There Are No Stupid Questions. Then There Are These

Teachers of Reddit list out the silliest questions their students have asked them

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Teachers often tell us that there are no stupid questions–you can ask them almost anything and they will do their best to answer them. Clearly, there are many stupid questions as these Redditors tell us.

1. Why Not?

After a massive water shortage: “Can’t we just fill up the reservoir with tap water?” [ghost-of-harrenha]

2. Damn You English

Not a teacher, but in my senior year of high school I was in a personal finance class. The teacher explained that not paying your taxes could get you incarcerated. Student: “So if you don’t pay your taxes, the government will light you on fire?!” Teacher: “No, incarcerated means to imprison. You’re thinking of incinerated.” Student: “Oh. Wait, then what’s taxidermy?” [purdue_pete33]

3. Smart Kids

Grade 5 Sex Ed.

“I heard a story about a man who put his ‘stuff’ into muffins and fed it to grade 1 kids.”

“Well… that is pretty digusting and I would think that person would go to jail for doing that”

“Wouldn’t the girls get pregnant from eating it?”

And before I could say anything another student blurted out “NO!! They wouldn’t get pregnant!! They haven’t gone through puberty yet!!”

I am thankful for days when kids remind me that they are still kids 🙂 [ddubs08]

4. No Dear, It Does Not

When I was in Grade 5 Sex Ed, we were allowed to write down our questions for privacy, and the teacher would read them aloud. Having just viewed an episode of Ally McBeal that included a transgender woman who still had a penis, my question became, “If a woman has a penis, does it work the same?”

I remember him opening up my question, staring at it, folding it up, and moving on. [uncrew]

5. Well, They Should!

I was in a 300 level university class when someone asked “What do you mean they don’t celebrate 4th of July in Australia?” [kilbus]

6. Hmmm

“How old was the average 18 year old in 1942?”

This came from a 17 year old (friend of mine, not a teacher) who then managed to forget he was wearing his own glasses and asked everybody where they were. [republiccommando1138]

7. It’s on the Tip of My Tongue

Had a student ask me “What are those pyramid-shaped things in Egypt called?”

Never seen a class laugh that hard before. [mamaisinhere]

8. Buffalo House

My wife is the teacher, but this is my favorite story of hers. They were discussing how native americans relied on hunting buffalo and used all parts of it for food, clothing, shelter, etc. In reference to how they used the buffalo for shelter, one student asked “So do they stack the buffalo on top of each other?” [durance84]

9. Poor Kid

I used to volunteer teaching at an after school program for 14-year olds. We were doing a project that involved balloons. One boy had blown his balloon but couldn’t get it tied. I tied it and gave it back to him. He immediately tossed it up. As it sank to the floor, his face fell. Obviously disappointed, he asked: “Aw, so they’re not helium?” [rachelmaryl]

10. You Have to Wait Till After Their Period

Warm spring day.

No A/C.

Fan blowing in the front of the room.

Hand goes up.

“Can you make the fan ovulate?”

No. No, I can’t. [IroquoisConfederate]

11. Are They?

My mom is a teacher’s assistant in a 5th grade class. A few weeks ago a girl asked,”Are bears still real?” [deepfriedkelp]

12. Stupid Human Race

After a lengthy explanation of the effects of volcanic eruptions on human communities, I had a grade 6 student ask me why on earth people even make volcanic eruptions. [Imagineamelon]

13. So, They Are Not?

I’ve shared this before, but as a high school biology teacher, a 16-year-old student once asked me “Wait, aren’t rhinos made of mud?” [Jruff]

14. Read and Apply

This came up all the time when teaching kids how to do their taxes. I must have had this conversation a dozen times.

Student: Sir I don’t know what to do at this part

Me: What does the instruction say on that line?

Student: Add box 23 and 24 and write the answer here

Me: So add box 23 and 24?

I to this day have no idea how you teach someone to follow very explicit instructions.

15. Think Kid, Think!

Also not a teacher, but when I was in high school in health class while going over reproduction there was a fellow student who raised her hand and asked if you were sterile, could you pass it on to your children. The whole class giggled and she, confused, said she was serious, she wanted to know if you’re sterile could you pass it on to your kids. The teacher, with a smile, said to her “OK, let’s think about this. What does it mean to be sterile?”

She began answering “It means that you can’t have k…OHHHHH!” – followed by another round of laughter from the rest of the class. [SandwormSlim]