Sorry if my response appeared condescending or mean-spirited. And I certainly was not in a rage; exasperated was closer how I felt. As for whether you were justified in making your original response, well I'll leave that for others to judge.
What I find really objectionable is your apparent implication that: If something is wrong, it must be the STUDENT'S fault. Harv, we can only progress as individual professionals, and as a profession, by honestly evaluating the effects of the things we do. Putting the blame on a lack of student attention or motivation, in my mind, undermines us as a profession. It all comes down to... WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS? Keep complaining about the inadequacies of our students? Or find constructive and positive courses of action that will help ALL students learn as much as they possibly can? Say "it was her fault, she probably wasn't listening"? Or come up with approaches that make the material come alive for her?
As to "who cares about corresponding angles". I stick by my point. If students can see that something interesting going on in a situation, there is much more interest in subsequently defining things and trying to nail down their relationships. Defining things first means the students must trust their teacher's knowledge (that there is some reason for these definitions no matter how silly they may appear) rather than trusting in their own ability to understand mathematics.
As to why she had to come to me for help, you asked this in a post yesterday, and I already responded in a private post (sent at 4:24 HST yesterday afternoon, 10:24 EST), which I include below. Sorry if this appears (appeared?) condescending. ------------ >Good question, Harv. Well, it's like this. Not all of the sides were given >and her geometry was a little rusty. It had been a few years since she had >used the Pythagorean Theorem. And in some cases coordinates were given >instead of sides so it wasn't clear that there was even a triangle. Would >these be good reasons for asking for help in your opinion? > >Your friend, >"Steve" ----------------- Again, I apologize for the apparent tone of my message(s). Unfortunately, one's tone of voice and nonverbals do not communicate well over the net. :(
============================================================ W. Gary Martin 1776 University Ave. University of Hawaii Honolulu, HI 96822 Curriculum R & D Group (808)956-9956; FAX (808)956-4984