What did the little acorn say when he grew up? Geometry (Gee, I’m a tree)!

Sorry for the ‘teacher’ joke.

As soon as we begin to enquire about *shapes,* we are ‘speaking’ geometry. Originally, it was the mathematics of measuring the Earth, surveying blocks of land for farming, for example. In Egypt, geometry was used to replace boundary markers between properties after the Nile flooded each year. The term geometry comes from the Greek words γη (ge-) or γαια (Gaia) meaning earth, ground or land, and μέτρον (métron) meaning measure.

Geometry can be regarded as the discipline of studying abstract shapes with their properties and relationships. It can also be thought of in very practical terms. Tradespeople use geometry every day of their lives, making sure walls or frames are square, having the correct gradients for trusses, roofs, pathways, stormwater, etc. I have workmen on my roof at the moment, replacing corrugated iron sheeting. The art of cutting the sheeting to fit involves some clever geometry!

All the different facets of geometry result from our asking curious questions. At least, *someone* asked these questions:

- how do these shapes compare? ~ Congruency and Similarity
- how can I alter (or not alter) these shapes? ~ Transformations and Symmetry
- how do shapes fit together? ~ Tessellations
- how can I calculate distances/lengths diagonally across objects? ~ Pythagoras’ Theorem
- how can I measure lengths and angles inside circles and what properties do circles have? ~ Circle Geometry
- how can different places be connected? ~ Graph Theory
- what does ‘being connected’ mean, and what fundamental properties of shapes are preserved when a shape is distorted? ~ Topology

I would describe Graeme as one of the best tutors I ever had. During my school years I spent some time attending one of the major tutoring organizations in town and I found it was difficult for the tutors to spend the time needed to assist me with problem solving due to the class size. My mother rang a private tutor in the phone book who gave her Graeme’s phone number as he specialized in tutoring high school students and was a teacher who used to work at my school. He offered a tutoring service at convenient times which suited our busy life style. The one-on-one service that Graeme provides was what I needed and I saw improvements straight away with my exam results. This made my parents very happy and I found a new confidence in approaching exams. I have since left school but have stayed in contact with Graeme and he has provided me with terrific practical suggestions in preparing for interviews. I would not hesitate in recommending Graeme as a great teacher.

James C (Student, 2012)

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