Austin Learning Academy

★★★☆☆
  • 1311 Hackberry St

    Austin, TX 78702

    Map & Directions
  • 512-457-9194

About Austin Learning Academy

Education

Education
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The Austin Learning Academy is a leader in the family literacy field. Using the latest in educational strategies the teachers provide outstanding learning environments for all students. The program targets preschool children, school age children, teens and their parents. Teachers and staff are supported in a variety of ways: work hours are family friendly, comprehensive benefit package is offered, training and opportunities for personal and professional growth are provided. As a long time employee of the Austin Learning Academy I have been an Early Childhood Teacher, Parenting Educator and Grant Manager. I have witnessed first hand the benefits this program has offered for the community, my family and me.

2
★★★★★

The Austin Learning Academy is a leader in the family literacy field. Using the latest in educational strategies the teachers provide outstanding learning environments for all students. The program targets preschool children, school age children, teens and their parents. Teachers and staff are supported in a variety of ways: work hours are family friendly, comprehensive benefit package is offered, training and opportunities for personal and professional growth are provided. As a long time employee of the Austin Learning Academy I have been an Early Childhood Teacher, Parenting Educator and Grant Manager. I have witnessed first hand the benefits this program has offered for the community, my family and me.

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The teachers do serve many families in the Austin area, and on paper, the organization looks great. However, I wouldn't recommend working here. The directors offer little support or praise for their teachers, using staff meetings to shout only the praises of each other or occasionally other office workers. One director often uses staff meetings as a platform for long personal stories (although not acceptable from other staff members) and jokes about 1% payraises and distracting auditors with free food (Why would they need a distraction ...?). Teachers are generally only contacted when there is a problem, but won't offer any suggestions on how to resolve the issue, and do not visit classrooms unless accompanying an auditor. Teachers who suggest changes or point out aspects unfair to themselves or their students are usually dismissed without much thought. In front of funders and auditors, the directors will put on a supportive front. They will ask teachers for a list of necessary supplies, but the requests (even small ones) are hardly ever fulfilled, leaving teachers (especially those for early childhood) to spend their own money. The two directors are very disorganized. Sent reports that have been specifically requested by the directors are often requested again. Questions via e-mail go unanswered, calling for contact produces better results, if they can find the time to talk to you. They often give the excuse that they are too busy. On the other hand, employees are expected to turn in reports, answer random requests , and provide supplemental information promptly despite their work load. Paychecks need to be checked very carefully, as there are often mistakes. I often wonder how much the directors are making, teacher salaries are hardly sufficient, especially for Austin.

0
★☆☆☆☆

The teachers do serve many families in the Austin area, and on paper, the organization looks great. However, I wouldn't recommend working here. The directors offer little support or praise for their teachers, using staff meetings to shout only the praises of each other or occasionally other office workers. One director often uses staff meetings as a platform for long personal stories (although not acceptable from other staff members) and jokes about 1% payraises and distracting auditors with free food (Why would they need a distraction ...?). Teachers are generally only contacted when there is a problem, but won't offer any suggestions on how to resolve the issue, and do not visit classrooms unless accompanying an auditor. Teachers who suggest changes or point out aspects unfair to themselves or their students are usually dismissed without much thought. In front of funders and auditors, the directors will put on a supportive front. They will ask teachers for a list of necessary supplies, but the requests (even small ones) are hardly ever fulfilled, leaving teachers (especially those for early childhood) to spend their own money. The two directors are very disorganized. Sent reports that have been specifically requested by the directors are often requested again. Questions via e-mail go unanswered, calling for contact produces better results, if they can find the time to talk to you. They often give the excuse that they are too busy. On the other hand, employees are expected to turn in reports, answer random requests , and provide supplemental information promptly despite their work load. Paychecks need to be checked very carefully, as there are often mistakes. I often wonder how much the directors are making, teacher salaries are hardly sufficient, especially for Austin.

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This organization means well, but is really odd in the way it goes about doing things.....particularily in their early childhood program. They claim to follow DAP (developmentally appropriate practices) and spend a lot of their limited funds on curriculums for this purpose, yet miss the mark completely on what true DAP for preschoolers is (and is NOT). They spend dollars on "book work" curriculums for toddlers and preschoolers and don't put much into basic DAP classroom set-ups and needs (child-based centers, child-centered learning environments, set-ups that allow children to learn through exploration and play). This is all very basic textbook child development stuff and they breeze right over it with glossy, expensive, book/ditto based literacy curriculum. Just an odd bunch w/directors who seem more concerned with how they look to the funders and how much they are earning (very good salaries for a non-profit for the directors, while their teachers make little more than a liveable wage w/limited benefits). Just spend your money elsewhere for a non-profit--you can find plenty in Austin who do a better and more honest job!

1
★★☆☆☆

This organization means well, but is really odd in the way it goes about doing things.....particularily in their early childhood program. They claim to follow DAP (developmentally appropriate practices) and spend a lot of their limited funds on curriculums for this purpose, yet miss the mark completely on what true DAP for preschoolers is (and is NOT). They spend dollars on "book work" curriculums for toddlers and preschoolers and don't put much into basic DAP classroom set-ups and needs (child-based centers, child-centered learning environments, set-ups that allow children to learn through exploration and play). This is all very basic textbook child development stuff and they breeze right over it with glossy, expensive, book/ditto based literacy curriculum. Just an odd bunch w/directors who seem more concerned with how they look to the funders and how much they are earning (very good salaries for a non-profit for the directors, while their teachers make little more than a liveable wage w/limited benefits). Just spend your money elsewhere for a non-profit--you can find plenty in Austin who do a better and more honest job!

Pros: Offer some reputable services to community

Cons: everything w/their early childhhood ed. programs

 

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