Teachers Share The Most Stupid Question They’ve Ever Been Asked
A wise woman once said, “I believe the children are our future.” Whitney Houston wasn’t necessarily wrong—surely, there are child prodigies out there right now crafting the world’s next life-changing devices. But on the other end of the spectrum, there are kids who are far from geniuses… So far that they even have some people questioning their faith in humanity altogether.
Kids say the darndest things, but some kids are just so stupid it’s hard to give them a pass. Teachers understand this plight—being around kids so often, they, aside from parents, are the most exposed to the ridiculousness of the youth.
Teachers of the internet came together to share some of their experiences. Read on for some of the hilarious questions teachers have been asked.
#38 No Jimmy, It Wouldn’t
A student of mine asked in geography class if a tsunami caught fire, would his family still be able to claim flood insurance. The weird part is that we live in a part of the country that has never experienced a tsunami. The entire class laughed at him. I felt kind of bad, but I guess he had it coming.
#37 It’s A Star
While teaching Astronomy in a first-year college course, a student asked if the Sun was a planet. The entire class erupted in laughter, and the student bolted out of the room with an embarrassed look! He never showed his face again and dropped the course. I guess if he didn’t know the Sun was a star, it was probably the right decision.
#36 The Land Down Under
To my surprise, I had a student ask me where Canada was on the map I was projecting on the screen in history class. The map was of Australia.
#35 Where’s Asia?
A classmate of mine asked if Asia was a town in China.
“That would mean every Asian in our school would have come from the same town,” she added.
#34 This Would Have Kept Them Warm
My wife is the teacher, but this is my favorite story of hers. They were discussing how Native Americans relied on hunting buffalo for survival and used all of the body parts for food, clothing, shelter, etc.
About how they used the buffalo for shelter, one student asked, “So do they stack the buffalo on top of each other?”
#33 Fairytales, The “Hood” Version
Student: “And the big bad wolf huffed, and he puffed… and he passed it around.”
Me: “I’ve never heard of that version of the story before.”
Student: “You wouldn’t, Mr. Ellipsis. It’s the hood version.”
#32 Hint: The Answer Is In The Question
I’ve had a student ask me. “What are those pyramid-shaped things in Egypt called?”
I’ve never seen a class laugh so hard before.
#31 Let’s Take A Moment And Pray For This One
I’ve only been teaching for two years, and sometimes I don’t even know how to respond to the questions I get asked. For context, I teach high school (ages 14-18). This week, I had to explain to a student that her paycheck would be taxed. She was shocked because she thought only adults had to pay taxes.
#30 Points For Creativity
I teach a geography class. One time, I asked my students: “How do islands not float away?”
“Really big anchors,” someone said out loud. They wrote that down.
#29 I’m Guessing He’s Not A Member Of The Philharmonic
I teach music. After a long-winded speech about what time everybody needed to be at the concert, what they needed to wear, and what they needed to bring, Evan raised his hand. “What time should we be there tonight?”
I simply rolled my eyes and pointed at the board. The girl who sat next to Evan let out a theatrical sigh, but Evan’s hand went up again.
“Can I wear this?” He pointed to the jeans and grungy t-shirt he was wearing. I sighed and pointed at the board, where I had written down the dress code.
“Do I need to bring my clarinet?” No, Evan. I expect you to show up and beatbox your parts. I didn’t even justify that with a response.
“Do… do I need to, like, be at this concert?” Well, I suppose if he didn’t mind failing band, then no.
Evan wasn’t trolling; he was just an idiot. A truly impressive idiot. He did manage to show up at the concert, but he forgot his music. Shockingly, he graduated. I’m still in awe.
#28 Wait Until Someone Tell’s Him About Dr. Seuss
There’s one I’ll never forget: “WHAAATTT? EINSTEIN’S DEAD?!”
The student who asked this was 16 years old.
#27 Of Courseth
I am an English teacher, and I’ve had a few kids ask me if Shakespeare is still writing plays…
#26 Biology Blunder
I had an assignment for biology where you’d flip a coin to see what traits your baby dragon would have to teach Mendelian genetics. One of my students raised her hand and asked, “Wait, so dragons are real?”
#25 I Think She Missed The 3rd Grade
I’m a Federal Budget Analyst and had to train a new employee who had been working in budgets for 20 years. Based on her qualifications, she should have been able to pick things up quickly… But she didn’t. When I finally got her on the right track with our year-end financial reports, I told her to double check her numbers because she was a little off.
She responded, “Well, wouldn’t someone else just fix that?”
I said, “Uh no… that’s exactly what you get paid to do, so you need to put the correct numbers in the report before we can publish it.” What on earth would we do with almost correct financial reports?
The next day, she just couldn’t figure it out. tried encouraging her by saying, “You’re close, it’s probably just your rounding.”
She then said, “Does it matter? How do you know when you should round it up or down?”
In the end, I felt like I would have been better off teaching a 3rd grader.
#24 Well Where Does He Think Chocolate Milk Comes From?
A classmate of mine was genuinely surprised to learn of the existence of cocoa beans. He thought previously that chocolate came from brown cows.
“I mean, why else would Hershey’s and stuff be called MILK chocolate?”
#23 This Modern Einstein…
An elementary student who left his backpack on the bus said, “Someone should invent some sort of device that attaches a backpack to a person’s body, so they don’t lose it.”
#22 Ice Breakers?
This is from my 10th-grade honors chemistry class. The topic was states of matter.
“What would liquid ice be called?”
We’re still not sure if he was making a joke about the short-lived Ice Breakers mints called “Liquid Ice” because everyone was laughing so hard.
#21 Less Tweeting, More Reading
Me: “…And that’s why the earth is round.”
Student: “But Tila Tequila said it’s flat on Twitter.”
Me: *stunned silence*
#20 Honestly, She Makes A Good Point
This one is one of my favorites. I had one of my choir students sat at her desk studying her hands for a good 10 minutes. She wasn’t singing; just quizzically looking at both sides of her hands. So, I finally asked her what was so interesting about her hands.
Her response was, “Well, I was wondering… Are gloves like underwear for your hands?”
#19 Newton’s Friend LeBron
I taught 11th-grade social studies in North Hollywood, California. These are paraphrased, but all real questions I was asked.
“Why did people in the old days use phone booths? Why didn’t they just use their cell phones?”
“Was the Gettysburg address Lincoln’s email address?”
“Are leprechauns Jewish?”
“When are we going to learn about Game of Thrones?” This one was asked by several students at different points in a history class even after I had already explained that Game of Thrones was a fantasy world.
“Were there skyscrapers in Manhattan when the Natives sold it?”
One of my favorite weird moments was when the state sent us an essay question for all the students. It was one that would help determine how much funding the school could receive. It asked what Isaac Newton might have meant when he said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
I told the students to think about people who are “giants in their field,” not literal giants. I asked them who might be considered a giant in music and someone shouted out “Tupac!” I asked again, “Who is a giant in sports?” Someone else shouted “LeBron James!”
A few weeks later, the principal showed me the class’ responses to the question, and nearly every single one wrote something like this: “Isaac Newton could see further than others because he was standing on the shoulders of LeBron James.”
#18 Almost, But Not Quite
I was teaching a World History course to 10th graders, and one student asked the question, “What does A.D. mean?” A couple of kids took a shot at answering but were wrong. One girl raised her hand and answered as confidently as someone would answer that the sky is blue.
“After dinosaurs,” she said.
#17 Food For Thought
Culinary Arts instructor here. I had a young student ask me, “Chef if guns don’t end people and people end people… Doesn’t that mean that toasters don’t toast? Does toast toast toast?”
This was before Jaden Smith had twitter.
#16 No Stupid Questions, Only Stupid People
We were watching documentaries about the Great Depression in black and white. One kid raised his hand and immediately withdrew it, saying, “Nevermind, it’s a stupid question.”
I say, “There are no such things as stupid questions, go ahead.”
He asked, “Did they have color back then? Like, in real life?” I was dumbfounded, and could not keep a straight face. It turns out; there are stupid questions.
#15 Let’s Hope This Guy Left Science In The Past
In a college introductory astronomy class that I was a TA for, we were doing a lab on the sun. We used a flash animation that allowed the students to set their latitude to anywhere on Earth on any day of the year, and watch the path the sun traces out on the sky. The point of the exercise was to see important patterns, like the sun setting and rising farther south in the winter and north in the summer.
One of the locations we had them look at was the North Pole itself. There, the Sun moves in horizontal paths across the sky, meaning it’s in either perpetual day or perpetual night. While looking at this location, one of my students noticed that the compass indicated that all four cardinal directions now said south instead of north, south, east, and west. I explained that such was the case because he was looking at the North Pole—no matter what direction a person traveled to from there, he would be heading directly towards the South Pole, and therefore any direction you go will be south.
I waited patiently while the student processed this and he asked his follow-up question:
“Does that mean at the South Pole you fall of the Earth?”
#14 Wait So… It’s Not Real?
In AP World History, one of the students asked, “Did Lord of the Rings happen?” She was later named our valedictorian.
#13 This Kid Is Going Places
I live in Mississippi. I had a guy ask if people in Texas count like: “One Texas, two Texas, three Texas…”
#12 Teachers Aren’t Real People
I teach 4th grade. One of my students did some great work, and I made an off-hand comment about how I loved my job. Another student then asked, “What’s your job?”
#11 One Of Life’s Greatest Lessons Is Learning When To Keep Your Mouth Shut
When I was in college, there was a big, derpy guy… We’ll call him Bear. Bear liked to run his mouth a bit, thinking that he was the most clever person in the room.
We had a costume design professor who was great until you interrupted her. Cut her train of thought, and she turned into a passive-aggressive Destroyer of Worlds.
This happened during our Intro to Costuming class. She was explaining how to add and subtract fractions of an inch, so I pretty much tuned out since I’d never had issues dealing with fractions.
After explaining her convoluted method, Bear decided to chime in.
“I think we all understand the concept of an inch.”
I could feel the contained rage seep from her pores. I swear her eyes even turned blood red. But she restrained herself from slapping him across the room and moved on.
“Wait I don’t understand,” chimed Bear. She then proceeded to spend the next 30 minutes or so explaining the “concept of an inch” to him, and only him.
#10 Petition For Preschool Teachers To Be Paid More
I teach pre-school, so I could go on and on about the dumb experiences I’ve had (i.e., kids going #2 in the sink, eating weird stuff, etc.), but my favorite is this story.
During group time one day, I couldn’t help but notice one of my kids had a very strong odor. I pulled him aside and asked if he had had an accident. He proudly said no, and that he had made it just in time. I suggested he go back to the washroom again to double check.
About five minutes later, he came over to me with his hands covered in excrement. He said I didn’t tell him what to clean with, so he just used his hands.
#9 Psh Yeah, Dinosaurs Are For Babies
Student: “Why can’t we breathe fire like dragons?”
The kid gets curious stares from everybody in the classroom.
Student: “Just messin’. That’s dumb. I mean dinosaurs. Why can’t we breathe fire like dinosaurs?”
#8 3-Point Question
“How many points is a 3-pointer worth?”
#7 Google It Later
Sophomore year, World Religions class. We were discussing animism in African tribes. The professor, a Baptist minister, told us that in some tribes, the moon has special reverence because of its effects on the environment, the tides, and its association with women’s cycles.
A guy in the front row raised his hand. I knew him through mutual friends; he had grown up very sheltered. He asked the professor, “What is a women’s cycle?”
The professor took a second to process what he’d been asked. Then his expression changed. He looked both stunned that anyone who’d managed to get this far in college would ask that, and furious that he would have to explain something so obvious.
“Menstrual cycle,” he said. “You know. Her period.”
The guy nodded, wrote it down, and the class got back on track.
#6 Probably A Discover Or Amex As Well
My students were preparing to study abroad for a year.
Me: “Okay, our next step is to apply for a long-stay visa, but I can help with that process.”
Student: “But my parents already have a Visa, should I apply for a MasterCard too?”
#5 101 Golden Retrievers
“Mr. Doomtrain, what kind of dogs were in 101 Dalmatians?
#4 The Sun Needs To Sleep Just Like Everyone Else
“Is the moon the sun but at night?”
Granted, I teach kindergarteners.
#3 Robots Run The School
A violent storm occurred one day, and the school’s power went out. There was another high school on the adjacent property.
One student looked out the window, saw the neighboring school, and asked, “Why is our power out, but theirs isn’t?”
Another student said, “They have a different transformer.”
A third student then yelled, “Transformers aren’t real, idiot!”
#2 Well, One Coast is On One Side…
I had a kid ask me what the difference was between the East and West coast. I thought she meant culturally, she meant geographically…
#1 The Mind Of Aquatic Life
“Do crabs think fish can fly?”