# English major - need help with basic Geometry question

• Nov 25th 2011, 03:38 PM
msnealy
English major - need help with basic Geometry question
Help! I have to teach a 'struggling student' how to solve a Geometry question as part of a job interview. The interview is for a general teacher's aide position. The employer understands that I am certified to teach English and cannot be relied upon to teach Math to anyone's child. They just want to assess my basic teaching skills.

Here's the question:

A 15-ft ladder is leaning against a 30-ft wall. The bottom end of the ladder is 9 ft from the wall. How many feet above the ground does the ladder touch the wall?

I think the answer is 12. (I drew a picture, using a ruler). Is that the correct answer? And how can I use math language to explain how to solve the problem? A picture will not be enough. Would anyone be willing to assist a struggling job seeker?
• Nov 25th 2011, 03:58 PM
emakarov
Re: English major - need help with basic Geometry question
The ladder forms the right triangle with the wall and the floor. You know the hypotenuse (the ladder length) and the horizontal side (the distance of the bottom end of the ladder from the wall). Pythagorean theorem allows you to find the other side.
• Nov 25th 2011, 08:37 PM
mr fantastic
Re: English major - need help with basic Geometry question
Quote:

Originally Posted by msnealy
Help! I have to teach a 'struggling student' how to solve a Geometry question as part of a job interview. The interview is for a general teacher's aide position. The employer understands that I am certified to teach English and cannot be relied upon to teach Math to anyone's child. They just want to assess my basic teaching skills.

Here's the question:

A 15-ft ladder is leaning against a 30-ft wall. The bottom end of the ladder is 9 ft from the wall. How many feet above the ground does the ladder touch the wall?

I think the answer is 12. (I drew a picture, using a ruler). Is that the correct answer? And how can I use math language to explain how to solve the problem? A picture will not be enough. Would anyone be willing to assist a struggling job seeker?

If your employer is not going to rely on you to teach mathematics, I do not understand why you would be asked to demonstrate your teaching ability by doing so. Surely you would be asked to teach a 'struggling' child how to do something that was within the field of what you would be teaching.

Furthermore, you are meant to be applying for this position on the basis of your own abilities, not the abilities of others.

12 is correct.

Something does not look right here.