Questions, Questions

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In my son’s Personal Development classes at school they have a Question Box where the kids can anonymously submit questions about anything they like. Everyone in the class has signed an agreement not to make fun of the questions asked or to try and guess who asked the question. Nor are the questions allowed to be about another person or malicious in nature.

According to Nick it is a very popular segment of the class and results in much serious discussion.

The questions are many and varied and include things like –

How bad is period pain meant to be?

Boys keep asking me out but I think they’re all gross. Is there something wrong with me?

My friends say they’re going to smoke but I think it is bad for your health. Why do people think it’s cool?

At what age do you need to start shaving?

At what age can you get pregnant?

Then there are the silly questions, most of which I suspect were written by my son –

If you are abducted by aliens and subjected to an anal probe will you get pregnant?

Is is true that Darth Vader and Ayla Secura had a love child?

Why do some people love to sniff other people’s shoes?

Does my bum look big in this?

Then there are the heartbreaking questions that apparently had some kids crying in class –

Sometimes I feel so alone. I know no one really likes me or knows me. Would anyone miss me if I was gone?

Every time I eat I feel myself getting fatter and fatter. How long does it take to starve to death?

I don’t understand the work in class. Is it possible for someone to be too stupid to learn anything?

I think programs like this are invaluable. I know that the kids in Nick’s class look forward to their session with the Question Box every week and that it has already cleared up some common misconceptions for them.

I think it is something that should be adopted in workplaces everywhere. Maybe even at home. Imagine being able to ask anything you wanted without fear of censure or ridicule. It would be extremely liberating, wouldn’t it?

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16 thoughts on “Questions, Questions

  1. Hi Rachel.
    They are mostly 13 but there are a few kids who are on the Student Council who sit in on the classes who are a few years older. I was surprised at the range of questions in quite a young age group.

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  2. The silly questions made me giggle! But this is a great thing – we had done it in school too! It is amazing at what someone will ask when they are anonymous. There is no fear of being judged for what you write… Is it the teacher that gives the answers?

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  3. Oh, I like ’em!

    Can I contribute?

    Why do you press the ‘Start’ button to turn your computer off?

    The plural of ‘ox’ is ‘oxen’, so why not ‘boxen’ or ‘foxen’?

    What was the best thing since sliced bread before they invented sliced bread?

    I could go on …

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  4. Holy Crap! That is AWESOME. I wish my son’s school did something like that. These questions are soooo crucial at this age and Im THRILLED there is an OPEN dialog for them to engage.

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  5. TBALL:
    It is the teacher who gives the answers. I think it is a great thing because being a teenager can be so confusing. I wish I’d had something like that!

    TRAVELRAT:
    I love those questions. I have often wondered about those plurals myself. Makes no sense at all. And why do you press START to stop? LOL.

    MELEAH:
    It’s important, isn’t it? My son’s school is quite progressive in some ways. Thank God there are some positive things going on!

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  6. I’m a primary school teacher and this method works really well with younger kids too. The 10 and 11 year olds focus less on sex and physical changes and more on fitting in to the group. We’ve had lots of questions about how to make friends and so on. It’s a good thing.

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  7. I think the agenda for the team meetings at work should be set like this.

    “Are you all morons?” Oh… I suppose that’s mean eh?

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  8. Great idea, i like the selection of questions you posted!

    I’ve seen similar boxes in workplaces, but I don’t think the employees have felt free enough to be quite as open as your son’s classmates

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  9. i think that if you did have a question box for adults the questions would be almost exactly the same (if people were being honest) which is charming and sad in equal measure. i love the things you bring to us, selma.

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  10. I love that idea! I think I’ll try that here in our homeschool.

    Possible Qs:

    Do we HAVE to have green beans for supper?

    Why does everyone shake their head when I chew on my hair?

    What use is math anyway?

    Can I do my school work on the computer?

    Can we have a vacation day today?

    Errands? AGAIN?

    Can we bake something?

    When can we go to Swaziland?

    Do fish and pelicans in Australia really talk?

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  11. What a superb idea! Those heartbreaking questions really got to me but by virtue of them being asked, maybe it might make the kids more aware that someone in their midst is suffering (or more than one). Awareness is half the battle won and wouldn’t it be fantastic if it really helped those who just need someone to care.

    I applaud your school for this innovative idea and can only see positives in the results.

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  12. i remember feeling mot questions i had were off limits and not asking them,, so i think this sounds like a wonderful thing to incorporate into the classroom and even more invaluable in the family!!!!

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  13. ANNA:
    I really appreciate you stopping by. I am so glad you mentioned that the younger kids find it beneficial too. That is awesome!

    NAT:
    LOL. 😆

    THE HURICANE:
    It could cause a lot of problems, I suspect. I have worked in some places where it might have helped clear the air, though. I can’t see it being adopted in too many places, however.

    CRAFTY GREEN:
    Being open with the questions would be difficult. It would be hard to know how far to go.

    JASON:
    Oh, you are so right. It’s true. I can relate to so many of the questions the kids asked. Guess I still feel like I don’t fit in!

    GROOVY:
    Excellent questions. And yes, the fish and pelicans in Australia really do talk. And the turtles sound like surfers. 😀

    ROMANY:
    It really has helped a lot of kids already. I think it’s heightened awareness. One of Nick’s mates admitted how scared he was because his Mum has breast cancer and he’s frightened she might die. Now all the class is doing fundraising. I really like how it has brought the kids together.

    EMPLOYEE 3699:
    It’s a good one. Wish they’d had it when I was at school. I had so many questions and only a set of encyclopedias to help me!

    PAISLEY:
    Every family should put a question box on the dining table. Could make for some interesting conversations…..or maybe just some story ideas!

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