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  • Writer's pictureSarahHauer

Stupid Questions

When I was a kid, I had a teacher who did not believe in the philosophy that there is no such thing as a stupid question. He believed that if he covered something and a student then asked a question directly related to the information he just covered, that qualified as a stupid question, and that student deserved his derision as a result. It was my opinion he was a stupid teacher.

I fully embrace the philosophy that there is no such thing as a stupid question in a classroom setting.

(Granted, there are exceptions to the stupid question rule. If someone is asking a question simply to get attention or harass someone, that would qualify as a stupid question that does not deserve attention. However, those are fairly rare.)

Have you ever had your brain tune out for a moment? I know I have. Too often. If in a classroom setting and a student tunes out a few moments and misses important information, I would hope that student would have the COURAGE (in caps for a reason) to ask. Yes, courage. Because no one likes to admit they weren't paying attention when they were trying. That's humiliating. I would hope that teacher would encourage an environment of speaking up when a need arises.

I would also hope a teacher would recognize not all students are at the same level of learning and understanding. My own children have different learning styles. None of them match mine entirely. Some people need more repetition. (My hand is raised. Especially as I age.)

Some students like to dig deeper into a subject. It might be due to simple interest in a topic, or it might be the student feels the topic is related to their own personal life. That should not be ignored. That's personal growth.

Sometimes someone asks a question that could be construed as a stupid question when in fact they are acting out of pain that needs addressing. Ignoring that question, or worse yet, making them feel bad about it, will make the situation worse, not better. There could be a deeper message in that question.

I am bring this up because this came up in a conversation with friends in regards to their kids going back to school in the fall. Now that parents have been doing the schooling, many seem to be relating more to the stressors teachers have. One of the topics was how to handle stupid questions. I was on the side of the fence to look deeper at the reasons behind the question before labeling it stupid.

Do you have questions? Do you want to ask me a question about something? Are you curious about my writing, characters, story ideas, thought process?

If you have a question for me, stupid questions also welcome but I might not answer, shoot me an email at and I will read it. If it's too personal, I will simply leave it.

If someone asks you a stupid question, pause a moment and ask, is it? You might be missing an opportunity.

Thanks for reading!



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