Okay, so I just finished my year-long contract with Richmond Institute. Let me tell you a little about it.
First of all, I did enjoy working at Richmond for the majority of the time. And the other teachers seem enjoy it even more than me. However, you'll notice none of them posted anything in defense of the school. That's because none of us really appreciate what they did to Aidoue. Also, there is a strong incentive to keep new teachers away, as they are potential competitors who can take hours away from you. I quit, however, so I have no reason to hold back now.
The other teachers and I noticed a distinct change after the OP started this thread. Before she posted, Richmond was interviewing teachers almost every week, sometimes every day. After she posted it, nothing. She certainly made a difference.
The reason I quit was not really about how they treated me. Lorraine and Richard, who run the place, were always very nice to me and we got along well. Most Sunday nights they even give you cake. Granted, it's the leftover cake they don't sell, but still, cake is nice if you like cake.
No, I left because they weren't giving me enough hours. Some weeks I'd have 24 hours a week, some weeks I'd have 16. My last few weeks there, as they finally added new teachers and started pushing me out, I got maybe 7 hours a week. I didn't think this was very fair, but whatever. The fluxuation is a problem because every week your schedule is different; they give you the next week's schedule the Saturday before. That way, it's hard to make personal plans in advance, and it's very hard to get part time jobs somewhere else, even though they promise you that you can. Also, they'll call you in to sub for someone for 2 classes, then tell you it's only one class (because another teacher they like better said yes).
So, my experience was not as bad as Aidoue's, but not as good as the other teachers I've worked with. Richmond subscribes to the shitgun method of hiring people: hire anyone who seems good, fire them into a class, and see if they stick. I've figured out the type of person that will succeed at Richmond, and if you're this type of person, they'll treat you well.
First, they would always get on me for being too serious, even though I would joke the whole class and everyone would laugh. This frustrated me, until I realized that they all wanted ME to laugh at THEIR jokes. So, an easy laughter will do well because if someone thinks you're funny, you'll open up and be less shy. I am not an easy laughter in the slightest. A lot of the students I did find very funny, and those were the students that would attend my classes. Everyone wants someone to think they're funny. This is an important lesson I learned. Unfortunately, my fake laugh doesn't sound very convincing.
Second, always be cheerful, energetic, and talkative. I am none of these things, so it's a small miracle that I taught there as long as I did. I was especially not cheerful after they started cutting my hours, which is when they started to tell me to "control my mood". One teacher at that school that they really like could talk for an hour and a half about cake. I am just not that type of person. I don't have what it takes to talk for an hour and a half about cake.
If you fit the bill, then Richmond will be a great place to work. Several teachers have now signed on for one more year. However, if you don't fit the bill, and not enough students come to your class, you will have a hard time. Much of this is because of the students, who pay quite a bit more than normal to take classes there, and will complain about you if you slip up, or you're not prepared, or they just don't like you, or they think you're boring. The problem is that Richmond promises students that if they don't like a teacher they can attend another class, but there aren't enough teachers to give 2 choices for every English level. As a result, one student will complain that you're boring and you're kicked out of your class. You start to live in fear of every student as you try to smile, make conversation, and act interested in every word they say. So what I'm saying is that it's a challenging job, and not everyone who they hire will survive there.
A lot of classes were really fun to teach, and the students were all characters that made the class very fun and lively. The boss was also rather friendly and jokey with me, which is nice. And the staff was super cool too, although for some reason they're required to run everywhere. It's supposed to make the place look professional, but instead it looks like you're on the deck of the Starship Enterprise as it's under attack. (The futuristic uniforms add to this impression.)
Anyways, if you're talkative, lively, funny, and laugh at anything, you'll thrive. Keep this in mind, should you decide to work there.