Poly Languages Institute Reviews | Glassdoor

Poly Languages Institute Reviews

Updated September 8, 2016
11 reviews

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1.6
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11 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Good place to start, but not a forever job."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Fun students
    Delicious potlucks
    Great place to start/develop your teaching strategies and class rapport

    Cons

    Low pay
    Lots of grading/planning on your own time
    Time clock to keep track of hours
    No holiday pay
    No (or limited) health insurance

    Advice to Management

    Treat your teachers well!


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Nice and Flexible"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Poly Languages Institute part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Coworkers are welcoming and helpful which creates a good working environment. Most students are also friendly and engaged

    Cons

    Although Coworkers are friendly, they are also a bit distant. Depending on student enrollment your hours may be cut

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Poor Management"

    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

    Pros

    Students and teachers are the only things that make work positive and fun.

    Cons

    Verbally abusive owner/ director who uses scare tactics on staff and has immensely poor management skills.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Extremely hostile work environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Instructor in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - ESL Instructor in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Poly Languages Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The students and the other teachers are fantastic, for the short time they stick around, when there are enough of them.

    Cons

    The management goes out of its way to be unsupportive and outright antagonistic towards teachers. Here are just a few examples from the time that I was employed at Poly:

    -None of the teachers received any training. Teachers had to learn on the job from other teachers. This was extremely stressful for new teachers, since they were expected to cover half a textbook in only eighteen or nineteen days of class and administer two exams which were riddled with mistakes and confusing questions. Students frequently complained about new teachers who were still figuring out how to do their jobs, and the teachers were blamed for these complaints.
    -We were forced to keep our books in our lockers, and were not allowed to take them home, even though none of us had ever lost a book and we needed to be able to take them home in order to prepare.
    -On at least two occasions, all of our classes were switched even though we specifically asked to keep the same classes. We were told that this was to give us "experience teaching different levels," as if we weren't already experienced. This not only made our jobs harder, but also decreased the quality of our classes.
    -One of the teachers was forced to clock out during an hour when all of her students were absent.
    -A teacher was written up and fired shortly thereafter for being two minutes late and not calling until 8:00 (fifty minutes before the beginning of the first class). The same day, another teacher was fifteen minutes late and called at 8:10, but was not written up. No explanation was given for this blatant discrimination.
    -One of the teachers was written up for clocking in two minutes early.
    -Our paid monthly meetings started getting canceled every month, despite our requests to keep them. This meant we lost a full day's pay once a month and had no scheduled time to discuss our concerns with management.
    -All three of the managers I worked under were subjected to frequent yelling and verbal abuse by the owner. At one point, my classroom shared a wall with the office and my students and I could hear the owner screaming at the manager for an entire class period.
    -I was asked to rewrite a syllabus without compensation. When I refused, the manager tried to ask at least one other teacher the same thing.
    -Raises were frozen due to budget issues - yet the school continued to spend money on renovating a new student lounge and hiring new assistants. I was at the school for over a year and always received excellent scores on student evaluations, but I was never given a raise.
    -One of the teachers discovered that she only made $16 an hour despite having a master's degree, while another teacher who was less qualified made $17 an hour. When she confronted management about it, she was (illegally) threatened with termination for discussing salary with coworkers.

    In addition, student enrollment is very low and seems to be decreasing. Elective classes are frequently canceled, which means losing one to two hours' pay every day. One teacher nearly lost her listening and speaking class - one of the core classes - because there was only one student enrolled. This, combined with the very low hourly rate Poly pays ($16 for most, $17 if they feel like giving it to you), makes it impossible to make a living from the job. Almost all of the teachers had at least one other job. Most teachers left after only a few months because there was no incentive to stay.

    Advice to Management

    Sell the school. That's the only way the school will ever be worth anything. The owner is a narcissistic, abusive, unstable bully who has absolutely no concept of caring about the well-being of employees or providing a high quality education to the students.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "I would not recommend working here!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant/Student Advisor in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant/Student Advisor in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Poly Languages Institute full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The teachers and students are a 10/10. Everyone here is extremely friendly and makes an effort to show that you are appreciated. The relationships you make with the students and teachers are definitely a great bonus!

    Cons

    The owner and upper management is terrible. Most of the times, they do not know the situation and will quickly jump into conclusions rather than just asking you directly if a solution has been made yet. They will also lash out at you, and rather than giving any constructive criticism, they will belittle you. It is also clear that they do not appreciate the teachers and students, and the focus is always on the money rather than the education -- even though this is a language SCHOOL.

    Advice to Management

    Please own up to your own mistakes rather than making those around you feel bad for things that weren't even in their control. Also, upper management should know how to lead a company before owning one. If the staff felt appreciated, I'm sure the employment turnover rate would not be so high.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Poor Management"

    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

    I worked at Poly Languages Institute full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Working in an environment with a diverse range of people from all over the world is absolutely wonderful. The teachers and students are the best part about working at POLY; everyone is really friendly.

    Cons

    Senior management is very poor and lacks leadership skills. They berate you for every error that you make rather than provide constructive criticism to help you learn and grow. The company has an extremely high employee turnover rate due to the upper management's ineffectiveness as leaders.

    Advice to Management

    Respect and add value to your employees and they will respect and be loyal to you.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Poly Review"

    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
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Poly Languages Institute part-time

    Pros

    The teachers and students are great.

    Cons

    The management is awful. The office management rarely knows what is happening or how to resolve simple problems effectively. The upper management mistreats and underpays employees. As well the curriculum and pacing are not conducive to effective English instruction

    Advice to Management

    Pay your workers better. Treat them with respect. Be honest in your dealings.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Administration"

    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 Poly Languages Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The teachers and students are the best things about the job.

    Cons

    Upper management is verbally abusive and has no leadership skills. Low pay for hard work and hostile work environment.

    Advice to Management

    Poly is being hindered by the high turnover of administration due to the upper management's inability to lead employees. Verbal mistreatment of admin and head teachers has led to a perpetual cycle of high turn over and mistrust from teachers.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Simple Hiring Process/ Poor Hours"

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

    I worked at Poly Languages Institute full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The center manager was extremely pleasant. The students were cooperative for the most part. The school is also located in a pretty central location.

    Cons

    Rigid curriculum that inhibits flexibility. Company does not pay for parking so you would have to pay every day. Poor hours. Low Pay..

    Advice to Management

    This is more of advice for ownership and that simple is invest in better quality materials and develop a purposeful curriculum.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Poorly run schools"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Office Manager in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Office Manager in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Poly Languages Institute full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The students are great and there are quite a few excellent teachers.

    Cons

    The owner of the three schools is unstable and treats his employees very poorly. He never gives his teachers raises, even the excellent teachers. I knew a teacher who was working there for over five years and she was barely making above $16 an hour. The owner is the kind of boss who only focuses on negative things and places a lot of blame on his employees. He refuses to take ownership for how he has caused the company to lose money and students. The pay is very low (about $36,000 a year for the Center Manager). My experience there was terrible when I was working in the office. I found that they really only cared about getting tuition money rather than on developing their teachers in order to truly improve the school. A teacher I know was fired from there because they said she stole whiteboard markers. For a school that is covered in cameras I would have demanded evidence. I think it's an ok environment for teachers if they are just there to gain some experience and then move on. No hope of higher pay.

    Advice to Management

    Just because you're the owner doesn't mean you should manage the place. Also, if you don't have a background in TESOL you have to trust that your employees who do know what they're talking about.



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