Saturday, January 13, 2007

Dumb Questions That Students Ask

I used to say there were no dumb questions. I would like to qualify that remark. There are dumb questions. And they usually come from the various slackers that fill the ranks of my elective class. First of all, there is the broadbased assumption that since my class is an elective, that means it doesn't count. This isn't helped by the fact that to shush parents, the school board devised a means of calculating GPA for student rankings using only core classes-math, science, English and history, along with foreign languages. This is largely because some parents are just a wee bit competitive on their student's behalves about where their kiddo is ranked. You can only imagine what panic ensues when I lower the boom on these kids and tell them that many competitive universities refigure GPA's. The result is that often highly competent and otherwise qualified students take my class to screw around. And by that I mean, I have some very intelligent students that take many advanced and challenging classes who choose to do as little as they can to pass the class and get the credit. It's not all of them, I also have kid who work like crazy, but then again, I think those particular students are the Truly Gifted, not the My Parents Complained Until I Got Into AP Classes Gifted. What continues to amaze me is that these otherwise much lauded and coddled advanced students can ask some of the most annoying and downright dumb questions. Below are just a few:
"Does this assignment count?" -No I had nothing better to do than assign work that I throw away.
"Do I have to do this?"-In reality, nobody HAS to do anything. I don't HAVE to give you a grade, I do it because of my undying respect for your intellect and popularity.
"Am I finished?"-Of course you are, you were finished before you started. In one time space realm you haven't even been born yet and in another you have never taken this class. Everything is relative....
"Is this test open book?"-Yes, in fact to save time I wrote the answer in the blanks for you...
"Can I use my notes?"-Surely-just fold them like this, and this, and this and you have a nifty hat, or a pterodactyl, or a brooch (apologies to the makers of "Airplane")
"Are you finished grading yet?" (this is usually accompanied by either the hip-cock/eye roll or the loud exhale/sneer and happens about one hour after the test, or after the late paper is turned in.)-[Blank stare.]
"Do I have to......."(fill in the blank-take this test, pass this test, do this assignment, finish this assignment, sit down)-Yes.

There are more. I think one of the most astounding ones was from the kid who turned in literally NOTHING for nine weeks, who asked me if there was anything he could do to bring up his grade.........I couldn't think of a thing to tell him......

1 comment:

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Ah, kids! There's nothing like their questions, is there? Thanks for brightening the beginning of my day by posting questions from your students, along with your responses (which you mutter under your breath, of course).

A bright day to you too!