A photo of Holly, a tutor from Oakland University

Holly

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My name is Holly Sirka and I am an English and theatre teacher to middle school and high school students. I love reading, writing, hanging with my husband, playing with my puppy Pippa, shopping with my sister, going to museums, seeing plays through local theaters, and trying new restaurants.

Holly’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Oakland University - Bachelors, Psychology

Hobbies

Theatre, museums, trying new cuisines, traveling, playing with my puppy, and Netflix.

Tutoring Subjects

ACT English

Adult Literacy

American Literature

College English

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

Other

Phonics

Public Speaking

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is that learning requires 200% effort; 100% effort from the teacher, 100% effort from the student. Everyone can learn- we just have to understand our own learning styles.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

This is a chance for the student to understand who I am on a personal level as well as my methodology when it comes to teaching. This also gives me a chance to understand the student and the student's learning style.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

We do what we call "The Interview" while we read. This method allows the student to interview the reading based on a set of questions that are fun, but also help them develop the tools necessary for reading comprehension.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Positive reinforcement is key. I believe that the words we say determines the mindset we have. I believe in the "yet" principle, meaning if a student says "I can't do this," I rephrase it to "I can't do this yet." Then, we celebrate any and all milestones the student makes in the learning process. Often we reward correct answers. I believe we should reward effort as well as the mastering of concepts.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I use a computer with Internet access, colored pens/pencils, paper, whiteboard and markers, and anything that can be used visually to show rather than tell the information.