Should STAAR Tests Be a Priority?

Virtual learning has taken a toll on even the brightest of students across the country. We’re seeing more failing grades than ever before, and in Houston these numbers have increased exponentially. Whereas only 26% of students received one or more F’s in the fall of 2019, that number has risen to 42% of students for the fall of 2020. Districts across the nation are experiencing similar increases, especially those in lower income areas. Resources are stretched thin, teachers are frazzled, and districts are left wondering what to do.

It’s no wonder that last year STAAR testing was cancelled, and many are calling for it to be cancelled again this year. We understand the struggles districts are going through, and do not think they should be penalized for their scores in the midst of COVID-19. But, we do think that STAAR testing can be a valuable resource to pinpoint where students are struggling and where more focus needs to be placed. These tests can provide critical information, and Gibson Educational Services wants to help districts prepare for the upcoming tests with our test preparation services.

It’s important to prepare even more this year and address the widening gaps in virtual education early on to help your students feel confident in their abilities. Though districts may not feel they need to place emphasis on scoring well on the STAAR tests, these tests offer a variety of benefits to help students build their confidence, sharpen their test-taking abilities, and show their individual mastery. Gibson can help your students through the anxiety and stress of taking standardized tests during COVID-19 with customized lessons, sessions, and interactive activities.

Gibson Educational Services is also proud to offer reading interventionist services. Educators understand how reading is a core component of the early stages of learning and how it can affect a student’s development. With virtual school, it’s hard to address the individual needs of every student in regards to their reading comprehension. Gibson can provide that supplemental support to address test taking needs as well as keeping students on track with their reading skills.

If you’re interested in learning more, please visit our website or contact us today. We absolutely think STAAR tests should be a priority and we’re here to help you set your students up for success even through the struggles of COVID-19.

lessons in losing

Lessons in Losing

At Gibson Educational Services, we believe that some of the most important lessons are those taught outside of the traditional classroom. Sure, the foundations of math, science, and reading are vital, but a well-rounded student (and member of society) also needs to know empathy, humility, and grace. It’s important that students learn that they won’t always be the best at everything they do, and will often times lose. Losing, whether it be a board game or academic challenge, might sting a little – but, it brings the opportunity for growth and improvement. Eventually, the losses will become more significant throughout the years, so learning this at a young age is important.

Serena Williams says it best, “I’ve grown most not from my victories, but setbacks. If winning is God’s reward, then losing is how he teaches us.” As one of the most successful professional tennis players, Serena realizes that her success as an athlete comes from those times she lost. Instead of giving up, Serena examines what went wrong and how to improve her skills. But she’s not alone, many other successful athletes like Lebron James and Dwight Howard would say the same. Pitying yourself in a loss will only keep you stagnant, true growth comes from humility and reflection.

Unfortunately, not all influential leaders have the same mindset. The president of the United States has blatantly displayed for the entire world, including young minds, that he refuses to accept a loss with grace. Someone that is supposed to set an example for so many, is instead spurring on supporters to also reject defeat, and is refusing to accept the reality that Vice President Joe Biden is the president-elect.

Although extremely disheartening, we cannot change the actions of President Trump. But, we can vow to change our own actions, and positively influence those around us. We encourage you to be mindful of how you react to setbacks in your life. Congratulate those who win, accept defeat gracefully, learn how to improve for the future, and teach children how to do the same. Together, we can and will build a better future for tomorrow.



Diversity and Inclusion Courses for Companies

Gibson Educational Services is proud to offer training and professional development in the areas of diversity and inclusion. This curriculum helps companies build a stronger and more educated workforce and reinforce their cultural values. Many companies are making the shift to focus on diversity and inclusion as a key aspect of their organization, and for good reason.

Studies show that diversity in the workplace boosts productivity, reduces employee turnover, and even increases profits. Fostering a diverse culture presents a myriad of benefits to steer your company in the direction of success. With the help of Gibson Educational Services, you can invest in your company’s diversity initiatives and see results from our educational experts.

We employ highly qualified individuals with doctorates in African American studies to run our diversity and inclusion programs. Their backgrounds and specialties ensure that all aspects of our programs are appropriate and thought-provoking on the topics of implicit bias, racial identity, and more. Each program is unique and is specifically curated to addresses your organization’s needs, no matter how large.

It’s imperative now more than ever to consider what your company may be lacking in terms of diversity and inclusion. By utilizing our educational programs, you can show that you are committed to diversity and empowering each and every of your employees. We use a variety of activities, exercises, videos, and more to engage your team and take respect and camaraderie to the next level. They say that education is the most powerful weapon for changing the world, and we believe that you can use it to change your company for the better.

Companies that invest in their employees are investing in their future. If you’re interested in learning more about our programs, contact us today. Whether you are a small start-up or a large corporation, any entity can benefit from furthering their diversity efforts.

Virtual Learning During the 2020-2021 School Year

Fall classes are just weeks away, and we are still closely monitoring district updates on classroom guidelines. It’s not clear yet what each district is deciding, but we are here to support them during this time with whatever choice they make. Whether or not schools allow scholars back in the classroom, we are here to provide the best educational support possible through our services.

With our employees’ and students’ best interests in mind, Gibson Educational Services has made the decision to offer mostly online services for the 2020-2021 school year. We will still be able to offer all of our services and provide the same quality instruction, and there is no cause for concern in being able to deliver this. We are taking extensive measures to train our employees in online instruction and technology and being as proactive as we can to prepare for the school year.

This fall we will be offering a variety of virtual services, like Virtual Homework Support/ACT/SAT Prep for 1-12 graders, and a Virtual Book Club. The Virtual Book Club will begin in October 2020 and will focus on 3 series – Harry Potter, Goosebumps, and American Girls. This will run for 6 weeks before we pick another book for Spring. When each scholar completes their 6 week book club, they will receive a $10 Pizza Hut gift card and certificate for their efforts. Additionally, we will be offering Tutoring and Minecraft beginning September 7, 2020. Scholars will be expected to participate in 2 hours each week to complete their school assignments before receiving an incentive code to a top rated Minecraft club which has more than 500 members.

Remote instruction is still worthwhile, although it may look and feel different. With our vast experience, we have decided this is the best way to practice social distancing measures while giving students’ the attention they need in their educational pursuits. We want to assure you that our tutors will not falter in our services and will go above and beyond in your scholars’ remote learning.

If you make the informed decision to have in-person tutoring for your scholar, we can provide these services to you as well. This fall, we will be providing in-person tutoring for Express Cheer. By taking extreme caution in our sanitization, social distancing, and other safe practices, you can rest assured that your scholar is safe with our tutors. Whether you choose remote or in-person tutoring, know that safety is our top priority in your child’s education.

We appreciate your understanding and encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. As supporters of education, we take our jobs seriously and would never jeopardize another scholar’s education out of convenience.

The Importance of Tutors in Times of Crisis

School is coming around the corner, and the rise of COVID-19 is making students and parents doubt the capabilities of the education system. Every district is handling the new school year differently, whether it’s reopening full-time, implementing hybrid classrooms, or remaining remote. Some schools are also giving families the choice for in-person or online education. During this time, schools are scrambling to set their standards and realign their curriculum as public updates are made by governors. They are doing their best to keep students safe while accommodating their educational needs.

No matter what decision is ultimately reached for your state, it’s important to keep your child’s education top of mind. Each student is different, and some are handling remote learning better than others. One student may find remote learning helps limit distractions, while another feels that it maximizes them. In either case, you should pay close attention to your students and hear their concerns to give them the best education possible despite the circumstances. The education community is already hearing talks of the “learning loss” COVID-19 has had on students. The results aren’t definitive yet, but we shouldn’t wait to account for this loss once it’s proven. We should try to prevent it altogether.

One way you can help prevent this loss and supplement your child’s education is with the help of tutors. Tutoring can help scholars from kindergarten through college, and is especially useful for anyone learning to work in a new environment. Many parents are concerned about the effectiveness of remote learning and the learning loss they are experiencing. Though some states are starting to launch ambitious efforts to provide more tutoring for their students, you should still look into tutoring on your own and find what’s right for your scholar.

A tutor can help provide the accountability and support that students may feel they are lacking being out of the classroom. They can also give more personalized help that is customized to their specific needs. Our goal at Texas Tutors is to provide this individualized support to help struggling students stay on track. We know what the data says about students that fall behind, and we know how to help prevent that for your scholar during these turbulent times. Let us be the ones they can count on when they are feeling lost, frustrated, or even lonely. Contact us to learn about our services today.

Every Student Matters

Although equal opportunity in education was made the law in 1954 through Brown vs. Board of Education, there are still many educational inequalities continuing to plague our nation today. Seven decades later, there is no doubt that we’ve made significant progress, but we continue to face an abundance of educational inequity in our school systems.

Research from the U.S. Department of Education and countless organizations prove that the white-black achievement gap is still prevalent. For years, organizations have been collecting data from all races in the public-school system to see which groups are outperforming one another over time. Through this data collection, it is clear that African American students continue to fall behind white students in academic achievement. This is indicative in test scores, reading performance, suspension rates, expulsions, and graduation rates, to name a few measures.

Last year, Stanford University launched the Educational Opportunity Project to further pinpoint these disparities. They set out to find exactly what is causing the white-black achievement gap by compiling a national database of academic performance. After years of researching, their results were conclusive: gaps in average test scores represent gaps in educational opportunity.

They also found that zero large school districts in the United States show African American students performing moderately well and on par with white students. Opportunity gaps are larger in some districts than others, and some have progressively lowered the achievement gap. But for others, the disparities are so large, it’s unbelievable that these numbers haven’t improved over time.

The most shocking part of it all is that through all of this research on achievement gaps, it is apparent that segregation is still pervasive in our modern school systems. Students of color continue to be concentrated in high-poverty schools, and these segregated schools (those that contain less than 10% of white students) are proven to have more inexperienced teachers, less funding and higher achievement gaps. According to Stanford, “Racial segregation, which has limited the opportunities of Black children and families for generations, continues to limit them today.”

Over time, the white-black achievement scores have narrowed, but they have not been eliminated. That is why we founded Texas Tutors, to give opportunities to every student and be a proponent for educational equality. By intervening early on in a child’s academic career, they are more likely to succeed and graduate high school, as well as pursue higher education. No scholar is left behind with our K-12 services, and we will continue to advocate for them and work for educational equality in our schools. Every student matters, and our systems should reflect that.

Change is Coming

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the desire for equality and freedom for African Americans inspired the Civil Rights Movement. This brought hope to our nation, but the Civil Rights Movement did not end there. Fundamental and lasting change was made during this period of time and its impact can be seen in a myriad of ways in today’s society. However, civil rights issues such as racial disparities in the criminal justice system still require ongoing work today, as has been proven by the death of George Floyd and countless others. The Civil Rights Movement was only the beginning of the long road ahead on the journey to equal rights.

In America’s past, the segregation in schools, military forces, restaurants, buses, and more perpetuated the false notion of “separate but equal.” As time went on, dozens of laws further enforced racial segregation. Nevertheless, the fight for justice across America continued.

On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white man. Just 4 days later, the Montgomery Bus Boycott protested segregated seating. Eventually, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on buses was unconstitutional. The events that unfolded after were steps that got us closer on our journey as we marched down the road of equal rights. Segregation and employment discrimination were deemed unconstitutional, and laws discriminating against African-Americans ended. On paper, it seemed that the Civil Rights Movement had done its job. But, our journey was not over.

Systemic inequalities deeply ingrained in our way of life still exist. It may not be as blatant as segregation, but it is still present in our society today, as we have seen through the countless injustices that have been taken on the African American community. We have a lot of unfinished business in the fight for equality, and the next part of the Civil Rights Movement is happening right in this very moment.

This moment will go down in history, just as our predecessors like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. did, and we have the ability to be part of this monumental change in our society. Let’s unite together to understand each other, to fight with love and not hate, and to see that there is hope. Change is happening, and we have the potential to campaign against the violence and systemic racism that the African American community is experiencing. We are proud to be living in this moment and to come together as a nation to end this once and for all.

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

If you would like to walk in the light with us, here are ways that you can be a part of the movement for racial equality.

The Two Weeks’ Notice Conundrum

People quit their jobs for dozens of reasons, even teachers, and a two weeks’ notice is something organizations will inevitably receive. But, it is up to the organization on how they will respond when an employee submits their notice. Although they can’t control what their employees will ultimately do, they can choose their reaction to it.

What are the most common reasons for quitting?

Leaving a job is a personal choice in the end, and one that companies should respect. Oftentimes, people leave a job because they feel a lack of career growth and want to broaden their skills. For teachers, that can mean pursuing a Master’s degree or even a Ph.D. to better serve their students. Sometimes, employees are looking to start a family and have to move cities to meet the needs of their spouse or to raise children near their relatives. Whatever the reason may be, it is ultimately the employee’s decision.

What is the conundrum organizations are facing?

Organizations are left with two choices when an employee hands in their two weeks’ notice: to let them stay and finish out their time or to terminate them immediately. The latter may be enticing if an employee didn’t work up to standard or if it will help the company financially. However, at Texas Tutors, we understand that allowing an employee to finish out the last two weeks after submitting their notice is the right thing to do – every time. We appreciate transparency and honesty from our employees and want their transition into another job to be as seamless as possible. So, a two weeks’ notice isn’t really a conundrum after all, but an obligation.

Why should organizations let employees finish their two weeks?

Organizations owe it to their employees to finish out their last two weeks of work. It’s courteous and considerate, and it even used to be the norm. But now, organizations are taking advantage of the benefits of cutting salaries earlier. No matter how long the employee had worked for or the quality of their work, employees deserve to finish out their two weeks. Without giving employees this kind of job security, they may just leave without a moment’s notice and put the organization in a difficult position. If your employee has the respect to give you a notice, companies should have a mutual respect for them in letting them have one more paycheck.

At Texas Tutors, we strongly believe in giving employees this respect. If you are interested in starting a career with us, contact us today.

The 3 Qualities of a Good Teacher

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” – Brad Henry

We all have that one teacher who stood out in the course of our academic journey as a youth. If we’re lucky, we may even have a couple or a few who made an impact large enough to remember through adulthood. They stay imprinted on our minds because they connected with us on a deeper level than a textbook ever could. A good majority of a child’s youth is spent around teachers, and they can truly shape a childhood, spark a passion, or be that supportive adult figure in a scholar’s life. Each day, teachers around the world help the next generation to be inspired and overcome educational barriers to be the best version of themselves. At Texas Tutors, we look for these 3 qualities of a good teacher in each of our hires: enthusiasm, compassion, and adaptability.


One of the most important qualities of a good teacher is their enthusiasm. Have you ever sat through a class that had you glancing at the clock every ten seconds? It’s probably because the teacher was unengaged, bored, and droning on about a subject they don’t really care for – and letting it show. An unenthusiastic teacher does not foster a quality learning environment. On the other hand, the teacher who is excited about the material, the class, and teaching will make time fly. These are the teachers that grab your attention to keep you engaged and who inspire you to soak up all the knowledge you can before the bell rings.


But, it takes more than just enthusiasm to possess the qualities of a good teacher; one must also demonstrate compassion. Teachers who act with kindness and support gain the trust and respect of their students necessary for a conducive learning environment. This, in turn, leads to a more open and communicative classroom where a deeper bond can be formed. Students in these types of environments can ask questions and deepen their understanding without fear of judgment. With the compassion of a teacher present, students will blossom under their supportive and attentive guidance. Compassion also ties into another one of the key qualities of a good teacher: listening. Those who are compassionate toward their students are willing to listen to the scholars who are struggling.


 Lastly, teachers need to be able to adapt to the needs of each student. Every scholar presents different challenges, varying learning styles, and a wide range of needs. By taking the time to understand each student’s traits, teachers can play to their strengths and build a more effective learning environment. This is a crucial element in the qualities of a good teacher because our services are largely used to help the scholars who are slipping through the cracks. Our hires need to be able to adapt to the needs of every child to provide a learning environment that best suits each of them. They are the safety net, and if they can’t change their teaching method to complement each student’s challenges, students falling behind will not be caught.

Texas Tutors 

Texas Tutors is a premier tutoring service that offers educational support for grades K-12. We pride ourselves on our academic excellence, small group intervention, and quality communication that services every scholar in need. We thoroughly screen each of our hires to ensure they not only meet but exceed what we know to be the qualities of a good teacher. The proper credentials coupled with enthusiasm, compassion, and adaptability meets the needs of each child to provide them with the best education possible. Our tutors will keep all of your students on the path to success, contact us today to see how.