Ignite Reading Review Summary

Ignite! Reading is a US reading program supporting schoolchildren up to Grade 8. Tutors must have a US address (but can travel) and are paid $17.50/hr for 9 weeks of training then $20/hr upon completion. Sessions are 15mins 1v1, and 5-day availability is required Mon-Fri for up to 30 hours, with limited flexibility.

Pay (per hour):$17.50-$20
Location requirements?US address
Degree/diploma required?No
Teaching certificate required?No
Teaching experience required?No
Class size/length:1v1/15mins
Student ages/grades?Pre-K through 8th grade
Hours (per week):10 – 30
(across 5 days, Mon-Fri)

Ignite Reading Pros and Cons


  • No mandatory degree or teaching certificate required
  • Extensive paid training/certification
  • Curriculum and lesson plans provided
  • Rapidly growing company with a positive social mission


  • Contract position without employee benefits
  • Unpaid admin duties
  • Must be able to tutor at the same time 5 days a week (Mon-Fri) for the academic year – limited flexibility
  • Focuses solely on lower literacy levels
  • Middling reviews from a small number of tutors at present

Is Ignite Reading Legit?

Ignite! Reading is a social justice English literacy provider based out of San Francisco, USA, that works with American schools to address traditional inequalities and help K-8th graders become independent readers. Since its first implementation in 2021, the program has grown by 35x to serve 2,500 students in school districts across 7 states. They currently contract 200 remote tutors, but are looking to expand to achieve their goal of supporting 50,000 students within 5 years.

Ignite’s legitimacy is underlined by having attracted $10 million in funding, including from Rethink Capital who had this to say about the company:

“Ignite! Reading is the real deal. Laser-focused on making sure every child has the foundational skills to read on time, Ignite is an extraordinary tech-forward tutoring program that consistently over-delivers on expectations”

Matt Greenfield, Managing Partner of Rethink Education

Below is a video interview with Jessica Reid Sliwerski, co-founder of Ignite! Reading, discussing her motivations behind the company and its mission:

What Is the Ignite Reading Program?

The Ignite Reading curriculum is provided and uses materials from the National Council on Teacher Quality to provide 15-minute one-on-one daily lessons via Zoom. This virtual reading instruction focuses on helping children master reading fundamentals – letters, phonics, and sight words – that will allow them to decode sentences.

This video provides a glimpse into one of their sessions:

Ignite Reading Salary

The Ignite Reading tutor pay rate starts at US$17.50 during the training period, going up to $20 after certification.

Tutors submit their hours on the final day of the month to receive payment via bank transfer up to 15 days later.

Ignite Reading Hours and Schedule

Ignite! Reading requires their hires to commit to an intensive 60-hour training certification program covering the Science of Reading Instruction. This runs for 9 weeks (all paid) and includes 6 weeks of practicum where 5-10 students will be tutored.

Courses usually start in July, August, and September. Here are the dates for the 2023 intake:

  • July 24th – September 22nd, 2023
  • August 21st – October 20th, 2023
  • September 11th – November 10th, 2023

Tutors are required Monday to Friday; synchronous classes take place on 3 of these days, while asynchronous learning is completed on the remaining 2.

Classes last 2 hours for the first 3 weeks of training, while for the last 6 weeks there is a 1-hour class plus 1.5-hour tutoring practicum.

Tutors must make themselves available for a minimum of 3 hours a day between 8am and 5pm (on top of their certification class) to allow for students to be scheduled at a regular time.

Upon certification, Ignite Reading tutors will work up to 30 hours a week across 5 days, providing 15-minute one-on-one virtual sessions.

Ignite Reading Requirements

Here are the Ignite requirements for virtual tutors:

  • U.S. Citizen or eligible to work in the United States – tutors may live outside the country but must have a domestic mailing address that is not a PO Box.
  • U.S. bank account for receiving payment.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to implementing skills learned and feedback received during certification to get better on behalf of the children served.
  • Cultivate trusting, meaningful relationships with students and schools while forming collaborative relationships with your Ignite! Tutor Educator peers.
  • Execute with a high-level of attention to detail and meet deadlines.
  • Show up genuinely excited to work with students every day and hold the promises made to students sacred.
  • Understand that learning to read is hard, practice empathy and understanding, hold high expectations for their students, and never ever give up on them.
  • Arrive on time to all tutoring sessions, fulfill all duties associated with your role while representing the Ignite! Reading program with the highest degree of professionalism.
  • Complete the paid 60+ hour certification class and gain mastery of the Science of Reading, Ignite’s assessment systems, program operations, and research-based, foundational skills curriculum.
  • Reliable internet connection
  • Tablet or computer (preferably a laptop or desktop)
  • Chrome or Safari browser
  • Webcam 
  • Headset or earbuds with microphone and noise-canceling options

Many Ignite! tutors are college students working towards a teaching degree, while the company has a strong desire for candidates who have lived experience relating to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Ignite Reading Application Process

To apply, visit the Ignite Reading careers page and look for ‘Tutor Educator’. At the bottom of the job description you will find an application form where you will submit the following information:

  • First and last name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Attach resume/CV
  • Confirm you have carefully read and can fully commit to the certification class, practicum time requirements, and daily expectations for exceptional tutor performance provided in the job description
  • Confirm you are available to join a certification course
  • Link to a professional website you would like to share with us (optional)
  • LinkedIn Profile (optional)
  • Do you live in any of the following locations? California, Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the District of Columbia
  • Do you meet the minimum requirements: 1. U.S. Citizen/eligible to work in the United States 2. Have a U.S.-based mailing address (no P.O. Box) 3. Have a U.S. bank account for direct deposit
  • Which of the following do you most accurately identify with? 
    • Current College Student
    • Career Changer
    • PK-12 Teacher
    • Current Instructional Support Role
    • Current Student not enrolled in teacher prep program
    • Retired or Part-Time Teacher/Administrator
    • Other
  • What types of teaching/tutoring experiences have you had?
  • Do you have experience teaching (or tutoring) students online (1:1 or in small groups)?
  • Generally, how much experience do you have with school-aged children?
  • Are you currently or have you ever been certified to teach K-12?
  • Are you currently enrolled in an education degree or teaching credential program?
  • If you answered yes to the previous question, share the name of the college, university, or alternative certification program?
  • What grade levels do you have experience teaching or tutoring?
  • What grade levels are you interested in tutoring?
  • Why did you choose the grade levels in the question above?
  • Are you fluent enough to conduct a tutoring session in Spanish if needed? 
  • List any additional languages other than English in which you are fluent enough to conduct a tutoring session if needed
  • What is the highest level of education you have completed?
  • Ideally, how many hours per week do you want to tutor for Ignite! Reading?
  • What time zone will you be predominantly tutoring from?
  • What times of day are you generally available to tutor?
  • What seasonal availability do you have?
  • Is there any additional information you would like to provide about your availability and scheduling needs?
  • Ignite is a completely virtual program and participants must have access to the technology necessary to successfully perform virtual tutoring. On a scale of 1-3, what is your level of comfort using technology to deliver tutoring sessions? 
  • Will you be able to ensure that you have a working computer and a stable Wi-Fi connection in the location(s) you will be tutoring from? 
  • What is your favorite part about working with young children? (If you have experience, please feel free to share from experience. If not, share what you are looking forward to most about working with kids!)
  • What assets and lived experiences do you bring that will help you connect with students from different educational, cultural, racial, economic, and geographic backgrounds? (Write a brief, 3-5 sentence answer)
  • Once hired, Ignite! Reading Tutor Educators are expected to complete an extensive PAID certification program that trains you to become a Virtual Reading Teacher with knowledge and growing expertise in the Science of Reading. Ignite’s 60-hour paid certification is unrivaled, essential to your success as a tutor educator, and requires that you commit to a minimum of 1-2 hours of training and up to 1.5 hours of paid tutoring practicum a day, 5 days a week, for 9 weeks. One a scale of 1-3, what is your level of comfort committing to and completing our rigorous and empowering certification process?

Ignite Reading jobs are also advertised on and can be applied for through Indeed.

Applicants should hear within 5 business days whether they are being taken through to the next round of the Ignite hiring process.

Ignite Reading Interview Process

Ignite uses Spark Hire to interview its candidates. This is a 40-minute, one-way interview, where you will record answers to questions about why you want to work for Ignite, your experience and background, what makes you a good potential tutor, as well as provide a mock tutoring demo (there is no live interviewer). You may re-record any answers you are dissatisfied with.

The company aims to provide a hiring decision within 5 business days of completing the interview.

These are the final steps successful candidates go through before beginning their paid certification training:

  • Accept the offer and sign their contract
  • Complete a 2.5 hour video pre-certification course
  • Submit a W-9 form
  • Submit direct deposit information
  • Consent and pass a thorough background check

Ignite Reading Reviews – What Is It Like Working at Ignite?

The Ignite Reading Glassdoor page gives the company an overall rating of 3.6 out of 5, with 49% willing to recommend them, though this is calculated from just 5 Ignite tutor reviews at present.

I have consolidated all the positive and negative comments from these Ignite Reading employee reviews below, which praise the company’s mission and impact, thorough and interactive paid training, learning platform, lesson plans, and students’ nature. Most criticism is towards the lack of employee benefits (being a contract position), as well as scheduling restrictions, low pay, and demanding administrative work that is unpaid:

  • Advantages:
    • “The company is amazing! They are on a mission to help children learn to read with a proven program. You can really make a difference in the lives of the children you serve! The company is very invested in training for the tutors. The training is paid and is very thorough, interactive, and practical. They truly care about helping the children and the tutors as well.
    • The company is invested in fully training new educators in the Science of Reading.
    • The kids are amazing! I love working with the students and not having to be concerned about lesson planning before I head into a session (Ignite provides it for me). I also love the learning platform, and they are consistently innovating in the EdTech space to make things easier for tutors. The trainings are extensive but fun, and the team makes me feel encouraged and supported.
    • Kids are cute. Okayish idea
    • inspiring and encouraging workplace with great people”
  • Disadvantages:
    • “There are no benefits. Since the tutors are not w-2 employees, but rather are self-employed contractors, they are responsible for their own taxes. They also have to purchase all work supplies and equipment such as a computer, etc. There is a limit on how much a tutor can work during the 1st 9 weeks (training period). The limit is 2 hours per day, 5 days a week until you complete their training program. However, once tutors complete the professional tutor certification program, they can work up to 30 hours a week.
    • No benefits; it is a contract position
    • 1. The pay is low and there is no opportunity for higher pay based on experience. 2. Tutors are constantly (every few months) made to sign new contracts that get longer and more restrictive each time. There is no alternative to these contracts to continue to work there. 3. Tutors are restricted in their number of off days, number of times they can change their availability in the year, and other restrictions. 4. The job is demanding (the record keeping, hour logging, and other administrative tasks take up more time sometimes than tutoring students). You are not compensated for this extra work anymore.
    • Pay is low
    • Growing super fast, and it can be hard to keep up.”

There is currently only 1 additional review on the Ignite Reading Indeed page, which adds that while the people at the company are passionate, disorganization (possibly from rapid growth) creates a lack of communication and support:

Ignite Reading Indeed review

Conclusion – Is Ignite Reading Worth It for Tutors?

Ignite! Reading seems a company that is genuinely passionate about their mission to help struggling young readers from disadvantaged backgrounds, and if this is a cause that resonates with you then it could be a rewarding place to work. The generously-paid training is certainly a perk, though it comes with a big time commitment that will limit other job options and flexibility for those who want more freedom. Ignite! is also not suitable for teachers who prefer adult students or higher literacy levels.

You may apply for Ignite Reading tutor jobs, but make sure you first check out our full list of other companies that are hiring.

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Dr Daniel Spence

Daniel Spence is the founder of Online Teaching Review. He has been an international teacher since 2008, an award-winning academic, author of two books, and holds a PhD, MA, BA (Hons), and TESOL.

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