The Overseas Teacher Reviews

Updated Sep 13, 2021

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  1. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Amazing Company

    Jul 23, 2021 - English Teacher in Canterbury, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Incredible company to work for with flexible hours, great incentives and an very helpful team of teachers and managers that motivate and communicate effectively.

    Cons

    Software used for teaching not always too reliable but is working to be improved all the time so they should get there soon.

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    The Overseas Teacher Response

    Director

    Hello, Thank you for your review. We are truly honoured to work with teachers like yourself. Flexibility is a key ethos that is carried throughout The Overseas Teacher, as we believe in a modern way of working. Allowing our teachers to choose their working hours creates flexibility for other responsibilities such as university, family other jobs etc. Creating a community between management and teachers is also important at The Overseas Teacher, as we want to watch your journey as you develop as a teacher, and support you when you need it. We are glad that you feel part of this community and honoured to have you on the team. Software issues can be a nightmare at times and we can understand the stress this can cause teachers at times. We do strive to be better and our tech team are constantly communicating on how we can develop stronger software. Thank you for highlighting this however, we will keep the team updated on all updates we have with further development. Thank you again for your review. Kind regards, TOT Team

  2. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Don't trust them

    Sep 13, 2021 - Online ESL Teacher in Manchester, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    1. The students were amazing. 2. Regular performance feedback and training. 3. Online ESL teaching in general is a lot of fun.

    Cons

    1. Management is insincere, appearing very friendly on the face of things until questions are raised about annual leave, payroll queries, etc. 2. There is a frustratingly cliquey atmosphere. Despite "perfect" feedback, it is often the same few personalities who get the praise and selective opportunities. Despite being one of the highest performing teachers (as well as others I've spoken to), opportunities are given out in secret to those whose faces fit. All teachers' contracts were terminated at the end of one project and a new project was set up in secret (discovered by teachers mistakenly referring to it in the Lark group chat.) 3. Though technically offered, annual leave is very difficult to negotiate.

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    The Overseas Teacher Response

    Hello, Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences! It's great to hear that you enjoyed teaching your students. We agree, they are amazing!! They bring online lessons to life and seeing them progress each week is incredibly rewarding. It is also so much fun! I'm glad that you found our ongoing feedback and training to be beneficial. We believe that online teaching is a valued teaching practice and that in supporting continued development we can help teachers to become the best educators they can be and push the boundaries of the online classroom. It concerns me that you feel that management is insincere as it is always our aim to be as communicative and transparent with our teachers as we can. With regards to annual leave and payroll queries, we encourage teachers to reach out to management to answer any questions that you might have, our policies are clearly defined in our teacher handbook and explained throughout the interview and training process. There are occasions when we don't have answers and in these circumstances we work incredibly hard to get clarification and update the teaching team as promptly as we can, in the most direct way possible. Also, if questions are asked in main group chats relating to annual leave and pay we may not answer these due to the sensitive nature of the query and would prefer a direct call or message. Creating a community of teachers has always been encouraged at TOT and we feel that connecting online ESL teachers and giving them a platform to support each other is something that is an asset to our team. It's unfortunate that you found this atmosphere to be 'cliquey'. We do also organise monthly digital social events for our online teachers and basic Mandarin classes, however, attending is not compulsory and doesn't influence which teachers may be offered opportunities. Delivering praise and encouragement is something which management prioritises in daily notifications, team meetings, events, feedback and in the sharing of exceptional teaching examples. We are extremely proud of our team and it is frustrating that we can't offer opportunities to everyone who teaches consistently well. Unfortunately, we did need to terminate the contracts of the teachers on one of our programs due to recent educational policy reforms in China. This was beyond our control and something which we worked extremely hard to avoid. We delivered this information to the teaching team as soon as we had confirmation by live broadcast, in person. This was devastating for management and not an easy message to deliver, however, we can't commend the teaching team enough for being so understanding and supportive, given the circumstances. During our live broadcast we explained that due to the unexpected end of the previous online teaching program that we would be working to create our own online program and that we would love to invite teachers to work with us again when it was ready to launch. We gave teachers a platform to register their interests and create a teacher profile. This is what we are working on currently. We do have a very small number of students and teachers completing trial classes on our new platform and we hope to expand this and invite more teachers when we are able to. Please be assured that teaching opportunities with this new program have not been kept secret because we don't want more teachers to be working with us, we just don't have a sufficient number of students to be able to offer a full schedule of teaching to anyone - even the teachers who are teaching trial classes. This is something that will take time and we hope that you can understand this. We will be incredibly excited when we are able to offer more teaching positions to our fantastic online team. Annual leave was difficult to negotiate on the recently closed teaching program as it's structure was built around teachers having the same students and a set schedule of teaching each week to mirror classroom teaching. This format had numerous benefits for teachers and students. Teachers were able to build great rapport with their students, guide them through their language learning journey while having a reliable schedule and stable income. Students could rely on their teacher to give them a stable learning environment where they could participate in class to the best of their ability. On the other hand, this did mean that taking leave throughout the teaching term was disruptive to the students learning and didn't meet the clients expectations of the program. We did advise against taking time off during term times unless absolutely necessary, encouraged teachers to take breaks between terms and consider their availability very carefully at the start of each term before submitting their desired schedule. The structure and expectations for the program are also clearly defined in our teacher handbook, explained throughout the interview and training process, as well as reminders being delivered in daily notifications, updates and team meetings. Finding a better system for annual leave is something that we are working on while we build our own program. At The Overseas Teacher, we want to create an online teaching program that provides teachers with stability and community and offers continuous feedback and further training opportunities. We would love to have the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you further so that we can better understand your experience and make improvements to the management of the program for future online teaching positions we offer. We would encourage you to contact us directly if possible and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review for us, it is greatly appreciated. Kind regards, TOT Team

  3. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Invaluable experience

    Jul 20, 2021 - Teaching Assistant in Alloa, Scotland, Scotland
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    No two days are the same

    Cons

    Wish there was more funding for other children services

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    The Overseas Teacher Response

    Director

    Hello and thank you for your review. We are happy that you have recommended us and enjoyed your experience with us. In regards to more funding for services, we are not sure what exactly is meant by this. However, we are more than happy to take any advice so please do feel free to get in touch at carl.king@theoverseasteacher.com Kind regards, TOT Team

  4. 5.0
    Current Employee

    The best company I have ever worked with

    Jul 19, 2021 - Head of Talent Acquisition 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great communication, support and career prospects

    Cons

    No cons working for this company

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    The Overseas Teacher Response

    Director

    Thank you for your review. We strive to make a strong communication level with all our team members who represent TOT through our online communication platform Lark, which allows teachers and staff to constantly stay connected. Thank you for representing TOT so well

  5. 5.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    Great job and opportunity!!

    Jun 18, 2021 - Online English Teacher in Glasgow, Scotland, Scotland
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Flexible, room for growth, developing relationships with students, fun and exciting!

    Cons

    Rely on internet, rely on computer, technical issue, time difference, screen time

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    The Overseas Teacher Response

    Director

    Hello, Firstly, thank you so much for your review, we are truly grateful for the kind words. At TOT we believe in giving our online teachers the ability to be flexible as we understand that many of them have other commitments outside of teaching, such as university of family. Therefore we build a schedule based on your own availability. Furthermore, the relationship a teacher builds with their student is imperative to the success of online teaching. It is a great skill to develop a teaching relationship with a student virtually, however, when it does happen it creates natural academic progress, which is brilliant. We are thankful that you enjoy your classes and have created academic progress for all your students. We are grateful for your cons as they give us further considerations as we develop our online platform. We do rely on teachers to have a strong internet connection as you will be connected from the UK to Beijing internet servers while doing your classes (most fibre broadband packages are okay for this.) However, sometimes technical errors can occur and we can completely understand the natural frustration this must cause. Naturally, we have to develop a system that can give the student and teacher the best environment to teach. We also try to add a 5-10 minute gap between each class, to give the teachers eyes a rest. Thank you again for your review and thank you for being such an awesome teacher. Kind regards, TOT Team

  6. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Once in a lifetime opportunity

    Jun 8, 2021 - English Teacher 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Brilliant management, always willing to help Once in a lifetime opportunity Good Money Supportive

    Cons

    You have to pay for work visa and other documents, etc before you go. But this can easily be paid off quickly once you start working.

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    The Overseas Teacher Response

    Director

    Thank you for your review and we are flattered by your kind words. We are proud that you have found our management supportive during your process to get to China during this covid period. Thank you for your constant patience and resilience. We have worked tirelessly to get to a stage where teachers can finally start flying to China and it is slowly starting to pick up again, which is fab! In regards to payment for your initial docs, this is the only expense that teachers need to pay for, as we do not charge for our service. So paying for a visa and docs can be disappointing, however, we view this more as an initial investment which, as you mentioned, will shortly be paid back. Thank you for representing TOT so well. Kind regards, TOT Team

  7. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    My Time at TOT

    Jun 7, 2021 - Online Teacher in Warrington, North West England, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    1) How did your initial interview go with TOT team before you were offered the position? My interview was with James, from the first moment I met him (virtually) he made me feel instantly comfortable and confident which is something that I really struggle with especially when meeting new people in a professional environment. There was nothing too big or too small that he could do to help me. Even answering my messages late at night when I was worried or making sure that we could find a time to suit my schedule when things went wrong in my interview. 2) Do you feel the support to get you prepared for the interview with First Leap was helpful? I feel like I was fully supported in the interview process with First Leap – again it was James that I was working with, and he helped me from start to finish. Even answering the questions for me that others might find silly. He completely made me feel as though I wasn’t alone in the process, honestly for an interview for a job I wanted so badly – he made the process enjoyable. 3) Did the interview go as you expected? I think that the interview went better than I expected, as I was so prepared for the questions my interviewer asked and I had my answers ready. It helps that I have had online experience for the role for almost 12 months and I completely fell in love with the being a teacher. My passion for teaching also assisted me in the interview 4) Did you get support on looking at the offer letter to help you decide whether to accept the position? I believe that I had full support in looking at my offer letter, again this was with James, and we had a lengthy video call discussing all areas of the offer letter, feedback on the interview, what it would mean to accept, any other questions or queries I had been answered and he helped me to conclude that I wanted the role very quickly. We had worked on this together for a long time and this is what we were waiting for. 5) How are you enjoying the team comradery on Lark? This is the first company I have worked for where I really feel like I am part of a team, from the internal management to the people I work with daily, I have never felt more comfortable and more supported in any job I have ever had. The management team truly do care about you and your well-being, they will support you in any way that they can and there are always opportunities to do more within the company. This is truly the best job I have ever had; with the best people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. 6) Do you feel the visa prep assistance is going well? The visa prep assistance with the overseas teacher is incredible, I came into this feeling overwhelmed like I would never be able to understand what was expected of me, what I needed to do, where I needed to be, what document went where but then you meet Bella. Bella made it seem manageable, the way she organises the system for you, and you can see it happening and are updated step by step is amazing. She is always there to answer any questions you have and if she doesn't know the answer, she will find it for you. She truly supports you in every area and is somebody you need on your team. It is a pleasure to work with Bella. 7) Would I recommend The Overseas Teacher? 100% - I can assure you, there is no company out there like it. You would be lucky to work for them.

    Cons

    There are no cons to working for this company - honestly.

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    The Overseas Teacher Response

    Director

    Hello, Thank you for leaving us such a graceful review. It reminds us why we love to do what we do. It is truly an honour to work with teachers like yourself. James, our head of recruitment, is extremely focused on making sure that each of our teachers, can create communication and dialogue at all time, precisely for this purpose. Himself and the team are overjoyed that you felt this way about our service. It is important for candidates to remember that we want each candidate to get the best jobs that fit their needs and requirements. Thus, we will ensure that we give the best assistance leading up to interviews for schools, as well as a follow-up chat after. In terms of team-building, we pursue to create an online community culture between our teachers. Whether that be online events such as pub quizzes, fitness classes or magic nights, we must make sure you feel part of the team, because you are what makes the TOT team. Finally, we can understand fully why you may have felt overwhelmed with the visa process, as this is a common perception. On the other hand, fortunately, we have Bella who has developed a key understanding of each stage of the visa process. Bella has also helped us create a description stage by stage visa process explanation, which will soon be on our website, podcast and articles. Furthermore, Bella will also assist teachers who wish to discuss queries with the visa process, to give you specific assistance. To conclude, thank you again for such an amazing review. We hope to work with you for many more years.

  8. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Very supportive

    Jun 4, 2021 - Graduate Student in Haverfordwest, Wales, Wales
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Very supportive and provide plenty of training

    Cons

    Can sometimes be a bit tough working at home

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    The Overseas Teacher Response

    Director

    Hello, Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review, we truly appreciate it. We are very proud and honoured that you feel supported at TOT, as this is our primary goal for all teachers who work with us. We believe in creating communication streams that are constantly available, as we want to be there for you when it suits you. Whether it be technical issues, general queries or concerns, our team is always available to help our teachers as much as we can. Please continue to use our support network whenever you need to, as this also helps us develop our training programme further to minimise repetitive issues that may occur with other teachers also. We understand that for some, working from home can be tough. The nature of being an online teacher does require you to spend most of your time alone at home. However, we do create as many community-based events that allow teachers to socialise together and create further team connections. As the pandemic is coming to an end, we are also planning a face to face event schedule which we look forward to releasing. More news on that to follow. We hope that you can join us with our face to face meetups in the future. If there is any feedback we can take that will help change your perception of us to recommend, please feel free to email me at carl.king@theoverseasteacher.com. Kind regards, TOT Team

  9. 5.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Fantastic company management team with genuine interest in Education

    May 25, 2021 - Technical Operations Manager in Canterbury, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The management team truly demonstrated their interest in the Education and success of it's programs by providing extensive training to all teachers (both experienced and new to education) to ensure student satisfaction. The environment that TOT created through social nights and the casual interaction with teachers outside of lesson hours truly created an enjoyable place to work.

    Cons

    Can include long hours for management/non-teaching staff, which is expected of a new successful start-up.

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    The Overseas Teacher Response

    Director

    Hello Nate, Thank you for your review, it was an honour to work with you. You have played a huge part in the success of TOT and we are truly grateful to have had you on the team. Your role as technical operations manager, allowed TOT to implement a online training programme that has been successful in creating teaching skills that result in successful academic terms back to back. We enjoyed every moment of socialising with you and creating a fun work environment and again, we thank you for all your hard work. The hours we invest into TOT are what secure us as one of the leading online education firms within the UK. We can understand that at times this demand may lead to certain personal sacrifices, but as we develop further, those sacrifices will be rewarded. Thank you for the time you invested in us. We will most certainly invest further into our technology solutions and platform to enhance the quality of teaching for students and teachers. We wish you the best of luck in the future. Kind regards, TOT Team

  10. 4.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Good Part time work

    Feb 21, 2021 - Online Teacher 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - Only have to work mornings -Lessons are premade -Very helpful and communicable core team -children are lovely -Can do anywhere

    Cons

    -Inflexible (you commit to a schedule for a term) -Low pay -Need a strong connection and good device.......the software is temperamental

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    The Overseas Teacher Response

    Director

    Thank you for leaving us very honest feedback. I would like to thank you for your positive comments here. It does mean a lot As I can see you are a current employee, I would just like to explain what we are doing to improve on the cons you have mentioned and to put them into further context. Please bear in mind that we are a relatively young company and one of the few online teaching companies who actively work to employ teachers and give them benefits rather than to engage them as self-employed contractors. This has been a difficult area to navigate, and we are constantly working to improve. With regards to scheduling, we confirm schedules each term (3 months) and have our students book all classes in advance. This allows us to avoid a situation where teachers need to be 'booked' by students on a daily basis. Because we plan so far in advance in order to confirm your schedule so that you have consistent work, this does make it difficult to book time off and does lead to a less flexible schedule than other online teaching companies. To fix this in the future we are looking to confirm classes on a monthly basis, but this may not be possible for our students. With regards to the pay, we would argue that our salary is in the middle of the market but when you add paid holiday and sick pay as well as the bonuses that we are set to introduce and the fact that all time worked is paid for, teachers working with us tend to receive a higher monthly salary than our competitors. It is also predictable and reliable unlike many of our competitors. I agree that the software is a big issue. It prevents us from being able to accept any person with any computer and the internet requirements are high. There are also too many bugs at the moment. It is improving however the rate at which it improves is out of our control as it belongs to our partner in China. We are constantly pushing for greater improvement and so far, we have been successful in 1) purchasing and lending computers for our teachers to use when their personal equipment is insufficient 2) helping people navigate and improve on technical issues 3) pushing for the elimination of many bugs. Please feel free to contact any of us on lark if you think there is more feedback you would like to share, we NEED your feedback to improve. Thank you again for taking the time to leave this review.

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