1. Helpful (3)

    "The worst school I have ever worked at. EF Oxford"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English As A Second Language Teacher in Oxford, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at EF Education First full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Fellow teachers- Some of the strongest people I've met. Sadly, no one who started with me in January 2018 remains there on a full-time contract. Students- You get some great students who can really make the difference between a good day and a bad day.

    Cons

    Appalling working conditions 40hrs a week, often with a double banking 30 hr contact time 'summer' timetable even in winter. Many teachers stay until 7pm even 9pm (unpaid) to plan and many come in on weekends. The management are out the door at 5.30 sharp. There is a mentality of don't bother planning, which affects class quality and teacher burnout. Understaffed and overworked, leading to teacher breakdowns in the staff room, I've lost count of how many teachers I have seen in tears due to stress and being pushed too hard. It is a very upsetting environment to be part of and at times can become violent, one teacher recently snapped and shouted and swore in the corridor and threw things in the staff room. Toxic environment of us vs them mentality with the management. The management are sorely under trained and lack basic man management skills. They allow anonymous, informal complaints with no evidence, to escalate into close door meetings where you are intimidated and questioned on every aspect of what you do. Such accusations can be- 'Negativity', 'undermining teachers abilities' or 'making teachers feel uncomfortable'. All with no evidence and all very stressful. Most of the complaints come from senior teachers who listen in on private conversations and report back to the management or simply make things up. It is impossible to defend yourself when you don't even know/understand what you said or did. This behaviour led to several teachers leaving and is wholly unacceptable, bordering on bullying. Further to this, the inductions are atrocious and almost non existent. The support is apparently available only if you go and ask for it and only when the office door is literally open which it is often not, leaving many teachers to make crucial decisions themselves. A teacher with little experience who recently started was fired instead of given support as his classes weren't up to standard and absolutely no one helped him. Chances of promotion appear to be based on how friendly you are with the management. Often candidates with a DELTA or more experience are overlooked for teachers who may have been there longer. A teacher who was on very good terms with the management quickly become a senior teacher (within 6 months), overlooking a candidate who had actually been there longer and got on well with other teachers leading many, whether true or not, to believe that the system is based on cronyism. Inappropriate messaging between teachers and students. Several teachers were privately messaging students on social media as well as clubbing and drinking with them. Most of them have now left. Poor quality classrooms and materials- 17 students in a class, some of the classrooms are tiny with barely enough space for 17 students and a teacher, in the summer the temperatures can reach unbearable and unsafe levels, causing students and teachers to feel sick. Only some have projectors and slow computers, a big disappointment for a 'flagship' school, many broken chairs or chairs with small flip tables despite students preferring rooms with tables. The EF books themselves are of the poorest quality: full of mistakes, awful audio recordings and answers to reading and listening that don't even make sense, they are often ditched for better books. Constantly breaking photocopiers. Students are paying a lot and receiving very little quality in return. All round unfriendly colleagues, outside of the staff room, with poor, unpaid, interns working ridiculously hard to try and keep students happy. A broken review system where a teacher is expected to get 4.4/5 on their student evaluations or expect to be fired and/or subjected to constant private meetings. The review system only determines whether or not the student likes you which is almost impossible to improve with many teachers becoming close friends with students or simply playing games with them in order to achieve a high rating. One teacher who received low ratings was hounded out of the school and spent her final week off due to stress and anxiety induced by the job. Any success or target achieved is met with sweets or ice cream as if we are children. This is a huge business with a massive turnover and there is nothing in the budget for bonuses for reaching targets or even to buy books. The salary is also too low, 18k a year is not enough to live in Oxford, one of the most expensive places in England. Many teachers share houses with people and still pay upwards of £500. Insanely high turnover, we lost 4 teachers in a week once, and in my one year there I saw possibly 20+ people come and go. Many sighting the working conditions and management as reasons for leaving

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    EF Education First2019-03-26
  1. "Amazing team"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends

    I worked at EF Education First full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Amazing team and work life balance. Insurance is best I’ve ever had.

    Cons

    School had to close down due to covid19

    EF Education First2020-05-12

    EF Education First Response

    May 20, 2020Vice President of Recruitment and Employee Development

    So glad to hear you enjoyed the team and work/life balance - our people are most certainly our best asset, and work/life balance is very important to our culture. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

  2. "Amazing culture workplace with autonomy to get creative and run your own business"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Territory Manager in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EF Education First full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Opportunity to get creative within your business and encouragement to test initiatives creatively. The workplace and teams are extremely collaborative and open

    Cons

    A lot of initiatives set forth that are half-baked and don't always come to fruition and low compensation

    EF Education First2020-06-01

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