Our Philosophy

Academic Success: A Combination of Action and Attitude

We believe organization, time management, study strategies, and goal setting - skills implied in the classroom but not explicitly taught - are the foundation of a successful academic career.  As we educate these student's on how to utilize these key skills, they begin to cultivate personal responsibility, self-awareness, and academic self-esteem. Academic success is the rewarding product of action and attitude.

De-emphasizing Grades as the Sole Measure of Academic Success

We believe that grades are a symptom of consistent habits and not a measure of personal worth.
Many of our students struggle due to disorganization, learning disabilities, mental health and personal challenges.  As a result, their grades rarely reflect their grasp of a subject or their academic potential.  Worse, students often personalize their grades and exhibit low academic self-esteem.
We want to rewrite this narrative to show our students that low grades are not indicators of their personal or academic worth. Additionally, we want to empower them with skills and habits so that they recognize that it is entirely within their agency to change their academic performance.

Developing a Vocabulary of Self

Most students don't have a mature enough vocabulary to articulate their feelings and experiences surrounding school and their social life. We've all heard the poor excuses, "I didn't get a good grade because I'm stupid." Or, "I failed because my teacher hates me." They tend to speak in simple binaries such as smart vs stupid and passing vs failing. We'd like to equip our students with a vocabulary that allows for more nuance. So the poor excuses become, "I didn't get a good grade because I didn't hand in my homework on time." Or, "I failed because I didn't study consistently." Consequently, we hope to impart the value of the following:

Academic Integrity: Our goal is to have our students measure their academic success by their ability to consistently turn in all of their work in on time with work that they are proud of and to show up to every test feeling prepared.
Consistency: It is incredibly difficult to do the same task week in and week out so that it becomes a habit. In order for our students to break their bad hapbits and learn value of time management, organization, and study skills for themselves we must ourselves consistently reinforce the value of consistency. 
Accountability: It is our goal to help our students cultivate academic self-esteem by teaching them that they are accountable to the decisions they make, their actions and words. Developmentally, as teens mature they will slowly become more self-aware. One way to help them along this path is to teach them accountability.
Prioritization: This skill is difficult to cultivate as it requires the maturity to demonstrate foresight, the awareness of one’s goals, and the ability and willingness to compromise. Yet, this is a skill with enduring importance. If a student can master the art of prioritizing, they will be able to achieve their academic goals.

 

Our Story

My dream to build a tutoring agency that empowers students to achieve academic and personal success was inspired by my own educational journey.  

Growing up in Dallas, Texas I was, like most of us, a goofy teenager who wanted to do well in school, play on sports teams, join school clubs, and be with my friends. For the 9th grade, I transferred from public to private school, attending The Greenhill School. It was there that I first realized that being successful in school required a lot more than a quick brain and the ability to schmooze my teachers. In order to ‘do it all’ and not drive my parents crazy, I began to cultivate time management, organization, and study skills.

We have all witnessed that some students study long hours under constant stress, while other students seem more successful at school without having to work as hard. Because the academic experience is not limited to time in a classroom, I found that utilizing these important skills is a critical component to finding balance between homework demands, extra-curriculars, and a rich social life.

After graduating with honors, I traveled to Philadelphia and joined the Ivy League at The University of Pennsylvania. It was there that I fell in love with ancient history and discovered my passion for teaching. I graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in European History and Classical Studies and received a Post Baccalaureate Degree in Classical Languages. With the desire to become a professor of history, I began a Masters and Phd program at The University of Texas at Austin in ancient and medieval history.

While at UPenn and UT Austin, I noticed many of my peers judge their academic success and their self worth by a grade based system, regarding the coveted ‘A’ as the only marker of achievement.  These students struggled to cope after school when they no longer had academic accolades to validate their self worth. I also witnessed many students struggle with low academic self-esteem because of less than perfect GPAs despite their accomplishments in other facets of their school experience.  Not wanting to fall into this trap, I realized that setting goals is a vital component to building academic self-esteem and inspiring motivation to meet individual potential.   

While teaching for five years at UT Austin, I witnessed many freshman flounder. Despite their rank in the top 10%, they were not equipped for the challenges of college life.  This experience, coupled with tutoring junior high and high school students for nearly ten years, reinforced to me that many struggling students do not lack a comprehension of the material, nor are unable to follow along and participate in class. Their primary problem is that they do not know where their homework is, when it is due, or how to get it done. Most importantly, they are unmotivated by grades and therefore lack the incentive to excel.  

Over time, as my love of tutoring flourished, I began to reflect on my educational experience and the experience of my students. After finishing school, I took my passion for teaching and developed the tutoring philosophy that is at the core of Encompass Tutorial Services.
— Jessica Rae Shore