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Not a new topic but....I Can Read - Anything Positive?
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Photini1967



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:17 pm    Post subject: Not a new topic but....I Can Read - Anything Positive? Reply with quote

I have reviewed this site a lot and can only find a handful of reviews on I Can Read which seem to insinuate that you're lured there for a 2 year contract and dumped after a few months. I'm scared to death of giving up my whole life here and going over there just to be dropped and lose everything. Is there NOTHING positive about this school? Is it totally untrustworthy? I'd love to go to Singapore and this sounded like an ideal job but as of late, it's starting to scare me off. Any positive experiences out there?

Thanks.
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Krakatoa



Joined: 24 Mar 2006
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:32 pm    Post subject: Not new but Reply with quote

Nothing positive written on this school? Caveat Emptor!

Where there is smoke there is fire! Caveat Emptor!

If not satisfied with this post feel free to pm me.

Caveat Emptor!

Krakatoa.
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celticjames



Joined: 09 May 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm yes i would love to know more about this mob myself. Any info good or bad on them !?!?
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nata77



Joined: 12 Apr 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would also love some feedback from anyone who's done the I Can Read program. They offered me a position this week but I'm a little hesitant to move around the world without more information.
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Krakatoa



Joined: 24 Mar 2006
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 11:27 pm    Post subject: ICR Nothing positive? Reply with quote

You should re-read all posts by myself and others.

Judge for yourself whether or not you want to go to a place where the cost of suitable accommodation is a big issue.

Next is the tax for foreigners.

After that look at cost of living: phone (landline or mobile) internet connection to your place of accommodtion. Contract for phone and internet; are they agreeable to you?

Utilities which include electricity, gas (if used) water and what ever else one may come across. These do not take into account travel to work and other places on days off.

Days off: Do you get two successive days off?

Next do up a list of priorities which you have and put them to ICR.

Last but not least is the salary and what is the guarantee that you will be employed for the whole 2 years?

Remeber people came and went without fanfare when I was there.

The only good thing about Singapore was food (ggod) was cheap at the food courts.

Caveat Emptor!
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Goldmeyer



Joined: 04 Sep 2011
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pros:
People in Singapore are nice, helpful, polite
Singapore is a fun place to live (lots to do: pubs, good food, shopping)
Cool parks for hiking (I saw lots of monkeys at one)
Lots of expats (if you start to feel homesick)
Pros:
You only work with 8 kids max at a time
The job requires zero preparation
No overtime
You teach only three to four 1 1/2 hour classes a day
You work independently. Noone looking over your shoulder
It pays pretty decent SGD 3500 (first3 months probation) and
SGD 4000 after that
They pay for a hotel for the first week you're there
The job is easy once you learn the curriculum/methodology


Cons: You work about 4 to 9 pm for three weekdays and
9:30 to 5:30 Saturdays and Sundays and are off for
2 consecutive weekdays
Occasionally you'll have the annoying parent ( they're all well to do
Yuppies afterall)

Cons: RENT: SGD$ 800 to 1,200 if sharing rent with others
SGD $ 3,000 to 6,000 for renting a private unit
Crazy expensive rent: you pretty much have to live with a few people to
Be able to afford it. It's a complicated process where you have to pay
First & last month rent plus an agents fee (the Guy who advertised the
place and showed it to you (his fee is one month or half a month's rent)
You can skip the agent but most sites that Advertise are ones with
agents The worst part is having to live with a bunch of Roommates (can
you spell awkward?)

Cons: transportation: taxis are crazy expensive so you have to take the
Crowded trains full of sweaty people (if your used to this: No big deal I
guess)
Cons: THE HUMIDITY (and the freakish sudden downpores: it rains all year
It's hard to keep a dry shirt dry especially while commuting to work
(your either drenched form sweat or rain)

There you have it. My honest opinion. Then again, I've only been here 2 months. I like the job and the pros outweigh the cons so I'm staying and sticking out the 2 years. If I can just find an apartment walking distance to my job than I'll really love it here.

ONE WORD OF CAUTION: be careful when looking for an apartment
1. Make sure that you come to Singapore one week before training starts so that you have all day to look for one while ICR foots the hotel. DON'T come and start training right away and think you will have time to look for an apartment YOU WON'T. Check out Easy roommates.com ( if you want know who your roommates are and you don't want to pay that agent's fee)

ALSO be very careful if you use an agent to find an apartment that he has a license and that the rental contract has a seal and the owners signature. We got scammed and the agen we used took our rent money and all our roommates money (all expats) and didn't give it to the owner. The owner sued the "agents" and kicked us all out of the apartment! it was nightmare
We (my husband and I) had spent SGD $3,800 (1st, last, agent's fee) and only lived there one month before we were all kicked out. Of course I did not get our deposits and agent fee money back!
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Krakatoa



Joined: 24 Mar 2006
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 12:31 am    Post subject: ICR Reply with quote

Goldmeyer:

Also to all prospective teaching workers in Singapore: Caveat Emptor!
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hippocampus



Joined: 27 Feb 2012
Posts: 126
Location: Bikini Bottom

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 6:27 am    Post subject: Re: Not a new topic but....I Can Read - Anything Positive? Reply with quote

Photini1967 wrote:
Is there NOTHING positive about this school? Is it totally untrustworthy? I'd love to go to Singapore and this sounded like an ideal job but as of late, it's starting to scare me off. Any positive experiences out there?

Goldmeyer has done a creditable job giving us the pros and cons. Nice work.

I would disagree about Singaporeans being nice, helpful and polite. Sure, there are some, but I lived there 3 months, until I Could Read shitcanned me and I have made several short visa runs over the years. I have never met a more argumentative people. Once having carefully found an outdoor bench where people were smoking (because you can hang for smoking there) a Singer biddy very deliberately sat down near me, and complained bitterly to her maid (in a language she imagined I couldn't understand) about the rude, smoking white man. (This is just one of scores of stories I could tell)

Singaporeans speak no known language. They speak a peculiar choppy English and use words that no one else understands. Words like 'hall' for living room, 'void deck' for the open bike area beneath an apartment building, and 'hexkey' for hashmark. And they think they are correct! I noticed they use the same choppy cadence when they speak Mandarin, and Chinese people from China tell me they can no more understand Singaporean Mandarin than I can Singaporean English!

The people are terribly provincial. Despite the fact that you could walk from one end of their island city-state to the other overnight does not alter the fact that most of them have never been to Indonesia or Malaysia, and seem barely aware of their existence, except when they want to look down on them.

Well, sorry to rant, but the short answer is NO, there is nothing good to say about I Could Read. They'll chew you up and spit you out, and leave you high and dry in expensive, remote Singapore.
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hippocampus



Joined: 27 Feb 2012
Posts: 126
Location: Bikini Bottom

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh! I see now that I said very little about I Could Read. Embarassed

But, why listen to me, or any of us?

Right here, right now I challenge 'I Can Read' to provide on this thread, if not email addresses of undisgruntled former employees willing to provide positive testimonials, then at least some sort of evidence that anyone is kept for over three months. Or if they are kept over the three-month probation, I would like to know the percentage of people who are with them over three-months.

I am daring you! Evil or Very Mad
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Tudor



Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 237

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Right here, right now I challenge 'I Can Read' to provide on this thread, if not email addresses of undisgruntled former employees willing to provide positive testimonials, then at least some sort of evidence that anyone is kept for over three months.


This does seem to be quite a recurring theme with ICR and whilst I certainly don't doubt what anyone's saying, it strikes me as odd that ICR would invest time, effort and money to recruit, train and accomodate teachers only to get rid of them after three months. Hippo, without necessarily divulging the details of your experience with them, could you shed some light on why so many teachers seem to either leave or be got rid of after just a few months?

As for the comments about Singaporeans - well, as a regular visitor, I find them to be amiable enough, but I watched a TV show the other week which was, I must admit, a bit of an eye-opener. It was a studio debate as to whether domestic helpers in Singapore should be given a day off work per week, and 75% of the respondents voted "no". The reasons given ranged from the sublime ("she'll want Sunday off, so I'll have to look after my own children") to the ridiculous ("she might get lost if we give her a day off") to the downright offensive ("she might meet men for sex and then bring diseases into the house like AIDS"). Now, this is the kind of crap I would expect to hear in Indonesia, but I had always thought Singaporeans were a more enlightened, tolerant and compassionate bunch - evidently not.

Incidentally, if anyone is thinking of working in, or even just visiting, Singapore I'd suggest getting hold of one of Neil Humphrey's three books. He's an English guy who lived and taught there for ten years and his books are a candid look at life in Singapore. Obviously he liked Singapore to stay there for ten years (although not that much as he's since moved to Australia) but he doesn't pull any punches and I understand some of his articles - which were published in the Straits Times - weren't always particularly well-received by some locals. Certainly worth a look, though.
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hippocampus



Joined: 27 Feb 2012
Posts: 126
Location: Bikini Bottom

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's like this Tudor: if they keep you for over three months they have to get you a PR (not a Puerto Rican but) Permanent Residency status. That's a lot of expense (thousands of sing dollars, can't say exactly) and even more trouble with approval at the whim of the immigration dept. interviewer. And then if a body does get a PR s/he is practically a citizen, and why then would s/he stick with a chickenshit outfit like ICR? As another poster said, one is often called in for student evaluation interviews hours before their shift, and most of the work is on the weekend. And the pay is rather low for a foreigner in Sing. If one had his own PR, why he would want Sundays off, and might even go have sex with men/women!!! And if s/he didn't work Sundays, the franchise holder himself would have to take care of the children! Yes, foreign teachers are treated like servants there.

Then there is the fact that the contract states a $500 monthly increase after the 3 month's probation. Perhaps ICR really does find it more cost effective in their many branches/franchises to hire new sheep rather than pay the old ones. Seems unlikely, but why does it happen so often? Are all these people really such awful teachers? Or are the students, who stay there for years (many can read, ICR is a babysitting center), just bored with the, and expecting a fresh shipment?

Sure, some teachers do make it passed the three-month probation, but the ones I knew had their own PR, perhaps because their father was a rich British businessman who had been there 25 years already - people like that, or people who for one reason or another it was expedient to keep. For the rest of us, if there was not some small excuse to move us along, why then, it was easy enough to invent one.

Am I exaggerating? Maybe I am, maybe I am not. (I am not sure myself! I'm not even sure if I've taken the medication the nice doctor gave me this morning!!!)

A better question then, is do you want to risk settling in Singapore when it's 50-50 they'll show you the door in three months? (Singapore law actually states that a foreign employee fired before three-months probation does not have to be given a reason for his dismissal!) So it's not just the teachers that are treated this way. When I got back to my old life and told acquaintances about this sort of exploitation, they shrugged, and said, 'Sure. Didn't you know that? That's everyone's experience in Singers." (No, I hadn't known that!)
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Krakatoa



Joined: 24 Mar 2006
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 12:27 am    Post subject: ICR Reply with quote

Another well writen warning on ICR and indeed Singapore's labour laws!

Caveat Emptor.
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kucinggarong



Joined: 15 Apr 2012
Posts: 7
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:38 am    Post subject: re cost of living in singapore Reply with quote

What about the possibility of living in Johor Bahru while working in Singapore and commuting by motor bike, public transport or even bicycle? Surely this is doable in terms of commute time -maybe 1 hour? Apartments in JB are much cheaper than Singapore, and even though Sinpaporeans are generally paranoid of the "crime rate" in JB my experience is that Malaysia is no more dangerous than most Western countries, in fact less so than some, in terms of street crime.
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voltaire



Joined: 03 Dec 2006
Posts: 179
Location: 'The secret of being boring is to say everything.'

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'd have to go thru customs everyday. They might catch on at the Singapore side that you're working illegally.

With traffic on the causeway and distance you'd probably need more than an hour.

having traveled in the heat, you'd be rather smelly when you arrive at work.

JB is a pretty grim town. You couldn't help but compare it with Singapore and dread coming home every evening.
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Tudor



Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 237

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Goldmeyer,

As of 19th May you had been at ICR for two months, so you will now have passed the "dreaded" three-month mark, which seems to be when many teachers are got rid of. Would you mind giving us an update, and letting us know if you are still there or not, and if so, how things are.

Cheers,

Tudor
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