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Larry Efird: 100 questions students asked — and 1 they didn’t

By Larry Efird

On any given day, students ask their teachers dozens of questions. Some are more important than others, of course; some can be answered, and some cannot. I made a list of 100 questions that students have asked me over the years. I’m sure there are hundreds more, but these are at least 100 hundred I could remember.

How tall are you? Where did you go to college? Are you a Democrat or a Republican? Who did you vote for? How do you know if when you get married you won’t ever get a divorce? Can we have class outside? What sport did you play in high school? What is your middle name? Why is it always cold in your room? What kind of music do you like? 

How long have you been teaching? When are you going to retire? When is your birthday? Do you pull for Duke or Carolina? Why do we have to wear uniforms? How much do you get paid? Why are people so mean? When is spring break? Do you accept late work? Why do teachers give homework?

 What’s your favorite book? Are we going to do any work today? Did I miss anything when I was absent? Why do I have to sit here? Are we your favorite class? Are you in a good mood? Where did you get that shirt? Why do you always look at me when you say that? Would you tell him to stop bugging me? Can I get some water? 

Did you get anything good for Christmas? Why are you making this a big deal? Where do you live? Can you move so I can see the board? Do you have our grades posted? Would you write a recommendation letter for me? Can I put you down as a reference? Would you please tell that to my mother? Can I borrow a pencil? When do we get out of here?

Why did you count me absent? Would you read this story I wrote? Will you be our club adviser? Would you like to buy some fruit? Would you like to buy a T-shirt? Do you want to donate some money? Can I borrow a quarter? Can we eat in your class? Can I go see the nurse? Can I go back to my last class to get my gym bag? 

Do you give extra credit? Do you have any notebook paper? Do you have an eraser? Do you have any candy? Is it going to snow? What’s your favorite pro team? Did you have a good weekend? What’s my grade in here? Why did you give me a zero? Could you explain that again? 

Why am I tardy? Can we go on a field trip? Are you going to put this on the test? Can I call my mother? Did I leave my book bag in here? How old are you? Have you ever cheated on a test?  Did you play in the band? Do you know how to text? Have you ever made a bad grade? 

Did you get a haircut? What page are we on? Is this for homework? Does this go in our notebooks? Can I sharpen my pencil? Are you coming to the game? Can we go to lunch early? Do you know my parents?

Can I plug in my charger? Can we use our earbuds?

 Did you teach my brother? Who was your favorite teacher? Who was your least favorite teacher? Is there a movie of this book? Can you write me a pass? Did you watch the Super Bowl? Do you have any tissue? Do you have any Band-Aids? Why do we have rules? Can we have a party? 

What kind of cell phone do you have?  Why am I getting in trouble and she’s not? Is “ain’t” a word? Do you have our tests graded? How do you know that’s what the author meant? Are you feeling all right? How many days are there until summer? Are you being serious? Do we have to? Why?

After recalling all of these questions, I realized there was one question no one has ever asked me:  “Are you glad you have spent your life as a teacher?” If that question comes, I hope the answer will be obvious.

Larry Efird teaches at A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis.

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