St. Giles International Reviews | Glassdoor

St. Giles International Reviews

Updated November 19, 2017
18 reviews

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18 Employee Reviews

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  1. "ESL Teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at St. Giles International part-time

    Pros

    Transparent and supportive work environment, fun team of teachers and directors, weekly schedule sent every week, fair compensation

    Cons

    Bottom floor wifi signal weak


  2. "Good people, bad company"

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

    I worked at St. Giles International full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The students were for the most part a pleasure to work with and the community of teachers was fun, open and supportive. Admin was stretched to their absolute breaking point, but were also very flexible and supportive.

    Cons

    The wages are an absolute joke in expensive markets like SF, NY, London. You could make more money cashing unemployment checks. Everyone knows how incompetent upper management is-- they refuse to invest in basic things like hiring a sufficient number of human beings to handle admin duties, tech support, etc. The computers at the school are 10+ years old and are constantly breaking down. Nothing is organized and nothing works smoothly, mostly because there are 3-4 administrators doing the work of 6-7. As a result, these types of positions are also a revolving door (they also pay poorly), which is VERY bad for the school. Oh yeah, and there's 0 opportunity for advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Consider changing your business model. The school spends an absurd amount of money on overhead (downtown office) and to pay agents who arrange visas, etc for foreign students (over half of the students' tuition (!)). This leaves virtually nothing to pay the teachers and admin who actually run the school. There are thousands upon thousands of people who already live in the U.S. and U.K. and who speak English as a second language, who could use lessons but don't need to incur the 50-60% fee to the Swiss agent-- invest in advertisements to target this demographic instead of insisting on the poor pay/poor quality/high turnover model. If you don't change the way you do business, these schools are going bye-bye in the not-too-distant future.

  3. "Going down"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Teacher in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at St. Giles International part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Students are great. Freedom to create a curriculum from scratch.

    Cons

    Uncompensated work (creating curricula because they don't exist). Zero job security. Management has no idea what they are doing. Facilities are not maintained and could possibly be hazardous.

    Advice to Management

    Reduce turnover, pay teacher's, organize and update your facilities.


  4. "St. Giles"

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

    I worked at St. Giles International full-time

    Pros

    The students were absolutely incredible.

    Cons

    Only a few instructors are salaried. During the slower seasons you have to fight for hours.


  5. "Unprofessional Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in New York, NY
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at St. Giles International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    No room for flexibility in your teaching. This is not a place to try teaching for the first time, get your feet wet, make mistakes, and become a stronger teacher. Staff are not nice, teachers are Haters.

    Cons

    Some students are unmotivated because they just arrived for one week. No future in this company

    Advice to Management

    Learn a thing or two about how much work it takes to prepare a lesson and think about how much someone should REALLY get paid for it!


  6. "Enjoyed teaching, but couldn't afford to stay"

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

    Pros

    The students are great, there is a lot of diversity, and many students are there to work (and those who aren't don't dominate the classroom).
    I was grateful too to get an opportunity to teach with limited experience. The teaching methodology is really strong, so being able to apply it directly was great. If I could afford to, I would like to teach here again.

    Cons

    I was hired with little to no experience in a classroom, and while this was great for me, it's a problem for the experienced teachers there who ought to be better compensated. I was immediately burnt out the first week teaching and was very concerned that I was not being compensated for prep time (mine was considerable being a new teacher) and thought that this is the case for all teachers. I couldn't figure out how the long term teachers were surviving in NYC on that salary.

    Advice to Management

    Perhaps reduce the teacher turnover. I was not very qualified, and while it looks great for your teacher training program to immediately hire, it is a problem for your long term teachers.


  7. "Lots of Flexibility and Fun, No Mobility, Low Pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Teacher in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at St. Giles International part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great students, relatively advanced facilities (SMART boards etc), small class sizes, new management has a positive attitude, relative freedom in how you approach lessons and teaching

    Cons

    Abysmal pay, refusal to update outdated bureaucratic methods, ostensible allotment of prep time payment does not cover the realistic number of hours needed, lack of job security, disorganized management, no upward mobility whatsoever

    Advice to Management

    Digitize your files, allow more openings for salaried positions, stop cutting admin positions and
    spreading the work to people who don't know how to do it, pay your teachers for the time and value of their work

  8. "Teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Teacher in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at St. Giles International part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The students are awesome - interesting, smart, enthusiastic and from around the globe. The classrooms are really nice and clean and have whiteboards. Lots of great resources/textbooks in the teachers lounge. If you enjoy creating curriculums, there is a lot for you to play with. Fellow teachers are very nice and helpful. It is why the place runs so well because they are very dedicated, to their craft and to the students. The ones who are not, die out quickly - b/c you really have to honestly love teaching to stay! Teachers who have been there a long time really help out new teachers. It is a great place to work and get exposure to lots of different students. Participate in all the activities with students. Enjoy it for what it is and network with all your students from day one!

    Cons

    Administration. Paperwork. Pay. No job security. Disorganized. No benefits. Barely time to go to the bathroom all day due to their poor scheduling. Overworked/Underpaid. And someone is making a lot of money b/c the school is expensive. All that said, unfortunately I would say this is still the nicest school in NYC to work at, given the options. Teachers start off working there with gusto and end bitter. A bummer.

    Advice to Management

    Get professionals in administration and management who actually know what they are doing. It's 2015 - use technology and stop all that crazy paperwork! Treat your teachers better and reward the good ones so they will stay. It will save you a ton of time and money spent on turnover.Teachers really want to stay, but administration and management is the main reason they leave. The place is the best in NYC but it could be so much more.


  9. "ESL instructor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESL Instructor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - ESL Instructor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at St. Giles International part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Location, atmosphere among staff members, comfortable facilities, and social programme.

    Cons

    While not a school but a language centre, St. Giles poses as an academy of English when it lacks all the dedication of one. It offers its staff no security, benefits, or even guarantee for future employment aside from a frail contract which is entirely subject upon enrollment figures. The administrative team is overworked and underpaid, and the supervising team has no connection to its teachers as the only service-providing insurance of the company name. From this frustrated and so intellectually stagnant position, teachers change each season like the fashion. Students do not get the proper attention they need; the entire placement testing system is corrupt and always thrown out when the student complains over the slightest thing (from a certain teacher's accent to a certain other classmate's smell), accommodations are not made for disabled students, and materials are lacking. One could say that this posting is not for the faint of heart, not for an educator who expects a progressive structure or oversight, which is all true, but where is the nursery room for these when the compensation will not abide? The management needs to stop pretending to disguise this as an institution and instead take its teachers and students more seriously, or else make this a drop-in tutoring centre à la Huntington Learning Centre.

    Advice to Management

    Consider the growth of the company beyond the immediate sight line and compile programmes that will make this language centre outlast others. Provide different types of seasonal, short-, and long- term courses, academic and exam prep courses, and those with specialised focus such as CV writing, presentation, interviews, and day-to-day communication so students can create their own schedules and be more motivated. Provide credits to students who excel in their classes, demonstrate proficiency, and complete all their coursework, which will earn them a seat in a level test, if they so choose, or allow them to determine the topic of an upcoming class, or a field trip. Give incentive to teachers by explicitly giving the terms for a raise, promotion, or salary contract, rather than give a nebulous shake of the head to senior management and the global market (?) to these responsibilities. Make development meetings fruitful by not wasting time on global figures which do not reflect the company's position in the industry but rather scapegoat on everything but. Lastly, end the platinum course apartheid. Adopt the self-scheduling programme of courses suggested above, and provide platinum courses of certain intent (medical, legal, business presentation, letter writing, etc.) there.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Great working with students, bad administration."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at St. Giles International (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great to work with students from around the world in an international setting. Location is great1

    Cons

    Administration is too busy to care about teacher development and opportunity for advancement as well as HR are almost non existent. NO paid prep time.

    Advice to Management

    PAY MORE ATTENTION TO EMPLOYEES! PAY PREP TIME! HOST MORE EMPLOYEE ONLY EVENTS! Give us some sort of sense of job security!


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