Short Courses with H.L.C.

Intimate Floral Greeting Instagram PostWe are so excited for this new offering – Short Courses, Tailored for You! Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions that may help you make a decision about this awesome service.

1. What Does “Tailored” Mean? 

Our main service (private tutoring) is build on the idea that all students can learn and improve, if given the time and resources to do so. We’ve expanded this notion to encompass short courses too! We start all our sessions with a free consultation to get an idea of what our students are looking for. From this, we are able to design or tailor a course – just for you! This includes a tailored course outline, cost and time-frame that works for you. What we offer is static in no way. We give you a broad scheme of options, topics and styles for classes and you can pick and choose what you think you require. Much like a well tailored outfit, our courses are design to fit you perfectly.

2. Can’t I Just Enroll in Private Tutoring?

Excellent point. However we’ve found over the years that we have three different types of students: short term, medium term and long term students. Our private tutoring services cater to medium and long term students who need a variety of topics and skills covered. Our short courses however is specifically targeted at the first group: short term students who have a few weeks to spare and need training in one field or topic.

Of course, you can definitely enroll in our private tutoring, however in our opinion, students who need quick, well rounded, targeted tutoring in a specific area would benefit much more from a course, designed to meet their needs. This service aims to maximize meeting your needs with the right mix of theory and practice, in a time sensitive framework.

3. What Courses Do You Offer?

Our company specializes in Literacy, English Language Arts and Remedial Education – but this is an extremely broad umbrella. We cover topics in academic writing, creative writing and professional writing. We also have tailored courses in study skills for different levels, learning techniques, and methods to maximize exam performance. Our method is about assisting students in realizing their potential; ensuring that they develop skills they always wanted to master, but never knew how to.

Here’s what we encourage prospective clients to do: start a dialogue. We’re here to help, so don’t be afraid to ask a question!

4. How Do I Get Started?

The process is easy – don’t overthink it! Click the info-graph below to download the steps.

Make sure you know a bit about what you’re interested in learning. Try to answer this question, “I always wanted to learn about _____”.

Our Design ProcessNext, give us a call or send us an email – check out our “contact us” page.

From that point, we’ll set up a free consultation, no strings attached. You’ll get to know a bit about who we are, as a company, and what our values are.

After we’ve had a chat, our tutors will work to design a course based on what you’re interested in and what we thing will fit well into the scheme of work.

We’ll send you a comprehensive outline, including cost, content and the time-span of the course.

Once you’re in agreement with it we can schedule a start point, and then that’s it! Let the learning begin!

If you’d like to talk to our past short course students, please let us know. We’ll be happy for you to get in contact and hear first-hand about our students’ opinions on our services, before making a decision.

Thanks for your interest in our services – contact us at any time to set up a free consultation.


A Shout-Out to My Favorite Teachers

If you want to be immortal, be a great teacher. That’s what I believe anyway.

A few years ago, during my final year at university, I was struck with a existential crisis of sorts. For the first time in my life, I didn’t know what came next. I suddenly had a choice about what to do next. Moreover, to my absolute horror, there was no set path in front of me. I had freedom – and that shook me to my core.

20180320_132213What would I do next? I studied what I loved and as expected, that left me with little to no job prospects. Considering my next steps, while fine-tuning my resume I was beginning to feel the pressure. I knew only one thing – I wanted to be “great”. Of course, I had no idea what being “great” meant, or how I was to get to said “greatness”, but I knew I wanted people to remember me. I wanted to be immortal.

I took me years to realize this, but I finally got there. Three years ago I started Holistic Learning Center, catering to students of all ages, abilities and needs. Finally I had found a purpose, I had found a way to make an impact. And then one day, someone described what I was doing as “changing lives”. I was helping student after student. Helping them find their voice, helping them learn to read and write, helping them pass an exam. To every one of those students, I would be remembered. And then it hit me…suddenly I was immortal.

Soon that got me thinking about all the great teachers I had had over the years, and how I never forgot them. In my classroom I keep their memories with me – how they spoke, how they laughed, how they taught, and most importantly, how they made me feel. They were immortal to me. They were great.

So here are a few tidbits from the teachers that made the most impact on me. Here’s a shout-out to some of my favorite teachers and how they helped me grow into the person, the educator that I am today.

To Those Who Laughed With Me

As a student it’s safe to say that I didn’t have the best school experiences. Often times I was not the smartest kid in class, and I was definitely the fastest learner. So many times I compensated for that lack of traditional intelligence by being funny – a “class clown” as they say. I loved to make people laugh. I loved to tell jokes, make funny faces and generally have fun – all innocent fun.

20180320_132307While most of my teachers frowned upon such behavior in class because it often disrupted the peace and quiet they tried so hard to achieve, there were some who saw past that outer shell, and simply let me be a child.

My favorite teachers laughed with me. Like Miss Garcia, a teacher who taught me in Standard One who’d join in the fun. A self proclaimed “Fries Thief” on Fridays when the cafeteria sold chicken and chips, she’d prowl around class and swipe a few off my classmates’ plates. Or Miss Harrilal who taught me in Reception (First Year) and seemed so happy to see me no matter how old I got, or how much trouble I got into.

At HLC I try to do the same with me students. I listen intently to their stories and laugh with them, poking fun and playing games. Thank you for teaching me the value of not taking yourself too seriously.

To Those Who Taught Me Balance

For as long as I could remember I’ve been teaching myself. As I mentioned previously, very rarely was I able to keep up with the class. Soon I developed the technique of taking scrap notes in class, and rewriting them when I got home. Then I began helping others with projects and practical assignments, with writing essays and proof-reading assignments. I didn’t get there by myself though. There were teachers who taught me how to study and the value of using multiple techniques to learn.

20180320_132349.jpgTo Mrs. Mahadeo who in Form 4 took me aside and showed me how to use past papers to revise, thank you. She took time out of her lunchtime one day and we stood in a busy hallway. I remember her handing me a booklet of past-papers dating all the way back to 1996 and she showed me that every topic we studied had corresponding questions. I never did poorly on a biology test after that day.

Then there was Miss Yee-Ken who taught me for a short while in Form 5. She was a small, stern teacher but the kindness and care that I experienced from her has stayed with me to this day.

At the time I didn’t think much teachers cared about helping me, but she was one of the few who said “yes”. After doing badly from Forms 1-4 in mathematics, I began to teach myself in Form 5, determined to change the pattern in time for my C.S.E.C. examinations. She didn’t know me very well, and I’m sure what she did know of me didn’t win me “student of the year” in her books. Yet when I came to her one day, and asked her to correct some past papers I did, she didn’t hesitate. I’m pretty sure I handed her at least seven of them one day, and she didn’t even flinch. I got them back the next week with marks, comments and corrections. Thinking back, her kindness has shaped how I treat students who show enough motivation and initiative to hand in extra work and move beyond the syllabus at home.

Thank you for showing me the value of treating students with compassion and going the extra mile, even outside of the classroom when students show the initiative.

Finally, To Those Who Treated Me like a Human-Being

We sometimes forget that students are actually people – very much in the same way that we forget that teachers have lives outside of the classroom. School can be extremely dehumanizing for student; a battleground of “us” vs. “them”. The power dynamics can be stifling and frustrating, especially when you’re the underdog more times than not.

22467776_1215369958564245_8861289892407748164_o.jpgSo to those teachers who treated my like a living, breathing, feeling human being – thank you. To Ms. Costelloe who sat and talked with me when I arrived early for lessons (even though I’m sure she had something more important to do) – thank you.

She never let me forget that I was worth something and that my dream of being a teacher wasn’t worthless like many others preached to me. She helped me see that I wasn’t alone, and that she too faced opposition throughout her teaching journey. At the time I doubted my path, my ability and my purpose, and while I’m sure she didn’t realize all of my internal struggle, the way she made me feel about myself is something I will never forget.

She was a person…and she treated me like I was a person too. If I didn’t know the answer to something, she wasn’t disappointed, she wasn’t ridiculing. Instead, she was nurturing and firm in her guidance. My format and style of teaching my older students is very much how she patterned her sessions. Giving them enough information to understand a topic, yet challenging them to assess, debate and think critically about topics. She has fostered in me the ability to be fair, liberating and human with my students.

Thanks for reading everyone! I hope you enjoyed a bit about me as a teacher, and how my journey has been shaped by some of my favorite teachers. Who are some of your favourite teachers? Comment below – I’d love to read about it.

Hannah Sundari Sammy

Founder & Tutor at Holistic Learning Center

Online Tutoring at H.L.C.


In January 2018, Holistic Learning Center launched its Online Tutoring Services. These sessions are encompass flexibility and targeted learning while still maintaining our brand of personalized tutoring that suits the needs of the student. We realize that traditional classes are not for everyone, and even in cases where our regular schedule cannot accommodate new students, we still want to be of assistance! So here are a few tidbits of information that will help you figure out if this is the best option for you!

1. What are “Online Tutoring Sessions”?

Our Online Tutoring Sessions (sometimes referred to as Online Tutoring Consultations) take a one of a kind three phase approach that we believe will work in the best interest of students. Click the photo below to download our info-graphic!

All about H.L.C'sPhase 1: Free Consultation In an attempt to be as student centered as possible, we are keeping our free consultations. After all, why would we change such a vital step in understanding how to meet our students’ needs? These can be read about on our website – click the link to read more!

Briefly put, these free consultations are done in person, at our office. Students and their parents/guardians/sponsors (if student is under the age of 18, or not paying for their own sessions) are invited to come in, and sit with our founder, Hannah Sammy, to have a chat about what is hindering the student’s progress and how best tutoring sessions can be tailored to achieve their overall goals.

Phase 2: Online Tutoring Sessions This beings the paid portion of tutoring sessions. Online sessions take the form of assignment based learning where topics are reviewed in a manner closely linked to how they will be presented in the examination. Payments are structured based on the tutor’s weekly duties. This phase is entirely tailored to the student, and therefore will differ on an individual level. For example, some students may need essay questions or draft assignments corrected weekly, others may need content created to improve essay writing or thesis formatting, and some may even need presentations designed to cover syllabus content. That’s the beauty of it! Students rarely ever receive the same structure and format to sessions. It will differ by age, exam being prepared for and personal speed of working.

Phase 3: Skype or Face-to-Face Sessions – In an attempt to be as well-rounded as possible, H.L.C. tries to strike a balance between theory and practice. In the same way, we know that a gap exists in distance learning. Therefore we have established this final phase which seeks to provide students with a more intimate learning experience. These sessions are optional, and charges separately from Phase 2 Online Sessions. We recommend that once a month students set up a meeting with their tutor (either on Skype or in person at our classroom) to clarify or any feedback given over the past sessions and review any topics that are not fully understood. We want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth – so don’t be afraid to say when you don’t understand! We’re here to help, every step of the way.

2. Why is H.L.C. offering this?Box You

We realize that many students need our help, and unfortunately due to limited space and time we simply cannot cater to them all. H.L.C. therefore realized very early on, that we needed to balance two objectives: (i) find a way to prioritize in-class assistance for those most needing face-to-face time with a tutor, and (ii) for those who could function more independently, provide them with an opportunity to improve, while still benefiting from a personalized tutoring plan. Our Online Tutoring Sessions are the best solution we can find to strike this balance, while still maintaining an high quality of student-centered services.

3. Who are these sessions for?

These sessions are ideal for older students (ages 16 years and over) who are able to work independently, while accepting the support of our tutors. Mature secondary school students, adult learners and working students are just some examples of whom these sessions are geared toward.

Online tutoring is perfect for students who are interested in exam preparation or “crash courses” over a medium to short period of time.  They are also useful for university students who need a little guidance throughout the term, for coursework assignments – and our sessions can even be paired with our proof-reading and editing services!

4. How long will sessions run?

For exam students especially, we recommend at least eight (8) weeks of intensive sessions, geared toward the targeted past-paper preparation. Ideally, this should take place within 2-3 months before the exam. The purpose of these sessions are not for “cramming” or last-minute preparation, but rather for refining work done previously in order to optimize performance and learning.

For university students we recommend an even more tailored approach to our sessions, as you may find that our services are not necessary for every assignment you have. Therefore we suggest that you come to us at the start of the semester with your course outline, and we can assist in working out a plan for the semester where you can use our services on a needs-based basis.

Online Learning5. What do students get?

Our tutors provide proof-reading and editing services, comments and areas for improvement of written writing, additional readings and worksheets to improve responses and critical thinking ability, and PowerPoint presentation content in cases where students lack the information needed to complete assignments. Telephone contact is also recommended with the tutor throughout your enrollment and will be facilitated at no extra cost. Have a conversation with your tutor about what times may be best for this facility.

6. Where can I get more information?

Please see free to contact our founder, Hannah Sammy for more information. We will leave all information below or you can simple visit our “contact us” page and send us an email!

Contact us for a free consultation, quote and more information about how we can help with you, achieve your goals!

Until next time!


H.L.C. Facilitates Special Education Workshop

During the month of January, Holistic Learning Center founder, Hannah Sammy was asked to facilitate a workshop for NGO, ParentingTT. The workshop was designed around the overarching theme that teachers need much more than just information about Special Education. Rather, they need targeted and feasible ways of executing strategies to help students with special needs, in Trinbagonian classroom.

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Trinidad and Tobago, despite putting into law the “Education for All” policy which states that no child should be excluded from educational attainment regardless of race, class ethnicity and need, lacks infrastructural and personnel related resources to truly achieve inclusion in mainstream classrooms.

Thus many teachers are left with a resounding feeling of neglect, isolation and hopelessness when faced with the challenge of catering to students with special needs in mainstream classrooms, alongside twenty to thirty other students.

The purpose of this workshop was not only to provide teachers with viable options toward inclusion for these students, but also to provide them with a platform, and a resource base from which they could acknowledge they are not alone, and in fact, throughout the nation there are many parents, teachers and students who experience the same challenges as them.

Here are a few of the themes covered, and activities that were done during the workshop.

It was truly an honor to be asked by ParentingTT to assist with their workshop, and moreover it was a pleasure being able to voice Holistic Learning Center’s values and ethos on a public stage, as more of the nation’s educators move toward embracing special need, rather than avoiding.

Hannah Sammy

1. Fostering Relationships

Our first section included training in overcoming a very real challenge teachers face: fostering a safe and empathetic environment for students to function in.

Building from Holistic Learning Center’s mode of functioning, special education initiatives cannot being to take effect unless there is firstly a sense of mutual respect between teacher and student, and secondly a drive to understand rather that stigmatize, between students.

Thus the very first session included a few check-in exercises that required teachers to introduce themselves, by the meaning of their names, and to consider what they needed to make sessions successful. By using these check-in exercises, participants were able to center themselves, get familiar with those in the room, and gain a better understanding of their needs, as well as share theirs.


Such as abstract activity enabled teachers to divulge much more about themselves than they usually would given more traditional introduction activity. As facilitator I soon came to understand the ethnic backgrounds participants came from, how large their family was, what their likes and dislikes were, and possibly the most important detail: how participants felt about themselves. These tasks led participants to reveal information about their insecurities, what they were proud of, and what they valued about themselves, without even realizing it.

Imagine what these exercises would yield when kids (who are so much more carefree and whimsical) are involved.

2. Interpreting Psycho-Educational Evaluations

The second session included information about how to interpret and implement strategies that psychologists recommend for student with special needs, in the classroom. In Trinidad and Tobago, where classroom assistance is minimal, and professional involvement of counselors, social workers and therapists in school is even less, teachers often find themselves confused about how to go about assisting students.

Speaking frankly, it doesn’t matter how robust the evaluation is, or how sound the diagnosis. With the challenges of our current school system, teachers need realistic and tangible tools to use in the classroom.

This session took the form of a short presentation that explained the value of these evaluations, followed by an in-depth discussion guided by the interpretation of excerpts from a student’s psycho-educational report. Coming out of this, teachers gained insight about what complicated jargon translated into, and how which strategies can be implemented “in the real world”.


In essence the idea of an evaluation was redefined into this simple explanation. The purpose of evaluations are to bring clarity; they are an attempt to get to the bottom of what is happening within the student. This then brings us to establish techniques and strategies to assist the student; a clear path forward; a direction. Finally, after all is said and done, the final aim of these evaluations is to bring a sense of hope, not only to the students, but to those around them. Hope that improvement is possible, hope that the student can regain autonomy over his/her academic performance and moreover, hope that this unwavering, rigid education system that we function in, can in fact accommodate different need.

After the presentation and after all the discussion and debate, I finally revealed to the participants that the student’s report and profile we had been analyzing and critiquing was in fact mine.

I spoke for a few minutes that everything revealed about the student in the presentation was true. All the emotions, experiences, failures and successes were that of a real person, and that she was standing right in front of them.

There is hope for all special needs students – I know because I am one, and I continue to learn and grow every day, as a product of my special need and a product of the harsh and unforgiving mainstream school system. This is why I fight everyday for students…students like me. I fight to give them flexibility and second chances in the classroom – something that I did not have.

Hannah Sammy

3. Designing Your Ideal Inclusive Classroom

This activity was particularly interesting as participants were given the opportunity to create their “dream classroom”. The purpose of this activity was to put aside the challenges of reality, and simply imagine what their ideal inclusive classroom would look like, given unlimited resources. This was followed by discussion about which of these strategies were possible “on the ground” and involved identifying the “hows” and “whens” of implementation.

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4. Communicating with Students

Finally participants took part in a role-playing activity where they were asked to imagine themselves in the roll of “teacher” and “student”. The task of the teacher was to engage a discussion with the student about a given diagnosis and suggested strategies similar to what would be seen in a psycho-educational evaluation.

This was the most lively of sessions as participants in both workshops became immersed by the roles they adopted. The aim in this case was to attempt to understand how students may feel when engaged in a discussion about their special need, recognize how teachers feel about this communication, establish was techniques are useful in overcoming these barriers to communication and finally to remind ourselves that the first point of special need intervention is the student. If they are left behind, in the dark or out of the loop, the intervention cannot be a success.


Thank you for reading about Holistic Learning Center’s involvement in designing and facilitating this workshop on Special Education Strategies. It was truly a wonderful experience and gave the Center an opportunity to enlighten teachers about its functioning, vision and method of approaching special need and remedial education in Trinidad and Tobago.

H.L.C. is offering consultancy services for NGOs, School and other Institutions that are interested in running workshops for their staff or students.

Contact us for a free consultation, quote and more information about how we can help with your professional development initiatives.

Until next time!


H.L.C. Founder Presents at Ministry of Education’s Research Symposium.

Holistic Learning Center’s founder, Hannah Sammy was pleased to represent the company at the Ministry of Education’s Research in Education Symposium in July of 2017.


The Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank hosted the symposium at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom in Port-of-Spain with the theme, “Re-envisioning Education in Trinidad and Tobago: Evidence at work for improved policy and practice – Researching now; Impacting the future“.

The auditorium buzzed with a wide range of stakeholders of Trinidad and Tobago’s Education Sector including students, parents, teachers and other professionals and company’s dedicated to enhancing education in the country.

It was truly an honor to be asked to present on my company and the work we have been doing for the past two years in the fields of remedial education and literacy intervention.

[Hannah Sammy]

The rationale for our presentation was inspired by an ongoing debate in Trinidad and Tobago mainstream classrooms and its aim was to critique the education policy of “No Child Left Behind”.

Hannah Sammy Monologue pg 1-page-001

Mrs. Sammy chose to enlist members of the theatrical group, Halqa Productions, led by Simeon Chris Moodoo, to assist in the presentation which took the form of a scenario-based theatrical performance about students’ experiences of overcrowding in classrooms.

I thought about speaking about H.L.C. and our work over the years from inception to present-day, however with the variety of persons attending the symposium I decided I would go against the grain. I chose not to pat ‘myself on the shoulder’ but instead use my 10-minute time limit to raise awareness about the problems that still plague our education system.

[Hannah Sammy]

Below is the content of the presentation, meant as a form of social commentary and expression of the plight that many students face daily.



At HLC we pride ourselves on one-on-one, tailored education for all ages. All our clients get an hour-long free consultation at the start of sessions to determine what their unique style of processing entails, what teaching techniques may work for them, and what they would like to achieve at the end of sessions.

Time is taken to ensure that their needs are met and that they are getting a high quality, specialized educational experience. Thus the topic and ever present reality of overcrowding in Trinbagonian classrooms is a topic dear to our hearts. The idea of having classrooms stuffed to brims and teachers struggling to stay atop 30-plus kids is in direct conflict to our vision.

Our motto is “Making Time for You” and we do just that for each of our clients, regardless of need, level or age.
Thank you to the Ministry of Education’s Technical Cooperation Team, the I.D.B. and of course to Halqa Productions for assisting me in executing this poignant topic of discussion during the symposium.

Learn about H.L.C’s free pre-tutoring consultation! Contact us to see what tutoring options are available for you:

Until next time!


H.L.C. Monthly – March 2016 Issue

Welcome to H.L.C. Monthly, a newsletter published each month, which aims to highlight and explore key issues and debates in education!

Here’s what you’ll find in this month’s issue!

  • Updates about H.L.C
  • Student’s Perceptions of their School Environment
  • Student Praise? What the Research Says
  • Understanding Differences in Intelligence
  • Resource Corner: Information for those who want more!


For quick and easy access to Updates from H.L.C. we recommend that interested readers subscribe to our  FREE Mailing List (below).

Download the March 2016 Issue of “H.L.C. Monthly”

Subscribe to our Mailing List – it’s free, easy and convenient!

If you’d like to receive an issue of H.L.C. Monthly, please subscribe to ouSignupr mailing list. We not only publish newsletters, but send general updates and useful information about the Center as it evolves. Scan the QR Code with your smartphone or Click Here to go directly to the subscription form.

Until next time!

H.L.C. Monthly – February 2016 Issue

Here’s what you’ll find inside January’s Issue!

  • Updates about H.L.C – Our Waitlist Service
  • Understanding the Relationship Between Playing and Learning
  • Debates in Education: Integration vs. Inclusion
  • Different Strokes for Different Folks: Types of Assessments
  • Resource Corner: Information and Sources for those who want more!


For quick and easy access to Updates from H.L.C. we recommend that interested readers subscribe to our  FREE Mailing List (below).

Download the February 2016 Issue of “H.L.C. Monthly”

Subscribe to our Mailing List – it’s free, easy and convenient!

If you’d like to receive an issue of H.L.C. Monthly, please subscribe to ouSignupr mailing list. We not only publish newsletters, but send general updates and useful information about the Center as it evolves. Scan the QR Code with your smartphone or Click Here to go directly to the subscription form.

Until next time!