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30 of the Most Annoying Student Questions

30 of the Most Annoying Student Questions


  1. “Is this for a grade?”

You won’t do it if I tell you it won’t be graded, right? So yeah, it’s for a grade.

  1. “Did I miss anything while I was out?”

Of course not! We stopped everything and stared at the wall, anxiously awaiting your return.

  1. Instructions are on the board, at the top of the worksheet, and have been explained multiple times. The student looks up from phone/takes out earbuds, and asks, “What are we doing?”

You better ask somebody else because I might get violent if I have to explain this again.

  1. “Are we gonna do anything fun today?”

Fun? I don’t even know what that is. I purposefully make everything boring just to torture you.

  1. “Why did you give me such a bad grade/fail me?”

This has nothing to do with earning points and effort. I grade based on how I feel about you personally, and I don’t like you.

  1. “Do I have to put my name on it?”

Of course not! I have memorized the handwriting of all 150 of my students just to save you the trouble of writing your name!

  1. “Can we watch a movie today?”

I would love nothing more than getting paid to show you movies daily. We watch them as much as we possibly can in an English class. But we have to work sometimes, or I’ll lose my job.

  1. “What are we doing today?”

Thanks for asking. Even though it is written on the board, I love explaining it to each student individually!

  1. “Can I go see another teacher?”

I want to say that you will miss part of my class, but I know that you will tell me that their class is more important, so just go.

  1. “Can you give me all my missing work?”

Even though all the work is posted online daily, and all handouts are in the same location, they have always been… sure! Let me save you the trouble and assemble all of that for you! I know you’ve been busy cutting class, so I really don’t mind.

  1. “Are we doing anything today?”

Of course not! We are going to do absolutely nothing, and it’s going to be amazing.

  1. “Why do we have to do this?”

Even though the powers that be make me post the objective of the lesson every day, and it is right in front of your face; I really, truly do not know why we are doing this.

  1. “How many questions will there be on the test?”

Whatever number I say, you will complain about. You will say it is too few or too many questions. So I’m going to say I don’t remember.

  1. “How much is this worth?”

You’re trying to determine whether you really have to do it, right?

  1. “Will there be an essay?”

You’re only asking so that you can complain about it, so you’ll just have to wait and see.

  1. “Can we have a free day?”

I would love to give you a day to do nothing, and I can completely ignore you, but it is not really feasible. However, the closest I can come to this is to give you group work.

  1. Student hands in paper and asks at the end of the same class, “Did you grade my paper?”

Seeing as how I have 150+ papers to grade, and I’m not a machine, no, I did not grade your paper yet.

  1. “Do I have to do this?”

What are you really asking me? Is this worth points? Is this worth a lot of points? Is this busy work? If you choose not to do this, will you still pass? There is no way in hell I am answering those questions.

  1. “Do I have to answer all of the questions?”

No, most of them are there just to make it look like we do stuff.

  1. “What’s my grade?”

Hold on, let me pull up that grade book I keep in my brain that updates minute by minute…

  1. “Wait. What’d you just say? I wasn’t listening.”

I know they say honesty is a virtue, but you should have lied in this case.

  1. “Do you have an iPhone charger?”

If I did have one and was willing to lend it out, I cannot even fathom the chaos that would ensue. However, if I lent it on a first-come, first-serve basis, it could be an incentive to get here on time. (A girl can dream, can’t she?)

  1. “Can we have class outside?”

Even if this were possible, and I wouldn’t be viewed as a hippie by admin., it is hard enough holding your attention in a classroom made of cinderblocks. If we add sunshine, the chirping of birds, and a gentle breeze to the mix, I fear you will be lost forever.

  1. “Is this test open-book?”

Has any test ever been open-book? If so, it either wasn’t actually a test or the teacher completely gave up on you.

  1. “Do you have anything to eat/candy?”

I would never randomly hand out candy or snacks because I would become the person to go to for free candy/snacks. (Seriously, one teacher became known for his surplus of Costco snacks, and students would gather from all over to request snacks from him. They began to expect the same from the rest of us. He was a shitty teacher, but the students all said he was their favorite because not only did he feed them, he did ridiculous things like make waffles in the middle of MATH class. We all hated him, and eventually, he was transferred. Also, a student recently asked me for a snack. I took out four different types of granola bars, and she replied, “Eww. I don’t like any of those.” I won’t be offering anything anymore except knowledge and sarcasm.)

  1. “Can we do this with a partner/in a group?”

You mean, can you do this with a student who will do all the work and let you put your name on it out of intimidation? Not today, Satan.

  1. “Will this be on the test?”

Most of what I say and most of what we do here is irrelevant. I just love the sound of my voice saying random stuff.

  1. Student walks in ten/fifteen/twenty minutes late and asks, “Did you mark me late?”

I see we are about to have the most insane argument there ever was.

  1. Can we take this quiz/test next time?

If I postpone this test, you will expect that every time I give a test or quiz. And we all know you aren’t going to take the extra time to study so just accept your fate. 

  1. Why did you want to be a teacher?’

This is a valid question but the implication is very annoying. They’re basically looking around and thinking, “Why the hell would anyone in their right mind want to do this?” And you know what kid, I wish I had a good answer for you.

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Jane Morris

Jane Morris is the pen name of an ex-teacher who would really like to tell you more about herself but is worried awful administrators will come after her for spilling their dirty little secrets. Jane has taught English for over 15 years in a major American city. She received her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from a well-known university and her M.A. in Writing and Literature from an even fancier (and more expensive) university. As a professional queen of commiseration turned published author, Jane’s foremost passion in life is to make people laugh through the tears.

She has written several highly acclaimed books unpacking the reality of teaching and life inside the school system. You can view her full library of works here.