Teach Students, Not Subjects

Teach Students, Not Subjects

With so many tutoring companies to choose from, you may wonder, “Why Signet?” 

While a number of factors set us apart, there is one core value that truly establishes the foundation for our entire approach to working with students:  

Teach students, not subjects. 

What does this core value mean to us? It means we care about the whole student, not just their study habits and grades. It means we endeavor to understand students as people with goals, fears, hopes, and dreams and to shape our teaching to fit each individual’s needs.

The Value of Teaching Students, Not Subjects 

At the heart of our core value to teach students, not subjects, is another of our core values: care deeply. Empathy, understanding, and a willingness to meet students where they are at are all essential to being a good educator—whether a teacher or a tutor. 

However, unlike teachers, who have the immense responsibility of teaching to an entire class, Signet’s tutors get to focus on teaching to individual students. And that’s important because by the time families approach Signet for support, students are typically struggling not only with the content of a class but also with other factors that necessitate a more holistic approach: 

  • Learning and getting the most from a classroom environment 
  • Setting deadlines and managing their time
  • Navigating emotional issues like anxiety or a lack of confidence 

In other words, these students need support extending above and beyond a focus on the content of a particular class. 

“One of the goals of our work is we want students to leave their experience with Signet with the tools to succeed in a range of areas in their lives,” explains Sheila Akbar, Signet’s President & COO.

“If a student comes to us to learn math, we teach them not only the equations but also how to navigate emotions, manage disappointments, set their own timelines, and more. They can apply these learnings to many subjects—and to their entire lives.” 

The Secret Sauce: Finding the Right Tutor-Student Fit 

Tutoring is most successful when students show up to each session with excitement and camaraderie, knowing that their tutor is their biggest advocate and cheerleader. That’s why Signet places an extraordinarily high emphasis on fit. 

“When a family connects with us, we learn about who the student is and why they are seeking support. After the session, we meet as a team internally to talk about the student and select a tutor who’s the right fit for them,” says Sheila. “It’s essential that the student feels a connection with their tutor, which creates space for vulnerability and learning.” 

Signet’s rigorous hiring process 

How does Signet find tutors who align with our commitment to teaching students, not subjects? We focus heavily on values during our hiring process. 

“We really like to make sure we’re bringing in tutors who view success as more than earning a good grade or developing good study habits,” says Sheila. 

“We want our tutors to care about making sure students feel supported, confident, and comfortable because, at the end of the day, being an educator isn’t just about delivering content. It’s about walking alongside a student to help them grow in many different ways.” 

Teach Students, Not Subjects: A Success Story 

Signet’s unique approach to tutoring yields many success stories, but here’s one from recently that stood out. 

A student who had grown accustomed to excelling in 8th and 9th grade began taking more advanced classes and suddenly started earning Bs instead of As. They felt like no matter how hard they worked, they weren’t achieving their desired grades. Understandably, this student was experiencing disappointment and anxiety. 

The student and their family initially sought support for specific subjects that the student was struggling with, like math. But the tutoring organization they worked with only ever focused on content. They never took a step back to pose bigger questions: What is the root of these struggles? How does it feel to sit down and not know the answer? How can you prevent that feeling from overwhelming you in the moment? 

When Signet began working with this student, we developed a customized curriculum that focused not only on content but also on learning, test-taking, and confidence-building skills. 

The student made such significant progress that one of their parents called us to tell us that while they were thrilled to share that the student’s grades had improved, they were most happy that the student was excited about school again and felt confident in their own skin. 

Contact Signet to Get Matched with a Tutor 

Your student is more than good grades and good study habits; don’t let anyone tell you differently. If Signet’s approach to tutoring resonates with you, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today to start the conversation and get matched with a tutor! 

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