Tutoring

For the past sixteen years, I’ve tutored students on Vashon and elsewhere in language arts, essay writing, creative writing, poetry, philosophy, algebra, geometry, Spanish, Tamil, SAT prep, application essays, and the art of magic. Whatever the subject, my aim is the same: to help students not only master what they are studying, but flourish as creative and confident young men and women.

Here are some testimonials from students and parents. Please scroll down for information about rates and logistics.

Note: I have very limited availability for the 2017-2018 school year. If you are interested in working with me, please contact me as soon as possible. If my schedule is full, I’ll be happy to refer you to others who can be of service.

“I am writing this letter to whole-heartedly recommend Tom Pruiksma for tutor or teacher.

“Tom has tutored my fifteen year old son for the past three years in the subjects of creative writing and English. My son’s experience with Tom has been one of my son’s most successful academic endeavors. Not only has my son excelled in these subjects, but most importantly my son has developed more passion and interest in these subjects through working with Tom.

“Tom has tremendous range of knowledge in many aspects of language arts and he naturally inspires his students because he is so passionate about teaching, learning and a range of subjects. Tom has successfully introduced and engaged my son in aspects of poetry and literature that were not previously of interest to my son. Tom also offers sensitivity to a student’s learning style as well as a relaxed atmosphere of learning. This combination matched with Tom’s wide range of knowledge has created an incredible learning experience and environment for my son. I can’t speak highly enough of Tom’s abilities as a tutor.”

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“I have had the good fortune to have my son tutored by Tom Pruiksma for the last 2 years. Tom has worked with my son on writing and also with SAT preparation and on college application essays. They have worked together once or twice a week depending upon the load and the urgency of the deadlines. Tom has had a great influence on my son in many ways. I remember the first time that I met Tom that he told me he tries to ‘meet each student exactly where they are.’ He has done this brilliantly with my son. He has helped him to think through his ideas in order to develop a clear and concise paper. He helped him to greatly improve his SAT scores by teaching strategies for approaching each kind of question. Most importantly, he has encouraged and supported my son in such a way that has built confidence and self-esteem. I think that this is a priceless gift that Tom has offered. My son has always, without exception, returned from his meetings with a passion for the ideas that they are discussing and feeling positive and excited about the work that he is creating. This is a rare and amazing gift to observe and it truly brings me to my knees with gratitude.”

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“I would definitely recommend Tom Pruiksma to anyone who is looking for a good tutor. I have been meeting with him regularly since this past Fall, and although I have only been going to him for math help, he is very experienced and skilled in a variety of subjects, including Spanish, English, and of course, mathematics. He’s a really smart and interesting guy who anyone would be fortunate to have as their tutor. I know this because not only is he a well-established author, poet, and magician, but also because many times during our tutoring sessions we have found ourselves drifting off into very interesting discussions of philosophy, literature, and just life in general.

“However, even in the midst of stimulating discussion, Tom still makes sure that we maintain focus on the work at hand throughout the tutoring session. Math has never been something that has come very easy to me, and all throughout my time in school it has been something I’ve struggled with, never seeming to fully comprehend. But, as I’ve been working with Tom, some of the concepts have begun to make a bit more sense. He takes the time to explain each concept of the problem, tailoring the explanation in such a way so that I’ll be able to understand it. He doesn’t just lecture you, throwing his knowledge in your face like it’s this super obvious thing you’re just not getting; in fact, he does quite the contrary. He instead talks with you about whatever it is he’s teaching you, and he never acts like he’s above you in any way. It’s always a pretty level playing field, and it really is more just like a conversation of learning.

“What I really appreciate about Tom as a tutor, though, is that he’s always patient, and he never acts like you’re stupid for not knowing or understanding something. A lot of times, it takes me a little bit longer to fully understand or grasp certain mathematical concepts, and what I really appreciate about Tom is that he never acts annoyed or impatient about it. And if I don’t understand something one way he explains it, he’ll try another way, and keep going until it makes sense. He’s always very kind.

“At school, I used to dread going to math class every day. But when I go to math tutoring with Tom, I actually look forward to it, because although math still wouldn’t necessarily be my preferred past-time, it doesn’t feel like such drudgery when I’m working with him. He actually makes math sort of fun.

“So, if you are looking for a tutor who will be helpful, kind, and has the expertise and experience to back himself up, then I would definitely recommend Tom Pruiksma. Whichever subject(s) you want to improve in, if you choose Tom Pruiksma as your tutor, you will. And you will have quite a nice time while doing so.”

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“I would highly recommend Tom Pruiksma as a tutor. He tutored my son in preparation for the Algebra EOC exam, and the difference in my son’s confidence level and knowledge level in just one month was mind-boggling. Before being tutored by Tom, my son was extremely anxious about the exam. As soon as he started meeting with Tom, though, he had a huge attitude shift, and started to believe he could learn/relearn the subject matter. We are very grateful to Tom for his help, and would definitely hope to hire him again for any tutoring needs we may have in the future.”

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“Tom Pruiksma worked with my daughter when she was struggling with her high school physical science class – specifically the portion of the class that covered chemistry. He communicated clearly with me to devise a plan to help her tackle this subject. Not only did she pass the class, she got a “B” on the final test in a class she had previously been failing.

“Tom has the ability to impart the information needed skillfully and efficiently. He inspired a commitment in my daughter to learn the subject and I saw her self-confidence in her ability to learn grow significantly. I highly recommend Tom as a tutor.”

 

General Information:

I usually meet with students in the library.

Since I believe it’s important to have a good fit between student and teacher, my first session with each new student is free. After that, if it seems like a good match, my rate is $50 an hour, with $40 for 45-minute sessions and $30 for half-hour sessions.

Normally I meet with students once a week, with 24-hours notice needed for changes or cancellations (except in the case of emergencies). If a student hasn’t shown up after 15 minutes into a scheduled session and hasn’t informed me otherwise, I consider that session canceled without notice and will include it on the invoice.

I send an invoice toward the end of each month via email. Payment by check is preferred, but I can also bill electronically via paypal (additional fees apply).

References provided upon request.

 

Questions? Contact me for more information.

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