- The Oxford School08.Dec 2015
Support from management
Leaders tend to avoid conflict or confrontation which tends to lead to communication errors down the line.
Most of the employees are friendly and helpful
Freedom to work independently
All of the teachers are responsible for their own classrooms, which typically works out. The only issue is when there is a class with only one teacher and things can sometimes become hectic. Often additional help is required, but you won't get a co-teacher unless your class meets the ratio.
Company keeps a regular newsletter which is great for communication, however updates tend to be excessive and cloud inbox. Additionally directors will often use this as a platform to communicate with single individuals instead of telling them things to their face, which becomes rather annoying and petty after a while.
In addition, I've had children added to my roster without being informed until last minute or having to find out from the newsletter.
Most, if not all of the employees are women, so this is not an issue, although they have shown obvious favoritism with employees.
A great stepping stone to people new to the field, as there is no hierarchy with teachers. As such, a person who has only been an assistant teacher can gain lead teacher experience. However, as all the positions are equal, unless a director position opens up, there is nowhere to climb.
Overall compensation for your work
The company does offer benefits, however they're not that comprehensive and the amount of money deducted makes it almost not worth it.
Office / Work Environment
For the most part working conditions are fine, but bathroom breaks are a rare commodity. Because ratio rules have to be met constantly, employees need to find someone to cover them while they step out. This usually involves aimlessly calling around to different rooms or trying to flag someone down while they're on break. If no one can be found (which is often the case), the next step is to call the office and have a director step in, however they are often not at the desk or unavailable, leaving you to sometimes wait hours. Bathroom breaks are often brought up at meetings, where they tend to met with demeaning responses such as telling the employees "they have to be adults sometimes and just wait."
While hours are typical 9-5, there are monthly mandatory meetings and required "voluntary" events. Missing a meeting without letting them know is considered a no call/no show even if you've already worked your required shift for that day. When emergencies arrive and calling in is necessary, they won't try to get you to come in, but they will be extremely passive aggressive and curt. They don't seem to genuinely care about your life balance despite the amount of work you put in.
Company keeps a regular newsletter
Work is standard preschool age required work, however teachers are required to compose lesson plans, progress reports, etc without being allowed specific time to do so. As they don't allow you to take the lesson plans home, it can become extremely challenging to write them - especially if you don't have a co-teacher.
Inclusive / Diverse
To be blunt, most, if not all of the teachers are very cookie cut, and there is little to no racial diversity as far as employees go. I experienced an employee showed blatant scrutinization and heard many of the girls gossip about her based solely on her alternative look.
Suggestions for improvement
- Implore a more friendly work-life balance, and be aware of the tones used when speaking to teachers. Being obviously annoyed when an employee calls in seems insensitive to their needs and lowers their morale to continue to work for the company. Requiring "volunteer" events is not volunteer, and getting paid in Oxford Bucks is not a legal tender for the mandatory time spent. Use more positive reinforcement with employees and try to point out the positives as much as you point out the negatives.
What I like about the company
It is a nice stepping stone for people new to the industry, and they do offer slightly competitive pay. They tend to have a more hands-off management approach and let you run your classroom how you want unless a problem arises. Requesting time off is easy and straight forward, and they will almost always give it to you if the date is available. They tend to recognize birthdays and special events. Tries to be a family environment. Mistakes are always pointed out, however "good jobs" are less frequent.
What I dislike about the company
Often they seem to be more concerned about making a buck or keeping parents satisfied than what's really going on with the children. There are also several resources that teachers could use that they don't get. Directors show obvious distaste for employees and often become petty and snarky to an employee when they quit or challenge them. Don't really seem concerned with your work/life balance if it inconveniences them.
The following benefits were offered to me
- CompanyThe Oxford School
- Are you a Current or Former Employee?Former job since 2014