A few of my students this last week have constantly been asking "When are we ever going to use this?" It's not a new question, and I normally respond with a real world example, such as designing a roof truss system or finding the heights of mountains.
The problem arises when I cannot give the bold student a "normal" example, such as something you would do everyday. I teach Geometry, and honestly a lot of the details many people will never use. I think I just heard a couple of my colleagues going running for paper bags so they won't hyperventilate. I am one of the few math teachers that realizes that my students are not going to have to know how to find the measure of an arc to be successful.
However, I still believe that taking Geometry is an important class for all students. Math teaches you how to analyze situations, and geometry requires you to look at everything from different angles (no pun intended).
Furthermore, I grew up in a home with an information lover and I caught the bug. If I could have a superpower it would be the ability to learn anything at an extreme speed. The question has very rarely been for me, why should I know this, but rather why should I not know this?
I believe that every bit of information that we learn helps us to grow and makes us understand the world better. I was really struggling with how to deal with this one class that kept on not wanting to learn anything. All that I could think about was how silly they sounded when they were essentially saying that they wanted to stay ignorant.
Luckily, I was able to go and visit my parents and they were able to give me great advice in how to work with that class. I am extremely thankful for their input. I was able to make what seems to be a successful discussion about the importance of gaining as many skills as possible.
In conclusion, when in a time that I am unsure how else to go on, I am thankful that I have the ability to still ask my parents for advice (it's amazing how much they know:) )