Uncommon Schools Reviews | Glassdoor

Uncommon Schools Reviews

Updated March 26, 2017
118 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.3
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Brett Peiser
47 Ratings

118 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • unsustainable work-life balance in general (in 24 reviews)

  • Super long hours - after work and on the weekends (in 28 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Middle School ELA Teacher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rochester, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rochester, NY

    I have been working at Uncommon Schools full-time

    Pros

    Great staff and company is highly committed to educational opportunities for all children; decent benefits; great professional development opportunities

    Cons

    Long work hours and very high expectations, which is great if you're looking to improve your teaching!


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Summer Teaching Fellowship"

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

    Pros

    This was a great experience for college students the summer before their senior year. There are not many internships for students to lead a classroom before graduating college. The program ended in mid-July, which means you still get a whole month off before college starts again. The pay was not bad for 7 weeks. Housing is provided. Your cohort will be your greatest resource and you will have lots of fun on weekends! The school does a good job at preparing students for tests and passing them (in most locations, at least).

    Cons

    If you are expecting to learn how to teach, this is not the fellowship for you. All you will learn is how to manage behavior in a classroom using commands. Seriously, just look up a video and you will see what I mean. They say they are empowering students to speak up in moments of injustice, but telling them to shut up in the same breath.

    All lesson plans are written for you, and you will get in trouble if you try to alter them in any way (even using a different example for a math lesson will get you in trouble). The kids do not get recess and often sit for silent lunch. The school day during the year is 2 hours longer than other schools. The only elective is music, and even that is super rigid. The scholars act out because they are sitting for 9 hours a day. This is a little better in summer academy, as there is 10 minutes at the end of the day for them to be themselves.

    The school is not transparent with the purpose of the program. Everyone in my cohort was offered a job. The fellowship is just a sneaky way to indoctrinate college students into Uncommon's teaching taxonomies before they have the chance to experience other types of education. I do not regret this internship, as it made me learn a lot about charter schools. This was one of the hardest things I have ever done and it really did look great on a resume.

    Advice to Management

    I think it speaks for itself the CEO and most teachers do not send their kids to these schools. School should be a safe place for children (especially those facing adversity) to just be children. Learning should not be so rigid. Sitting with flat feet and hands crossed is seriously disturbing. Give the kids recess. Give them art. If the day is 2 hours longer there is no reason they cannot run around for 30 of those minutes. Also, those teachers are burned out and need way more breaks-- some of the students have to eat lunch in their classrooms with the teacher!


  3. "Office"

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

    I worked at Uncommon Schools full-time

    Pros

    Great staff and work environment

    Cons

    Long hours and work life balance not good


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Out of Touch Administration"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Special Projects Coordinator in Brooklyn, NY
    Current Employee - Special Projects Coordinator in Brooklyn, NY

    I have been working at Uncommon Schools (More than a year)

    Pros

    Uncommon offers a decent starting pay

    Cons

    Administration forgets that we work with children and sets up system to make them robots.

    Staff is VERY overworked. expect 50+ hour weeks

    Advice to Management

    Do more for employees and staff culture. Show you appreciate how much time we contribute, both Ops and Instructional staff.

    Uncommon Schools Response

    Mar 17, 2017 – Marketing and External Relations Coordinator

    We're always looking for ways to improve our culture and let our staff know they're valued, and we appreciate this feedback. If you have any suggestions around staff appreciation, email us at ... More


  6. "Learning Opportunity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher, Elementary School
    Current Employee - Teacher, Elementary School
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Uncommon Schools full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Leadership team really works hard to help all teachers grow us much as they can within the year. The schools are very data driven and scholars show lots of improvement when teachers use that data to help guide their teaching.

    Cons

    Super long hours - after work and on the weekends. The beginning of the year is tough for everyone, even staff who has been there 2-7 years, trying to adjust to the workload and find that balance. Teaching is stressful with managing your classroom while at the same time teaching rigorous content. Teachers are so burnt out that even if you wanted to go above and beyond for your children you simply don't have the energy to.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "overwhelming for both teachers and students"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher
    Former Employee - Teacher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Uncommon Schools full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Really amazing staff, a dedication to feedback and improving. Pay and benefits are great. They are trying to make work life balance better but still have a long way to go.

    Cons

    There is a lot to say here. I will start with the issue of having children sit for 9 hours a day with very little time to interact freely(a rushed 30 minutes for lunch). I think if the CEO went through a school day like the kids do every day he'd realize how unnatural and difficult it is. They completely overwhelm you as a new teacher with 12 hour days, certification tests, and their graduate school. the training is centered around classroom management because kids act out when they are forced to have such a strict schedule. Everything leading up to my first day in the classroom lead me to believe the classroom management would be much easier than it actually was. We had a lot of new teachers because turnover is extremely high and the students took advantage of all first year teachers. Because expectations are so high and the day is so strict students are constantly getting in trouble and it becomes a mostly negative environment. You don't have much time to build relationships with kids or the other teachers.

    Advice to Management

    have new teachers start relay in the spring so they are not completely overwhelmed in the fall with all they have to learn and do. give kids more time to be kids, forcing them to sit still for 9 hours a day is wrong. Work on building a strong foundation of teachers through a manageable work/life balance and stop trying to expand so quickly so that new teachers constantly come and go. Recognize that a strict school environment does not work for every kids and work with families to find a better fit for those children. Make PD more realistic.

    Uncommon Schools Response

    Mar 17, 2017 – Marketing and External Relations Coordinator

    Thank you for your feedback - we're always looking to improve, so hearing from current and former employees is incredibly helpful.


  8. "If you want to make a difference in education, work here!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Special Projects Coordinator in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Special Projects Coordinator in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Uncommon Schools full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The support from peers is amazing! Everyone working together for a common goal. I always feel supported. I am excited about our mission and changing history!

    Cons

    More communication between schools and home office is needed.

    Advice to Management

    Great bunch of smart and funny people. Keep up the good work!


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Teacher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Uncommon Schools full-time

    Pros

    It's great to be a part of a group of like minded individuals who believe all students can achieve high levels. The kids and families are amazing.

    Cons

    The hours are pretty long. Once you've been there awhile it becomes more manageable if you stay as a teacher.


  10. "Teacher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Uncommon Schools full-time

    Pros

    smart and dedicated team; room for growth

    Cons

    unsustainable work-life balance in general


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Zero work life balance here"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Uncommon Schools full-time

    Pros

    Smart coworkers. Kids are wonderful.

    Cons

    No work life balance. Emails are sent all hours of the night. It's impossible to complete everything within the time constraints of the work day.

    Advice to Management

    Give employees perks to compensate for the ridiculously long hours.



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