Savvy Reading Review Summary
Savvy Reading is an online reading support program that pays US teachers $18 an hour (plus pay rises) to coach classes of 1-4 Pre-K to Grade 5 students. Hiring is competitive, you must have teaching credentials or an education degree, teaching experience, and be available during evening peak hours, Monday-Thursday.
|Pay (per hour):||$18|
|Native / Non-Native Speakers accepted?||US|
|TEFL / TESOL / CELTA required?||No|
|Degree / diploma required?||Yes|
|Adult / child students?||Children|
|Minimum hours (per week):||0*|
Savvy Reading Pros and Cons
- Fair starting pay rate
- Potential pay rises every 6 months
- Consistent schedule with regular students for 6+ months
- Positive initial impressions from teachers
- Many teachers prefer reading support work to ESL teaching
- US teachers only
- Must have a degree in Education or a teaching license
- Highly competitive and selective recruitment process
- Won’t hire unless you commit to a regular peak slot, Monday to Thursday
- Contradiction in saying ‘no minimum hours’ while insisting on peak availability
- Few teacher reviews available yet, though there are reports of low bookings
What Is Savvy Reading and Is Savvy Reading Legit?
Savvy Reading is a legitimate, US based, online reading support program, which was started in 2020.
The Savvy Reading level covers Pre-Kindergarten to 5th Grade, though students are usually grouped by ability rather than age. Earlier levels focus on phonological awareness, phonics, word recognition, and sight words, with fluency and comprehension built into lessons. Readers are taught the mechanics of decoding, and practice this while reading. Moving up through the levels, the Savvy Reading program introduces more complex phonics patterns and automaticity. By levels 3-5, there is an emphasis on fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and word work (e.g., syllabication, prefixes, suffixes, and tricky phonics patterns with multi syllable words).
Coaching sessions are held one-on-one or with groups of 2-4 students, via a web-based video-conferencing platform that features slides and interactive tools. Reading material is provided as online text that coaches and readers access together.
Here is the story behind the company:
This video shows how the lessons are structured and what the company looks for in a Savvy Reading tutor/coach:
How Much Does Savvy Reading Pay?
Savvy Reading coach pay starts at US$9 per 25-minute class ($18 an hour).
If you teach two classes a day you can qualify for a $0.50 raise every 6 months (up to $20 per hour).
Savvy Reading coaches receive full pay for student no-shows, but must remain logged in for the full 25 minutes.
The Savvy Reading salary is paid every 2 weeks via direct deposit.
Savvy Reading Hours
Savvy Reading hours are available throughout the day, Monday to Thursday, between 6am and 10pm (Eastern Standard Time).
The most popular slots are after-school, with Savvy Reading peak hours falling between 5-7.30pm (EST).
The company will only consider teachers who are available for at least one peak session, four days a week (Monday – Thursday), despite their contradictory claim that there is ‘no minimum requirement for hours taught’. This schedule must be consistent as you will be teaching the same students at a regular time on each of those four days, for at least 6 months (the minimum period a student signs up for).
As the Savvy Reading curriculum is provided for teachers, little additional prep time is required.
There is a system through Facebook for substitute teaching, if you wish to pick up extra one-off classes or require someone to cover your own absence.
Regular Savvy Reading holidays include Labor Day, Thanksgiving week, Christmas week, New Year’s Day, MLK Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day.
Savvy Reading Requirements
- Must have teaching credentials/certifications or an advanced degree in education
- Demonstrable teaching experience (strong preference for classroom experience teaching reading)
- A computer with webcam and fast internet connection
- Available to teach at least one regular 25-minute slot between 5-7.30pm, four days a week (Monday-Thursday)
Is Savvy Reading Hiring?
You can check to see if applications are currently being accepted for Savvy Reading jobs here.
Savvy Reading interviews and hires new coaches on a rolling basis. They have seen a large increase in applicants since 2021, when China changed its regulations, so warn that it might take them longer to respond to candidates. Normally, you can expect a response within a couple of weeks, otherwise your application will be held for future hires once student demand grows.
Savvy Reading Application Process
You can apply for Savvy Reading teaching jobs by clicking on the ‘Apply Here’ button, then submit the following details:
- First and last name
- Email address
- Phone number
- What are your qualifications?
- Teaching certification
- Reading specialist credentials
- Dyslexia specialist credentials
- No certifications, but experience teaching reading
- What time zone are you in?
- Do you have all of the necessary technology (i.e., computer, video camera, fast internet) to successfully manage coaching sessions using video conferencing? Yes/No
- When are you available for coaching sessions?
- When would you be able to get started?
- Please submit your resume or curriculum vitae
Savvy Reading Interview
Should you be invited for an interview you will have to answer questions about your experience (they have been known to ask, ‘What is your teaching super power?’), before delivering a Savvy Reading Demo consisting of 10 slides (normal lessons cover 30 slides). These will be sent to you beforehand, along with a lesson plan and script. The interviewer will pretend to be the student.
As you will be coaching Native Speakers (not ESL), you should refrain from using TPR. Savvy Reading likes to use a ‘silver coin’ reward system at the beginning and end of their lessons; there is no button to give these digitally, you have to instead award them verbally or through gesture (e.g., pretending to throw them to the student).
Try and convey the following qualities that Savvy Reading looks for in its teachers:
- Qualified – demonstrated a mastery of teaching reading at one or more relevant levels
- Effective – do everything you can to help readers make consistent progress in reading capabilities, and to develop confidence and a love of reading
- Delightful – make meaningful and appropriate connections with each reader and have a delightful way of coaching readers, engendering respect and adoration
- Reliable – show up, follow through with commitments, and take full responsibility and ownership of the coaching sessions you manage
- Safe – create a safe environment for readers in every aspect of the word. You are positive and helpful, friendly, and patient with readers. You also know how to quickly and efficiently use the tools at your disposal to quell inappropriate behavior to keep sessions safe for the group. You avoid any inappropriate behavior yourself, such as sarcasm, negative comments, negative or bad language, racial, gender or any other discrimination, and religious or political commentary.
You should hear back within a week as to whether your interview and demo was successful or not.
Savvy Reading Reviews
Being a relatively new startup, there are no Glassdoor or Indeed pages yet offering Savvy Reading job reviews. However, some Savvy Reading coach reviews can be found in Facebook teachers’ groups, which appear, initially, to be favorable:
Here is another Facebook thread of positive Savvy Reading teacher reviews:
However, there are warnings from those who have been in Savvy Reading employment for a while that there are not enough bookings available for teachers:
Conclusion – Is Savvy Reading Worth It?
As with Hoot Reading, ESL teachers mention they prefer reading support work, if they can get it. That appears to be the caveat, considering these jobs primarily hire US teachers and can be highly competitive, which impacts upon the amount of bookings available. While the pay and initial impressions of Savvy Reading are encouraging, it still seems to be a young company that is growing, so do not apply expecting to receive full-time hours. They might, however, be worth adding to your portfolio of side gigs.
You can apply to Savvy Reading here.
A list of other non-China companies can be found here.
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