landing in a foreign country. Hours are 9am-6pm with a forced 1 hour unpaid break. But you will be pressured and gaslit into hours of unpaid overtime. And they take no consideration into class partnerships. You can have a great, supportive partner that is in the same mental space of suffering as you, or you could be paired up with an opposite personality that is not good for either of you and causes extra tension than what is already caused by management. If you want to live in Japan you’re better off doing JET or the American school. I spent my time in japan miserable because of this toxic company that did nothing for me as a person. I was the same person the first day as the last day, with a dose of severe stress and depression added into the mix.

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  4. Helpful (3)

    "The best job I had in Japan"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Teacher and Head Office Staff in Ōsaka, Osaka
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    From my experience, Kinder Kids runs like a well-oiled machine. Lots of their staff have been with the company for a long time (5+ years, which speaks for itself) and so they have found their rhythm and new employees can benefit from that wealth of experience. The training was therefore extensive and provided me with lessons that I still make use of today. I found the management to be inclusive and welcoming as long as you're willing to learn. It also provided the highest compensation for the type of work that I've seen in the Kansai region.

    Cons

    When I started as a substitute teacher I had to travel a lot which was tiring, but on the other hand that helped me to get to know the company and the city I lived in.

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  5. Helpful (7)

    "Great Company to work for if you are serious about teaching!"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Hirakata, Osaka
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The pay is at, or in some cases (depending on your experience) above the market average for International school teaching. Its a really wonderful thing to have your own classroom, to really be apart of helping children grow into these funny, smart bilingual people. Its challenging, fast-paced, and immensely rewarding. This is not a company that provides a relaxed cushy job, where you can coast through- spending every night out in a bar or club living a party lifestyle. You can work at an Ekaiwa if that is what you want... But if you want to be a real teacher, and you aren't certified to teach in your home country- this is a great workplace. The company is also very supportive and will hear your concerns with care and empathy. The Management will also really listen to you if you want to change to a different school or have a different teaching partner. They are invested in their teachers and want them to stay. Teachers are overall treated very well. If you are serious about teaching, this is the place for you.

    Cons

    If you teach the Kinder levels, you will never be given enough prep time to meet your duties within the working hours of 9-6PM. This is because in addition to teaching your class- you are also a daycare teacher (which also requires prep time). As a Nursery or Toddler teacher, it is almost possible to complete most of your prep within the the allotted time (depending on the school). But don't be surprised if you find yourself working during your lunch break. If you are partnered up with a JT that gets along with you- you will have a great year. If not- well, try not to get too upset, and do the best you can, until it comes time to talk to management about the following school year. Japanese schooling used to be very strict in terms of overall manners and eating policies. Kinder Kids has a very progressive policy in these arenas, but some of the JTs are still very old school. They break company policy shamelessly when it comes to lunch and behavioral management procedures. Its a very grey area, and I found it very uncomfortable to be in the middle. Most of the kids attending the schools are very wealthy and the parents have high expectations for the children's performances during school events and their crafts/school work. It will fall on you to make sure these expectations are met (even if they are against company policy), and the Japanese side of your school will be very angry with you if you don't meet their cultural expectations. Which may mean lots of unpaid overtime- or making crafts that are more your creation than your children's.

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  6. Helpful (2)

    "Good experience"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Toddler Teacher in Sakai, Osaka
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Kinder kids are organised and helped greatly through my visa application. The curriculum is set and they are continuously making improvements to make teaching with them easy and clear.

    Cons

    Working hours are long and the shift schedule can be extremely busy especially for nursery and toddler teachers.

  7. Helpful (2)

    "Good opportunity to work with children"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School

    Pros

    Kinder Kids provides a good opportunity to experience early childhood teaching in Japan. It's wonderful having your own class (unlike ALT teaching) and seeing the children grow and become more confident in their English speaking ability. It is a lot of responsibility, and can become quite stressful at times, but it is a rewarding experience. The compensation is at, or just above, the market level, and the benefits are standard for International School teaching in Japan. Salaries are always paid on time, with no hassles or concerns about pay being withheld. Management is very quick to get back about time off requests, and they are willing to work with you in times when you need time off for any emergency situations.

    Cons

    The daycare schedule can get busy and hectic in the afternoon, especially for the preschool teachers. There is never quite enough prep time available to teachers to get everything done that needs to be done.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Wonderful Experience"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I really enjoyed my time at Kinder Kids. If you enjoy working with kids I think this is one of the best companies to work for in Japan. They have developed a strong curriculum throughout the years. The students that graduate from Kinder Kids have an excellent grasp of the English language. The staff is hardworking and friendly. My experience at Kinder Kids has helped me get a job with the school board in Canada.

    Cons

    Like any career in teaching you feel as though your work is never completed.

  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work with room for improvement"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher, Kindergarten in Tokyo
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    This was a fun and tremendously rewarding experience. I will never forget the four the years I spent teaching with Kinder Kids. But be warned -- you will work, and you will be tired. This is not a job for someone who wants an easy English teaching gig. If you are truly passionate about it and put forth your best effort, keep a positive attitude and are willing to adapt to change, you'll have a great time and love what you do. And if you're not? Abandon hope all ye who enter. The management in the company works incredibly hard to support and provide resources to teachers. They want you to succeed. Many of my fellow teachers had been with Kinder Kids for nearly a decade when I started. It was amazing how passionate and hard-working everyone was. Nowhere else I worked in Japan had quite the atmosphere of enthusiasm and creativity.

    Cons

    Not so much a criticism as an observation -- Many of the Japanese staff complain that they are working harder than the native staff, and for less money (which is in some cases very true). Obviously, there's a lot more to it than arbitrary income disparity, but it doesn't seem like the issue is being addressed in a way that seeks to appease those most affected. When half of the employees feel that they're being under-compensated without any avenues for voicing their opinions other than staff-room chit-chat, negativity ensues and begins to spread. One more thing to note is that the staff assigned to your school at the beginning of any given school-year will greatly determine whether your Kinder Kids experience is a positive or negative one. You might have a group with wonderful camaraderie and enthusiasm, who support each other and want the best for the team, in which case you'll have an amazing time. You might, however, get something far less desirable, and you'll be stuck with it for at least a year. I wish there was a way to change this, but it's probably just the nature of the beast. Same goes for your teaching partner. I had the good fortune to partner with some funny and talented people during my time, but a bad match can be miserable.

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  10. "A fantastic environment for children and staff."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher in Sakai, Osaka
    Recommends

    I worked at Kinder Kids International School full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    From the beginning of the interview process Kinder Kids were very supportive and I always felt that my time ideas were valued. The training offered was very good and went into a good amount of detail regarding child development and teaching methods. I feel that the staff conducting the training were very realistic about the realities of the job and what was expected of teachers and they were happy to answer any questions that arose. Beginning teaching was a little daunting but new and inexperienced teachers are usually placed with experienced teachers which makes the process a lot easier. I really loved the classroom environment at Kinder Kids, it is a fun nurturing environment in which children are really encouraged to become confident individuals.

    Cons

    This was a full on job and the hours were quite long. Sometimes it could be exhausting but it was always worth it.

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