Every student of basic education will study geometry; it is a part of every math curriculum we’ve run across, in private and in public schools around the globe.
If you are enrolled in a maths programme at university, maybe even studying to become a geometer, you will most certainly encounter geometry. Those courses are full of advanced formulas and theorems!
What if you (or the student in question) has special needs? Specifically, you/they struggle with the very real phenomenon called math anxiety. All of those angles, lines and formulas do nothing to assuage anyone’s dread of the subject.
These are three very good reasons to search for a geometry tutor… but could the same tutor meet the needs of all of these students?
Would s/he charge each student the same price for an hour of instruction?
‘Shopping’ for a tutor is not quite the same as shopping for a pair of trousers. You may make concessions about the clothing in question – costs more than you had planned to spend, not quite the colour you wanted…
When it comes to a tutor, cutting corners isn’t going to get it – and that’s true whether you need a geometry tutor, an English tutor or a history tutor.
If you are studying university-level geometry, a tutor who specialises in GCSE-level maths will not suffice and, especially if you battle math anxiety, working with a tutor who is not SEN-qualified could be downright disastrous.
There is much to think about when considering engaging a geometry tutor; your Superprof now lays out factors to consider so you can get a better handle on geometry.
The Distance Between Two Points
Query your favourite search engine for ‘maths tutors’, ‘geometry tutors’ or tutors of any kind and your display will be flooded with ads for tuition companies, for private tutors listed in Gumtree and even for private schools.
The long and the short of that assertion is that there is no lack of tutors for any subject, including geometry. The question is: which tutor is right for your unique situation?
Do you have the time, energy and perseverance to comb through all of those results, interview prospective tutors and give them each a trial run?
Tutor search tip #1: Know what you’re looking for before you start searching.
If your eight-year-old is having trouble remembering how to calculate the perimeter of a rhombus or the circumference and area of a circle, you do not need to go all out; recruiting the head of your local university’s mathematics department would probably be overkill.
Ascertaining exactly where understanding falters is of paramount importance: are you/your student having trouble with plane geometry – working with two-dimensional shapes?
Or is the trouble more a matter of angles: corresponding angles, complementary angles, vertical angles…
Understanding where the disconnect between the student and basic geometry lies will go a long way toward helping to select the right tutor for your needs.
Speaking of disconnects...
You have to be sure that there are no learning disabilities at play; likewise, you may need to eliminate math anxiety from the list of possible causes why you/your child is struggling to understand geometric shapes.
It sounds rather far-fetched that students with maths anxiety may be mirroring their own teachers’ anxiety in teaching maths but studies show that that is one of the causes of student stress.
Tutor search tip #2: Make sure that the tutor you engage will project competence and foster a comfortable learning environment.
Finally, there are pragmatic concerns: would the student in question learn better in a structured environment – maybe a tutoring centre, or is there a dedicated study space set aside at home where s/he could apply themselves?
Will you/your student need ongoing help to absorb all of the facets of geometry or do you envision the need for tutoring as a short-term arrangement?
What price range can your budget accommodate?
Our final tutor search tip: consider every variable, from price per lesson to how many lessons might be needed, before you interview any prospective tutors.
And, while you’re searching for the best tutors, you might make use of these geometry sources online…
After Laying the Groundwork
Now convinced that searching the Internet for ‘geometry tutors near me’ will not necessarily save you any time or make your search effortless, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start searching in earnest.
First, talk with your/your child’s maths teacher to find out exactly what type of help is needed. Is there an exam coming up or is it more a case of a specific concept or aspect of geometry that is proving difficult?
As many teachers tutor during evenings and on weekends, it is quite possible that this particular teacher also may. If not, s/he might recommend someone who could work well with you/your student.
On the other hand, if, as posited earlier, teachers themselves are the cause of students’ anxiety, maybe it’s not such a great idea to risk recreating the situation that makes you/your student anxious!
Are you a library patron? You might try asking if your library branch hosts homework clinics, or even if any librarians could recommend someone they know who has experience tutoring geometry to students of the level you’re concerned with.
While you’re there, see if you can spot their bulletin board, mounted either by the facility’s entrance or the circulation desk. Often, such boards list tutoring services, posted by tutors local to your area.
Incidentally, your local shops may also provide a space for their customers to advertise their services. Go ahead and take a gander; you never know! Your perfect tutor may have posted a flier there.
Word of mouth is generally a great way to find a trusted and competent tutor. Asking around to your friends and neighbours is bound to yield some prospective tutors for you to consider.
How could you benefit from this beginner’s guide to geometry?
Find a Geometry Tutor on Superprof
If you have no time to comb through Internet search results or to run around town talking to anyone who might have a line on the tutor you need; if your situation is urgent and you need tutelage right away, your best bet is to head to Superprof.
Each Superprof geometry tutor has their own profile page where you can view their credentials, tutoring experience, the level or age group they are most successful working with and how much they charge for each lesson.
You will also see, at a glance, if the tutor whose profile you are scanning would come to your home for lessons or meet you somewhere, and even if s/he would give lessons online.
Perhaps one of the most tantalising aspects of learning geometry with a Superprof is their ‘first lesson free’ offer (where indicated).
One never really knows, from a single interview, whether such a mentoring relationship will be wholly successful.
However, cracking open the books, discussing trigonometry and other geometrical concepts… in that hour of learning at no cost to you, you will be able to determine if the tutor in question has what it takes to help you/your student understand the bases of geometry.
Superprof provides a unique way to connect students with the tutors they need.
Reflections on Geometry Studies
Often, students’ reluctance to engage in higher maths such as geometry and algebra is borne of the idea that it serves no practical, real-world purpose.
If you don’t know the degree of an angle, get a protractor and measure it! Ditto with the length of a line segment or a hypotenuse or, for that matter, any of the 2D shapes that textbooks put forth.
If measuring is possible, why do we need the Pythagorean theorem, anyway?
We generally don’t see people walking around measuring triangles, polygons or the odd parallelogram, in part because we live in an age when devices calculate things for us.
GPS is a prime example of real-world usage of geometry.
All of those satellites spinning around (in their elliptical orbit – an ellipse is another geometric figure!) use a distance formula very much like those used to calculate the values of a right triangle.
So ubiquitous has GPS become that we tend to forget there was ever a time that such a thing didn’t exist. Imagine the world in Euclid’s day!
Euclid is widely considered to be the father of geometry; indeed he gave us Euclidean geometry – what we study in secondary school.
From him, we know how to calculate:
- the perimeter and area of shapes
- squares, rectangles, polygons, rhomboids and trapezoids
- the degree of angles
- right angles, acute and obtuse
- the circumference of circles
- the volume of any object
For students, it is hard to see how knowing the difference between an equilateral triangle and an isosceles triangle would serve any practical purpose, let alone knowing how to calculate their area and perimeter.
Especially nowadays, when there are so many tools and applications that can scan and do the calculations for us.
That is why a tutor who merely hands out geometry worksheets and sits back while their students struggle would not work well for you, even if his/her hourly fee suits your budget.
The geometry tutor you need to find would be able to demonstrate the purpose of Euclid and non-Euclidean geometry and their real-world applications – making the subject matter come alive and filling you with the excitement of discovery.
After which you may choose to turn on your game console and unwind with your favourite adventure... which is also laden with geometric constructions!
Now take advantage of this compilation of basic geometry equations and examples...