National Council of Teachers of English Reviews | Glassdoor

National Council of Teachers of English Reviews

5 reviews

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2.6
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Sandy Hayes
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  1. "NCTE is a good place to work where you feel like you are providing support to the worthy cause of literacy."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Urbana, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Urbana, IL
    Recommends

    Pros

    Excellent benefits including two for one matching up to 5% of salary for 403(b) retirement plan, four weeks of vacation, one week off between Christmas and New Year's, and two weeks of sick time. Health, dental, and vision insurance are included. Currently the employee pays no premiums for insurance, but this is under review.

    Cons

    The "dead wood" workers who either don't do their job or do just enough to get by are not held accountable by management. Oddly, workers who work beyond their job descriptions and are innovative do not receive compensation or recognition. These individuals who have proven that they will work hard for the organization and put in the time and effort to succeed are often burdened with additional projects outside the scope of their annual goals and then seem to be held more strictly accountable to their goals. This is a very poor way of rewarding workers who are constantly willing to sacrifice their time for the benefit of the organization.

    Advice to Management

    A thorough review of job positions within the organization should be performed by an outside professional to help streamline what has become a bloated organization. The most senior manager should trust the competence of middle management. Senior management should set organizational goals and manage them at a macro level while allowing middle management to manage goals and projects at a micro level.


  2. "Run!!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Urbana, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Urbana, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits & cool coworkers

    Cons

    Bad HR & horrible communication


  3. "It could be worse, I guess"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Urbana, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Urbana, IL

    Pros

    It's an interesting place to work. There are people of various backgrounds and abilities here. The benefits package is pretty good... lots of vacation days! There is a general feeling of collegiality among the staff. New ideas are welcome, even if they arent acted upon.

    Cons

    After a certain point, there are little opportunities for advancement. The political climate/internal struggles tend to get in the way of true innovation. The top-down management style doesn't lend a lot of room for anyone other than Sr. Management to impact overall success. Morale is at an all-time low

    Advice to Management

    Communicate more, trust employees more, don't rely on senior management for everything, clear out the dead weight


  4. Helpful (2)

    "In Transition"

    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
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    NCTE has an important mission and a long history of successfully serving that mission. Its work is at the heart of American education, and there continues to be outstanding potential for the association to make major contributions on behalf of teachers and students.

    Cons

    In early 2015, NCTE lost its longtime Executive Director, Kent Williamson, to cancer. He was a true visionary and a humane individual. He was equally adept at operations, strategic planning, and external relations. Kent fostered a family atmosphere at NCTE. Although some staff felt he did not delegate enough responsibility, they enjoyed working with him and at the Council. Since his illness and loss, the Council has become a much less supportive and pleasant place to work.

    Operations were not well managed in Kent's absence, although the interim director maintained the Council's external relations and strategic implementation forward during a difficult period. Staff have been expected to pick up more and more responsibility, both in number of duties and independence of oversight, with little guidance and no additional compensation (the Council already significantly underpaid staff). Staff have also not received annual reviews in some time. Most staff do not have an opportunity for professional development. Traditionally, staff morale has been maintained through monthly breakfasts and the occasional catered lunch, rather than through professional acknowledgement and growth opportunities.

    Staff relationships with members (the Council's "customers," who also have a role in governance) are generally not supported at the executive level, which can lead to abuses. As with any organization with strong customer service goals and responsibilities, the support of management for front-line employees is essential.

    The new permanent executive director had a challenging introduction to the Council, with some membership groups accusing the Council of racist hiring practices and a lack of support for diversity (this was discussed in a direct letter to members). This could not be further from the truth. The Council has exhibited this commitment in many ways over the years and staff share the value of inclusiveness. An independent agency supported that the hire of the new executive director was a fair one, but staff were put through diversity and inclusion training anyway and with a tone that suggested that intolerance would not be tolerated (not necessary in an organization that already embraced that value system). Moreover, the new executive director has also shown a tendency to treat staff harshly, with little research into the nature of their responsibilities, and to show a careerist focus that is not of likely long term-benefit to the Council.

    Advice to Management

    Member leadership should select as an executive someone who is knowledgeable about literacy from the inside -- that is, from the classroom rather than from the boardroom -- and who is devoted to English as a field and not simply to literacy in general (although alliances with other disciplinary literacies via NCLE is of great value). The executive should be someone who is kind, humble, and devoted to the cause of English Studies and its associated literacies.

    Staff should be valued. Member leadership should make an effort to become familiar with individual staff members and to understand the nature of their responsibilities and the conditions of their labor (benign management is not possible, cannot be guaranteed, without direct access to employee feedback on this). Member leaders should be encouraged to treat staff with respect, including the number of demands on their time given staff reductions and budgetary constraints.

    Executive leadership of staff should focus on increasing the number of permanent professional staff devoted to the mission and should reward talent, especially talent that can contribute to innovation. A recent mass layoff has removed slightly less than one-quarter of the permanent staff. At least three staff members had left during the previous year, two independently and one by request. Another had passed away. Institutional knowledge left with them (at least 90 cumulative years in conventions). The Council had begun to outsource certain areas to save on costs under Kent Williamson (in areas such as printing and proofreading), and has now stepped up those efforts in some areas of core service.

    The new executive director has said (in an open letter to members) that the Council will emphasize a distributed workforce model to tap talent nationally, but the talent to which the Council had access locally (with the University of Illinois nearby), in DC (where its satellite office is located), and via freelancers (consultants) was already sufficient, if the Council had made the decision to update its hiring model to include and reward more professionals (its workforce has traditionally heavily favored hourly employees who worked hard but had a limited scope of responsibility).

    Responsibilities should be delegated rather than held at the top. The culture of secrecy and exclusion from management should become one of genuine transparency and inclusion. Also, a culture of kindness and staff development should replace the current culture of blame and grunt-force labor.

    Cross functional teams should be implemented, to ensure that creative contributions across management levels and departmental silos can fuel innovation.


  5. "It's the best professional organization for English teachers!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    *lots of resources
    *great conferences and professional development opportunities

    Cons

    *can get a little overwhelming