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PLEASE BE ADVISED!!! I Can Read Singapore (former teacher)

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Joined: 31 May 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:48 am    Post subject: PLEASE BE ADVISED!!! I Can Read Singapore (former teacher) Reply with quote

Anyone who has been offered a job or is looking into working for I Can Read may want to think again.
Having been a 4 year veteran as a teacher here has given me great clarity to the whole I Can Read brouhaha.
I Can Read is franchised and is managed by the headquarters team called Total Literacy Pte. Ltd. They set the contract, training and initial job placement for you into the 15+ centers here. Most centers have an average of 5-6 teachers. Cirriculum is ready made with no preparation involved for the teachers.
When I first arrived in 2008, I was placed in to Hotel 81, which is a pay by the hour hotel I later found out as many "Ang mo's" or white people were bringing in SGP's or Singapore girls.
They said they would provide me a housing agent leading me to believe they would bear the cost later to find out that they only phoned a local agent and I had to bear the 2 moths deposit rent. As naive as I was, I rolled with it and entered the training.
The training had me more confused after I left the thing and thank goodness I had some teachers to re-train me on the terminology and countless acronyms that I was bombarded with. They gave us a grammar test only as a formality as they didn't even mark them and offered us a contract only cause they were desperate. If you look at the ad on Dave's cafe, they supposedly have a "high volume" of applicants. Somehow I doubt this to be true.
The headquarters have gone through countless staff in the last 4 years as well showing a uneasiness of their business.
Staff turnover is massive as most teachers run away after being lied to by their Singaporean bosses or just the unprofessionalism of how the centre is run. Teachers hired are not qualified and an Australian person who i used to work with was a banker by trade and didn't even have a TEFL, CELTA, etc.
This same "teacher" who recently married spent more time drooling over the office girls than actually teaching. When the matter was presented to the boss, it was pushed aside as the matter wasn't important. Oh! You mean teaching isn't important?? I guess when the boss mentioned it was a business and money needed to be made, you knew the ethics weren't high on the agenda. I have an entire list of countless other mis-managed situations in the last few years. Its so sad that it's kind of funny.
Other teachers have been transferred to other centers as they have been lied to in regards to work hours, tax reimbursement and flight allowance. They failed to pay me my flight bonus as I didn't leave the country as they said that was stated in the contact. I signed another contract and had them put a clause in the contact that stated they pay me my flight bonus as they dont give you flight bonuses on a renewal contact.
In terms of material, the reading books had countless mistakes in it even after we highlighted it it be fixed. The PEP or writing program is an exact copy from the Internet with multiple errors in each book each week. Some weeks, books didn't arrive and we were stuck to deal with it.
The boss and manager were never present in the centre. The boss, maybe 4 times a year and the manager, once a month only for pay day. Some teachers and office staff took advantage of that and decided to take the lazy approach than actually teaching or working. Again when it was mentioned, the boss could care less. As long as the boss was making money I guess. Office staff turnover was worse than teacher turnover making it frustrating to have any consistency. Students were booked back to back for lessons, others were never notified. Teacher files were missing info constantly. Not to mention we had a few staff who thought they were in a club with skirts so short, they had complaints from parents. I wonder why?? One Malay lady quit after serving her probation period after the boss extended it for no apparent reason, however the boss has made several racist and sterotypical comments towards foreigners throughout my employment. I think you know the reason.
In an attempt to save face, the manager promoted a whole class of 3-4 year olds that were not ready to enter a 5-6 year old class because the manager had failed to find a replacement teacher for the class even though 3 months of notice were given for a new teacher to be found. When the foreign teacher would assess and "fail" the child and ask they improve a little before promotion, the local teacher would tell parents the child wasn't promoted because of the foreigners accent?? Ummmm, we are NATIVE English speakers, not that sad attempt of "Singlish" the Singaporeans are so proud of.
I have a fellow colleague who would love to share with you his experience too of his time at ICR. I've asked him to share as well and hope he does to warn all teachers to stay away from this company.
At the end of this, the most pathetic thing about my centre was the lack of respect for all people, especially the foreigners. I, along with everyone else never had a "thanks" or "good job" the entire time of employment. Its too bad that most centers are like this and I'm told mine wasn't the worst of them. How pitiful.
Please do yourself a favour and find a job where you are appreciated and respected. It won't happen at ICR I can assure you. Good luck to all teachers out there. I hope you find the right place for you.
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plumpy nut

Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 1652

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What was the pay like? Did they provide a room?
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Joined: 24 Mar 2006
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:20 am    Post subject: Beware I can Read Reply with quote

Plumpy Nut,

First how many postings on this ICR school are there?

They may offer a hotel room for the first week but then you are
on your own. It is expected that you will have your own accommodation
apartment or room with someone you do not know in a HBD unit by then.

Pay? Well, do your research on every thread on this topic and do your own maths. $3.5K for the first three months while you are on probation?

$4 after that! Accommodation, tax, utilities including transport, eating, the odd beer and entertainment plus what ever else you can think of.

Caveat Emptor!!

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ICR Singapore

Joined: 26 Oct 2017
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:11 am    Post subject: I Can Read Singapore Reply with quote

The response to this post is a little overdue. Since your post, the company has come under new management and we would still like to address the issues and concerns raised by your review. In doing so, we hope to highlight the changes that we have made.

All new teachers are offered a 28-day stay in our company condo to help with settling into Singapore life. Our training programme is continually monitored and updated as we are committed to enhancing our teachers’ experience. We have a very refined recruitment process whereby candidates are required to complete a grammar test prior to receiving an offer of employment, to ensure we hire the highest standard of teachers.

Candidates are able to contact existing I Can Read teachers to ensure that expectations align, both with regards to the reality of living in Singapore and working with I Can Read. They can also access testimonials via our Facebook page MOD EDIT

Teachers can view a copy of the contract prior to arriving into Singapore. All bonuses etc. are paid upon completion of the contractual terms.

Our curriculum has been updated several times, most recently in 2016 when the entire Primary programme was re-written to be in line with the Singapore Ministry of Education’s most recent syllabus.

With regards to centre transfers, this is not a common practice. Despite our centres being predominately under HQ management, we work closely with our franchise centres to try to ensure the experience for all of our teachers is positive. Many of our teachers are choosing to re-sign contracts after their initial contract or take opportunities to remain with I Can Read in different countries such as Hong Kong, China and Vietnam. We have also promoted a number of our teachers into Head Office roles.

Your experience back in 2012 greatly differs from what our teachers experience today. For example, we recently took our teachers, centre staff and head office team, on an all-expenses paid trip to Club Med in Indonesia, as a thank you for their contributions.

Thank you for your observations, as a company we value all feedback and are constantly striving to improve and take action to ensure all issues are addressed.

I Can Read® Singapore
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