TOP 5 LEAST Favorite Student Questions

It happens to everyone… you’re having a perfectly normal day until someone asks you a question that sabotages your day in an instant. With thanks to the KABT Facebook Group, here are our top 5 questions you wish you could never hear again from your students.

#5: “Do we have to know this?” / “When will I ever use this?”


The sarcasm in a teacher’s response to this question has been shown to have a strong statistical correlation to the amount of caffeine consumed that morning.

#4: “How can I earn extra credit?”


Particularly relevant now, with final exams right around this corner, this question comes, invariably, from a student who has not turned in any work since Halloween. However, there is some inherent irony when that student asks to do additional work.

#3: “Can’t we just take notes?”


It is like something from a horror novel… The authentic experience you meticulously planned for hours, and likely spent a significant amount of your own money to produce, has been in front of the students for nearly 6 minutes when you see a hand shoot up in the back…

#2: “I missed [x] days, what did we do?” / I’m going to be gone, will I miss anything important?”


This was suggested independently by four different KABT members, so we imagine the struggle is pretty universal. The frustration caused by this question increases in an exponential relationship with the amount of time you spend updating your class website or learning management system. And like “Can I go to the bathroom?”, no one ever asks this question at the appropriate time… (which is never)

#1: “How much is this worth?” / “Is this for a grade?”


Attitudes and questions like this have given rise to grading schemes which place an undue emphasis on the quantity of work turned in, and have taken away from the noble practice of learning. Thanks for ruining it for everybody, Worst Question Ever.

We hope you have enjoyed “Top 5”, a monthly post on the BioBlog. If you have suggestions for a future “Top 5” email or tweet @ksbioteachers.