SMOE Reviews | Glassdoor

SMOE Reviews

Updated January 3, 2017
36 reviews

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4.2
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36 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "ESL Instructor"

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

    I worked at SMOE (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Cushy, and very easy to get stuck in. I had a particularly positive experience because I was at a middle of the road school. The less experienced but younger teachers worked there, so were people that I could relate more to.

    Cons

    You are under supervision at the school, so quality can vary. You get a $100 raise every year, that's it.


  2. "Teacher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Public School Teacher in Arcadia, CA
    Former Employee - Public School Teacher in Arcadia, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at SMOE full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Laid-back work atmosphere and you will love it if you enjoy working with children or kids. Great experience for people looking to learn about other cultures.

    Cons

    The change in atmosphere, from life to work may be too abrupt for some. It's easy to stay inside your self-made box if you don't make an effort to reach out more; as is expected, teaching children consists of more discipline and baby-sitting than actual teaching.

    Advice to Management

    Ensure better coordination between foreign teachers and native teachers; but since they are for the most part hands off I don't see it as a huge issue.


  3. "Great if you are adventerous"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great experience and requirements are easily met. Great way to travel

    Cons

    Little job growth opportunities, schools are hit or miss, culture shock


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  5. "Good experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at SMOE full-time

    Pros

    -Good Experience
    - Good pay package
    - Meet other teachers from all over the world
    - Chance to explore other countries

    Cons

    - Frequent changes in terms of coworkers, supervisors, etc etc
    - Cultural and language barriers
    - Limited opportunities for advancement

    Advice to Management

    Differentiate good teachers from bad and treat better qualified and more dependable teachers better than random backpackers.


  6. "Benefits were better back in the day"

    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

    You only had to work less than 30 hours

    Cons

    Desk warming gets pretty boring

    Advice to Management

    Bring back the signing bonus and make the English camps more fun and free flowing


  7. "A Great way to get into Asia"

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

    Pros

    I worked for the SMOE for 3 years having a fantastic experience. The staff was very accommodating despite what other reviewers may say. The school was close to provided housing and pay was adequate.

    Cons

    From colleague experiences placed at different school, Principals and staff can be difficult to work with. Varying levels of English speaking staff members can make things like understanding lesson plans or schedules difficult. Principals of each school are the final word, if you cannot get along with them you may have a hard time at the school.

    Advice to Management

    Do more to level the treatment of the each Native English Teacher so that reviews are not so drastically skewed.


  8. "Awesome country; a great central hub to asia"

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

    Pros

    Very few countries can compete with the infrastructure of the city. Also, international exposure is a huge plus.

    Cons

    Working in a foreign setting is tough. be sure to soak in/learn the local culture, and avoid being recluse as isolating as it can feel at times


  9. "NSET Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Teacher | Team Leader in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland)
    Former Employee - English Teacher | Team Leader in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at SMOE (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Training upon arrival was well delivered, the company made sure all teachers were well prepared before sending them off to their schools.
    -The process of getting required information such as visa, flights, housing, etc. Any question that came to mind, the company made sure to give detailed answers to take away any doubts of working in Korea.
    -The pay scheme was laid out on day one, everyone knew where they stood in terms pay based on qualifications.
    -Jon Pak represented the office very well, anytime there was a problem with a school he was there to step in to offer help.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, there were no downsides to working with SMOE. I enjoyed my two years with the company.

    Advice to Management

    I would suggest setting up a website for applicants to apply. The organisation isn't marketed well enough to draw in teachers.


  10. "Amazing experience with SMOE"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher in Seoul (South Korea)
    Former Employee - Native English Teacher in Seoul (South Korea)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at SMOE full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    As the only native teacher at my schools, sometimes issues would arise from the language and cultural barrier. If I needed clarification or help with my school, SMOE was always available for a phone call to assist directly with my school for me. Whenever I had minor questions about specifics in the contract, I could message them anytime and they'd give an answer (or find it for me) right away. I had a phenomenal experience working for SMOE.

    Cons

    I worked at two schools over 2 years while working in Seoul. I had wonderful coworkers and students both times. However, not everyone I knew did. Not every school will be a good fit for the teacher, and SMOE doesn't have control over that. They put you where you're needed. Try to learn and understand more about cultural expectations, and that can help smooth things over with some prickly personalities.

    Advice to Management

    You're doing a fantastic job with the resources you're given. Thank you for the phenomenal opportunity!


  11. "Middle School English teacher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Middle School Teacher in Seoul (South Korea)
    Former Employee - Middle School Teacher in Seoul (South Korea)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at SMOE full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    great colleagues, very helpful, amazing contracts. The deal I had at the school I was working for was amazing, lessons ran smoothly, I had lot of support, my accommodation was in an amazing area 15 mins walking distance from the school. I had my own classroom and was allowed to make my lessons how i wanted. Trips with the government were also great.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, the great benefits of working for SMOE were slowly getting eroded away, for example, resigning bonus and time off for agreeing to another year got cut. Middle school and High School placements were cut, some people had to start working two or more schools, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Try not to remove all the benefits that make the job worth doing otherwise you will lose great teachers to hagwons and attract people who care less about the job.


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