From New York, NY — 06/26/2010
I worked at Lindamood-Bell as a clinician for one four-month period, during their busy summer season. While it was by no means my favorite work experiences, for a few reasons, I'm still glad that I took the job. The part I honestly disliked most about about the position, though, was that I sometimes felt more like a babysitter than a teacher. There certainly were some great students who were a pleasure to work with, but there was also a ton of students who were incredibly resistant and, for various reasons, quite difficult. Many a session I found myself trying my best to simply keep a student under some sense of control, with little time for any substantial learning to take place. This is not to say that it is a bad or undesirable position, necessarily - it's simply not what I expected. At no point in the interview process or the training period did we learn much at all about these types of 'problem students' (as they were often called). Once I was out with students, on my own, I was honestly somewhat surprised at how much time I would be spending each day doing that sort of thing. I do agree also with the previous respondent that the whole hours thing was an issue - they promised me full time as well, and I usually got 30-34 hours.
All that said, though, with all of my complaints about Lindamood-Bell, I still think it's a great program. I saw, first-hand, how well it really works. Students that come in and can barely distinguish between vowels leave at the end of the summer reading multiple grade levels ahead of where they once were. The pace is grueling (for most it was 4 hours per day, 5 days a week), but it produces results. Moreover, even though the whole taking-care-of-kids-who-aren't-mine thing was my least favorite part, I have to admit that they have designed a great system of various games and reward programs to keep students motivated. I mean, considering the fact that these students are all being forced to sit indoors during the summer and learn rules over and over again for four hours per day, the level of control and order that they're able to maintain there is pretty impressive.
Like I said, all in all, I'm glad I took the job. I wasn't crazy about a lot of the day-to-day stuff that I was expected to do, but it is a job that I'm proud to talk about. When people ask if it works, I tell them that if I needed to, I would definitely send my child there and feel confident that it would be worth it. Just be warned: if childcare is not something you're looking to do, this may not be the best fit.