I had very positive experiences with this school until I had to cancel my contract with them due to a vertical career move to work at a University. I was always open and honest with this company about my interest in working with this University. Following my resignation, the manager of the Levent branch became very angry and blamed me for severely harming their company; which is impossible, I'm just one teacher of many. They used this excuse as rationale for not paying 10 percent that was withheld from all of my paychecks since I started working with this company. Speak English owes me more than 1,000 TL. It was requested that I continue working with some of my students, following my resignation, to help the company out while they were looking for a replacement. I did this for well over one month, and still, the company stood by their logic that I did not deserve money that I had earned, because I broke the contract early. This is ludicrous, exploitative, and a very clear message that even the best-looking language school in Istanbul (on paper) does not respect or treat its teachers with common human decency and the basic principles of capitalism.
This company does maintain a online database of previously-developed lesson plans and the teachers have full access to this database. However, there is no incentive to build upon this database and make new lessons. You are not paid extra--in time or money--for contributing to Speak English's lesson plan database. If you are a complacent teacher, this is a perfect work environment that provides you with all of the necessary tools to get by in teaching without too much extra effort. This company does not reward hard-working teachers who contribute to the development of the company's tools; it uses the best efforts of conscientious and diligent teachers to its advantage.
This company also provides tablets to its teachers, which can be very helpful for media-based lessons.
The Levent branch is located in a very convenient location, within walking distance from the Levent metro stop. This location is perfect for teachers living in the European side, near the center of the city.
This company has a policy of withholding 10% of your paycheck, in lieu of breaking a contract early or if theft occurs of any of the equipment that the company provides its teachers. They offer to pay teachers around 40 TL, but keep this 10 percent in mind. Really, you are risking being paid only 36TL/hour, which is a small amount.
This company also does not offer its teachers a work permit, with the excuse that they must hire more Turkish citizens to be a legal institution and to provide this work permit.
The company advertises to their clients that they hire mainly native speakers as their teachers (a leg-up, so to speak, compared to other private language schools), however this is not the case.
If you are working under this company's full-time contract, you are not monetarily penalized for students cancelling their lessons. However, you are obliged to work a certain amount of hours per week. If a student cancels, the school will reschedule that student for you during that week, or add a new student to fill out your hours. Depending on how many cancellations occur in a week, this can turn into a nightmare for the teacher, in which you must be available from 10am-10pm and you cannot plan for anything personal outside of lessons.
Levent Mah. Büyükdere Cad. Emlak Kredi Blokları A2 Blok N39 K9 Besiktas, Istanbul, Turkey
Part-time and full-time contracted teacher during Summer/Fall 2016.