You know that old saying, "There's no such thing as a stupid question"? Yeah, we all know that's not true. There are stupid questions, and kids (and even adults) ask them often. Like, how do magnets work? Anyway, teachers on Reddit shared the most mind-numbingly dumb, hilariously idiotic questions that their students ever asked them.
1. Fakeeric's student was concerned about the fat intake of babies.
Sex Ed Class: Is Breast milk 1% or 2%?
2. Republiccommando1138's probably just figured things were different in the old days.
"How old was the average 18 year old in 1942?"
He then managed to forget he was wearing his own glasses and asked everybody where they were
3. Jruff's student probably did not pass biology class with flying colors.
As a high school biology teacher, a 16 year old student once asked me "Wait, aren't rhinos made of mud?"
4. Seminolesoldier2620 should have answered, "Very carefully."
I once projected a picture of the Earth onto the front white board. A student asked, "How do astronauts stand on a planet like that?"
Edit: Was an 8th grade student, being totally serious, not under any noticeable influence of illegal substances.
5. Curious what JustZoni's student thought about ellipses.
Private writing instructor. A couple of years ago, I had a student ask me if commas were real or imaginary. He was equally dubious about semicolons, which he referred to as "imitation periods."
(Since people have asked, he was 26 and very serious. Edited for clarity.)
6. Uh_I_Say's student was completely wrong about the book, but otherwise, it would have been a good question.
9th grade ELA, a few chapters into Of Mice And Men:
"What kind of work does George do on the farm?"
"I'm not sure. Probably the same work that everyone else is doing."
"Oh. It must be hard for him to help out, since he's a mouse."
7. 10thDoctorTeacher's student grappled with the question of when exactly the real world turned from black and white to color.
We're watching documentaries in black and white (I think the great depression). Kid raises his hand, I call on him, he says "never mind its a stupid question." I say, " there are no stupid questions, go ahead." He proceeds with "did they have color back then? Like, in real life?" I was dumbfounded, and could not keep a straight face. Turns out, there are stupid questions.
8. Hotlunch4011's student's question was so confusing, I needed to put my head on my desk for a few minutes.
Culinary Arts instructor here- I had a young commis ask me "Chef, if people don't kill people; guns kill people... Doesn't that mean that toasters don't toast toast; toast toasts toast?"
This was before Jaden Smith had twitter.
9. Jamongmongi student was convinced that everyone in the world thought in English.
High school foreign language: "Why do people speak in other languages when they all just translate into English in their heads anyway?"
Yes. He thought that everyone everywhere has English words in their brains and speak their own languages just to be difficult.
10. AlteregoCate59's student struggled a bit with just when it was that movies were first invented.
Showed Walking With Dinosaurs. Sophomore asked if it was actual footage. Showed video of US Revolutionary War. Same question. I shake my head a lot...
11. Witeduins probably should have told him it was spelled SMDH.
Me: "Ok, and add .html on the end of the file." Student, serious question: "How do you spell HTML?"
I teach college web design classes.
12. ALL_ABOUT_THE_KAKAPO's student figured that teachers just hung around in schools for fun.
I teach 4th grade and a student did some great work and I made an off handed comment about how I love my job. Another student asked "what's your job?".
13. WizardofAud's student at least realized that being stuck in a zoo without payment is some serious bullshit.
"Miss, do animals at the zoo get paid?" - A 7th grader.
14. To be fair, Automatic_Randomizer's student might have been joking. Germans have a very strange sense of humor.
As the teachers here note, there are stupid questions, but those result from being lazy or not listening. Not a stupid question, but here is my most stunning question. The day before winter break, at the end of the class period, I wished my students a "Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Delightful Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate."
My German exchange student asks, "Hanukkah? What is Hanukkah?" I replied, "It is the Jewish holiday that falls around Christmas." She says, "Oh, I didn't know that. We don't have many Jews in Germany." Dead silence as eyes dart around. "you gonna tell her? Nope, you wanna explain it? Not a chance." Like that.
15. This college student in PoopNoodle's class wondered how hard it was for her teacher to learn English given that he'd grown up speaking Alaskan.
Was teaching a 101 lvl college freshman survey course.
Told the students i was born in Alaska and a girl from the midwest asked me if it was hard to learn english so I could teach college.
16. Look, some things are very different in China, as SayHelloToMyAfro's student knew.
Are there faucets in China?
I work in high school.
17. Elk845's student was the original 9/11 truther.
Once had a student in my US History class ask "If time zones are real, why didn't China warn us about 9/11?"
18. This_scarce_hype's student simply confused the two big balls in the sky.
I teach high school science. My class of seniors was walking to the football field for an outdoor activity. It was cloudy and a 17 year old student looked up at the glowing orb behind the clouds:
Billy: "Check out the moon."
Ally: "That's the sun, Billy."
19. PrimordialCalamity's student may not have been great at geography, but I'm sure s/he was at least very polite.
Grade 10 History at a Canadian school. Our class was looking at a map of Europe, and one student suddenly asked, "Why can't I find Canada?"
20. Doug2590's student was so close. So close.
Had a 10th grader say "Rosetta Stone? Isn't that the black lady on the back of the bus?"
21. CougarMagnum's student's strong points were not math or logic.
From my first year teaching: "How did I receive a zero on the assignment? I didn't even turn it in."
22. Ok, purdue_pete33 is not technically a teacher, but this one was too funny to pass up.
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?"
23. This is not even a dumb question, but it's my favorite. Wonton_burrito_field's student got so much more out of Dr. Seuss than most kids do.
Reading "One Fish Two Fish" to second graders. Kid raises his hand, "Mr. my name when did God die?" I just sat there for a second. 4th day of teaching.