EF English First Senior Teacher Reviews

Updated Apr 5, 2020

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4.5
95%
Recommend to a Friend
99%
Approve of CEO
EF English First President 	Jacob Toren (no image)
Jacob Toren
10 Ratings
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Growth, Support and Strength"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Teacher in Tianjin, Tianjin
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I feel really compelled to write a message of support for a company which has really had its' employees back during the most recent health crisis which has faced our world. EF English First Tianjin has been transparent, efficient and shown compassion for employees throughout this entire situation. We've had updates from management in a timely manner, we've had care packages including vegetables and fruit, hand sanitiser and masks. We've had information provided clearly and consistently, something which has been appreciated not only by me, but by my family here in China and back home as well. From a work perspective, I feel I have had the opportunity to grow during this time as well - whilst I see many examples of friends and colleagues from other companies continue to struggle or obtain even basic information with regard to their work situation, EF has hit the ground running, providing training and support for teachers on a teaching level, whilst also considering physical and mental health. Whilst the current situation will not continue forever, it's important to recognise exactly what the company has done for its' employees in a time of crisis - and I feel that EF English First Tianjin should be recognised for its' achievements in recent months. The most important thing is that I've felt safe and reassured that I'm a part of a company which truly does put its' employees first. Thankyou EF English First.

    Cons

    - Right now the largest detractor is not being able to meet face-to-face with colleagues for collaboration and inspiration; but our communications system is well-established and has allowed us to somewhat get around this issue in such a difficult time.

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    EF English First2020-04-06

    EF English First Response

    April 10, 2020Teacher Welfare Director

    Thank you for taking the time to recognise the efforts of EF Tianjin. We're happy to hear that you've felt supported and have been provided with proper communication and supplies during this special period. Communication is very important to us especially during times like this. We hope to be back in schools soon so we can resume that face to face collaboration. Please feel free to reach out to Teacher.Welfare@ef.com if you would like to share any additional details about your experience.

  2. "Develop and have fun with EF"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Teacher in Shanghai, Shanghai
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    loads of development opportunities like trainings and conferences loads of free events like long distance travel, citywide teacher events Stable working environment. No need to worry about if gonna get paid next month Great reputation in the industry.

    Cons

    some schools can be small heavy schedule from to time

    EF English First2019-11-26

    EF English First Response

    December 8, 2019Teacher Welfare Director

    Thank you for taking the time to share your positive EF experience.

  3. "A good first job"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Teacher in Moscow
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    -living abroad -good colleagues and work environment -continual training and professional development -yearly promotion to next band

    Cons

    -hectic daily and weekly schedule -low salary compared to dollar -high teacher turnover

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    EF English First2019-09-16
  4. "Work hard for huge return."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Teacher in Tianjin, Tianjin
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    *Training - a lot of teachers come to work with EF who don't have adequate training. EF has weekly training sessions and one-on-one mentoring to get you ready for the classroom. *Career development - if you work hard, your efforts are recognised and your career will progress. But it takes two to tango - you get out what you put in. *Living in China and receiving a salary which is appropriate for an expat means the ability to travel in China, and being in Tianjin means 2 hours from Osaka, Shanghai and Seoul. *Being close to Beijing, but still outside of China's capital means that prices aren't so expensive. *EF Tianjin really looks after their employees and cares about personal and professional development. Trips around the region, lunch budgets in summer, dinners, KTV nights out. The company actually cares about you as an employee.

    Cons

    *Hours are long, but if you're organised, then you can get your work done and learn good time management skills from managers in order to do this better. *It gets hot in Tianjin, if you don't like heat, at least all of the schools and offices are airconditioned, and in winter it gets really cold, but heating is adequate. *Communication can be a little difficult but the school has free Chinese lessons etc.

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    EF English First2019-07-15

    EF English First Response

    July 19, 2019Teacher Welfare Director

    Thank you for your 5+ years of dedication to EF. We are happy to hear that you've had such a rewarding experience working with EF as well as living in Tianjin. We wish you continued success.

  5. Helpful (24)

    "Beyond just teaching"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Teacher 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Amazing opportunities for upward development. ESL is a tough industry and it's something you age out of, if you choose to, at EF you have more than a few directions into which you can develop and be promoted. I know people who started off as teachers with no previous relevant experience who are now senior content developers as well as Regional Managers etc As far as annual leave goes: For your second year you'll get 12 days, 3rd year about 15 and after 5 years, you'll get 20 annual leave days per year. As mentioned if all you are looking for is to teach for a year or so and not worry about Visa arrangements, EF is a good starting block. You get paid on time, and Visa's are on the up and up which is more than a lot of other schools can say. EF also partners with Cambridge Trinity and you'll be able to sign a development contract to obtain the CertTesol, DipTesol, DeltM as well as distance learning courses which focus on Grammar, Teaching Phonology, Coaching, Reflective Practice etc. Annual leave is pro-rated so if you start early in the year you should get between 8-9.5 annual leave days for the year, this is excluding Chinese New Year, Summer Course Break (usually about 5 days) and other Chinese festival days off. Obviously, I am a bit biased as I am currently still employed by EF Kids and Teens but I can say that I have past experiences teaching in all facets of the industry and that EF weights heavily on both sides of the spectrum, you can either keep your head down and just teach for a year and get paid to do so whilst being provided with all possible resources or they will actively try to develop you should you show an interest in staying around for a bit. EF is a global company and they have HQ's and schools in China, Indo, Russia as well as offices in Aus, the US and UK, this makes travelling around a bit easier.

    Cons

    If all you do is teach you might find the job a bit constraining as materials are overdeveloped to better assist new teachers so it will be up to you to adapt and change materials to suit your own style. It might at times feel like you are being spoonfed but again, more experienced teachers will probably be able to easily adapt materials and lesson aims to depend on student needs. Another con, especially, if you are a first-year teacher with dreams of a 40K Shanghai job and lots of time off, you'll find that you probably won't have weekends off, however once you've stuck around for 2 years or so, you'll probably be able to negotiate at least 1 Weekend day off, an example, Sunday, Monday or split days off, ex: Saturday, Monday. In general, you'll have two consecutive days off during the week. A working day starts at 2 PM until about 8:15 PM during the week, weekends are 9AM-6PM. When it's summer or winter course you'll have a few days during the week where you'll teach morning or mid-afternoon classes outside of your regular schedule, but again, you usually get a bonus for every week of additional teaching you do and you'll get another bonus if you go over your contracted hours. As mentioned in other reviews on this site, your Dos and regional management will play a large part in how you experience your time here. If you have a manager who is intent on developing their teachers you'll be fine, unfortunately, that's not always the case and you might end up at a centre where you feel like your needs aren't being taken into consideration and that you are not being managed in a constructive way. The pay for a first-year teacher isn't super great, especially in a city like Shanghai where the cost of living is quite high, but it's still manageable and they are generally quite good about helping new teachers with cash advances for renting apartments. I should mention that all my comments only refer to the Kids and Teens Product as I don't really have any experience in the Adult's, Teens only, and Online products.

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    EF English First2018-12-31
  6. Helpful (1)

    "Falsely advertises travelling time/pays you next to nothing"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior International Teacher in Guangzhou, Guangdong
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF English First full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - live abroad fairly comfortably - you’re in an international community - company handles all documents once you’re there - you can progress within the company. Slowly.

    Cons

    - they won’t help you find accommodation - they pay you peanuts compared to other schools - YOU WORK SO MUCH. You barely have any time off and when you do, they’ll tell you a week before. If even that. - you have to work summer and winter courses, which sometimes means 9-9 days, 6 days a week. You’re only given an additional 300cny for each week. Peanuts. - the stress of retaining falls on you and your local PAs will hassle you for open lessons (parents watch you teach) - public demonstrations (you can’t opt out) - you’re essentially a foreign face selling a product. Emphasis on sales rather than teaching - you need to do a lot to progress in the company. The way their review system works is to bump you up a pay scale just as your contract ends. Essentially they’ll offer you more money to re-sign a contract. - if you hand in your notice to leave early, the company will stop giving a toss about you and you’ll have to figure out paperwork and reclaiming taxes then. - there’s no sense of workplace community. Locals will only care about you if you push for sales and retention of students. - there’s no diversity training - in order to progress they push you into paying to do a CERTESOL/DipTesol - which doesn’t mean anything, anywhere else. They work out a scheme that after doing it, you have to stay with them for two more years. - Management aren’t often management material. They’re just people who stuck it out in China long enough to get promoted. I.E. weirdly racist old white men. - even management complain that they haven’t built anything, savings wise etc. - health care only covers bare minimum at terrible, obscure local hospitals. So don’t get sick. - TERRIBLE work life balance. You live only to work. You work Monday to Thursday 3 - 8 pm Friday 1 - 8pm (it used to be 9:30) Saturday and Sunday 8:30am till 6:30pm You get two weekdays off. You work through the holidays. Only a week off for Chinese New Year when it’s too busy and expensive to travel. One day off for Christmas Day. Even when there’s no production, you still have to go to school. - They just want as many people to work as possible, so they don’t throughly vet people (you end up working with some unstable people, it causes a lot of stress) - you will have quite a heavy teaching schedule. It becomes manageable but you’ll find other people in the centre with nothing to do. There’s no equalness. - the Chinese way is to not complain but they’re paid under HALF of what foreigners get. - other schools in China will offer 18,000rmb rather than the starting salary of 10,000 that Ef offers you. That’s including accommodation, which you’re already paying more for as a foreigner. - if you’re Caucasian, get ready to be treated like kings. If you’re anything else, get ready for racism and stereotypes.

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    EF English First2019-02-08

    EF English First Response

    February 18, 2019Vice President

    Thank you for the detailed post. We understand that the extended summer and winter schedule can be difficult and does make maintaining a work-life balance challenging. We would love to be able to provide all EF employees with a traditional work schedule, but the nature of the EFL business in China makes this impossible. In terms of professional development, we encourage people to grow with EF and have many resources specifically dedicated to this area. We sponsor professional qualifications, including the CertTESOL and the DipTESOL, in turn, we do require a 2-year work commitment from our teachers. These, however, are both internationally recognised teaching qualifications that are widely accepted around the world.

  7. "Absolutely good training and support within schools"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Teacher in Shanghai, Shanghai
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Teacher development , good in centre training

    Cons

    Missing Sundays and special holidays with family

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    EF English First2018-12-28
  8. "Exciting TRT events, Systematic Teacher development Path and opportunities"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Teacher in Shanghai, Shanghai
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    This is a great foreign company where you can experience different cultures and meet people from different countries. The development path is getting more and more clearer and systematic through years. The working environment is nice, ease and professional. As long as you want to shine, there are many opportunities open every year now. The training sessions for teaching and leadership is very systematic and well organized. Promotions can be very fast in current career development path. Career opportunities are fair and also challenging. You can always learn new things from colleagues. Escape from all peak hours of Shanghai. Many annual leaves.

    Cons

    Being a kids and teens teacher, you need to work at the weekends and the schedule is usually busy at the weekends.

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    EF English First2018-12-10
  9. "Excellent Company"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Current Contractor - Senior Teacher in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF English First for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I have been working as an independent contractor for 3 years. There is a lot of flexibility and I get a chance to work with students from all over the world. I love everything about my position and feel that the staff is very responsive and helpful whenever a rare issue arises.

    Cons

    Paid monthly, lower pay than other companies in this field

    EF English First2018-08-08
  10. "TRT Ceramic Painting Event"

    5.0
    Current Employee - Senior Teacher in Beijing, Beijing

    I have been working at EF English First full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The activity was very interesting since I'm a big fun of painting and cats! I love experiencing new things and really appreciate the opportunities offered by TRT. Hope to see more fun activities in the future.

    Cons

    Sometimes the time table of TRT events doesn't match my schedule, so it's quite pity when I can't sign in some of the amazing events.

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    EF English First2018-06-05
Found 19 reviews