Many teachers have come across situations like this. I am not an exemption.
Before I quitted my teaching job to finish my educational program, I have on many occasions come across issues like this.
Now the question you may be asking is; what if you are unable to answer the child’s question? What will these children think of me if I gave them the wrong answer or if they knew I never knew the answer?
It’s really a real trouble if you as a teacher can not answer the questions of your students.
Well the truth is that, no man is an encyclopedia of knowledge. No single man knows everything so don’t think that as a teacher you must know everything. The students don’t understand that. They believe that their teacher is a commander of the field and can answer all questions.
To be on a safer side as a teacher, in order to solve this problem, below are the tactics you can adopt.
As an individual I have adopted this method and it worked greatly for me.
I will be the last person that will encourage you to go into the class and embarrass yourself.
Before the Lesson
Before hands, before you enter the class to teach, ensure that you are well prepared.
If you fail to plan your lesson that is where your failures begin. Prepare your lesson plan well. Make more research about what you are about to teach.
Don’t focus your source of information on one source, ensure that you dig deep to get more relevant information about what is to be taught.
Before you enter the class ensure that you are physically, mentally and morally sound.
Back to the topic “what to do when a student ask a question you can’t answer as a teacher
1. Engage the class
If you are occupied with the situation of not knowing what to answer in a particular question, kindly engage the other students.
Let’s say for example, Michael asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, you try enquiring from his classmates if they had an idea for any possible answer.
Definitely not everybody is a dummy there are few or many brighter students there.
Pay attention to what they answered and see to it that you summarised all their answers.
2. Give them an assignment
This is of course an old method which is still working greatly.
Give that as an assignment to the children. Let them go back home and write something about that question.
While you have given these children the homework, also see to it that you equally take it as a personal homework.
Ensure that you are equipped with an answer to the question before the next day.
3. Discard if off-topic
If the question asked is very different from what you are teaching, because you don’t know it, kindly tell the child that he is only allowed to ask a question relating to the topic they are currently learning.
4. Promise a comeback
This can only be possible if you are in a good relationship with your students. If they know what you can do, trust me they will still have hope in you.
A comeback promise is like you telling the student that you will get back to him or her.
Ensure it doesn’t exceed that very day. Make research and return the answer as quickly as possible.
5. Play the Polite Teacher Role
Here, if you think that it is okay to tell the truth, just go ahead and tell the students that you have lost ideas of it.
Enquire from the questioner if he has the answer to the question he asked.
If he says no then make a promise of finding a solution to the problem.
It is very important you attend to all the questions your students ask. It becomes more dangerous if they know the answer to the question and you don’t know it.
As a teacher is very important you prove yourself higher above their knowledge.
Even though nobody is an encyclopedia of knowledge it is still necessary you defend yourself and your certificate.
A question you do not know the answer to is better not answered rather than giving a wrong response.