When Students Keep Asking Questions that You Clearly Answer in the Syllabus

It’s such a temptation to refuse to help students anymore who ask the same questions that you clearly answer on the syllabus. And even after you tell them to check the syllabus, they’ll keep taking shortcuts to ask you questions they don’t want to work for.

It’s all in the syllabus. All of it. Everything you need. It’s right here. Look! Look! I’ve done all the work of preempting every question you have!

I find myself angry. I find myself tempted to shame students. I even want to wear a t-shirt that says, “It’s on the syllabus.”

But I don’t. I answer the questions.

I realized that something tugged at my heart, some recognition of my own tendency to live like this, spiritually at least. I approach God with endless, obvious, ignorant questions when He’s told me what I need to know in the Bible. It’s like He says, “Read it! It’s all right there. Everything you need! Look!”

It’s a strange and beautiful thing to see your own sin in your students.

So, yes, check the syllabus. But meanwhile, I’m here for you. How could I be angry? I’m just like you, all the time.

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