I have students who do the work, students who don’t do the work and students who stall by asking me questions. I have the least patience with the pointless question students. I have one child who will ask whether or not it needs to be in pencil. EVERY TIME. I have not yet said yes to this. I will admit that I don’t even understand the question. Who is forcing them to use pencil?
Occasionally the questions get really far off topic. I had a child last week, in the middle of writing time, raise his hand and ask me why my hair is brown. Genetics, I said. I don’t think he understood the answer, but it’s not like the question was bound by strong logic.
I have a child in Primary 6 who will listen, repeat the directions back to me, and then near the end of the time allotted will ask if it really needs to be 15 lines. As though I might cave, admit it’s all a lie, and let him write 5. Or if it needs to be about the assigned topic. Yes, please?
While mostly the questions are centered around figuring out how little they need to do to complete the task, I sometimes get questions that seem to be centered around getting my permission to do more work. Do 15 lines, I’ll say. And one child will ask if it is okay to write 20. As though I would stop them. No! Do not practice your English! Stop that at once!
Or, you know, not.