SPARK Schools Employee Review
There is a big expectation for excellence, however, the means to achieve this are often not provided. The assessment standards are all over the place and do not correlate with what is being taught in the scripted out lesson plans. For example - the assessments are set by a 'Learning Model' team, the Assistant Principals of each school are expected to 'moderate', however, when teachers receive assessments it is laden with numerous mistakes and content that was covered in example term 2 is being tested in term 3 - why cover all the content for term 3 if it is not being tested then? On top of that, the deadlines to conclude with marking are unrealistic. There is a big emphasis on writing (especially in English) and no focus whatsoever on grammar. Reading is to be taught in small groups - however, the timetable does not allow for the teacher to see each group to teach reading and often times scholars are left without being taught any reading skills. SPARK Support - which acts kind of like the network's head office rarely provides support. The management is still juvenile and I am sure there will be a difference in 10 - 15 years. A lot of systems are not yet in place, and small irregularities make for a very unpleasant working environment Leadership (which are all young, inexperience, millennial leaders) clearly displays favouritism, and often times they have a very childish approach to handling things and even conducting meetings. There is little to no empathy shown for one's personal life and support is very little.
Ratings by category
When I first started I was blown away by the professional development that teachers receive as well as the support from management. I didn't have anything like that at my last school so I was impressed. As time has gone on, and I'm in my third year now, I am still doing the exact same professional development sessions as I did when I started out, so it's a bit boring to say the least and time I could be using to do prep for my lessons. Since starting I have no time for my personal life, We work very hard until 16:00 every day with no real prep/admin time during the school day. Our break in Flex (Grade 4-7) is 25 minutes long so I have to breath food down before my group comes back from break. It's not fair the kids either as this is their only break for the whole day. Lessons are very short in Flex (40 minutes) with a lot of content that needs to be covered in a short period of time as well as making sure your struggling learners are being tended to as well. I need to do extra lessons after school just so that we can keep up with the work and so that I can make sure my kids actually understand it.The scripted lesson are a bonus, we don't have to spend time we don't have doing them but it leaves little room for creativity as a teacher. People from SPARK support will come into your class randomly, they don't greet you, they check books and leave and complain about them later because you haven't stuck exactly to the lesson plan or you forgot to put that 1 poster on the wall. Classrooms are expected to look a certain way with certain things that HAVE to be up on the - more...