Wanting to Know Everything

Naturally, you want to answer your students' questions correctly and in a way that is easy for them to understand.

But sometimes they ask very difficult questions! Many speakers cannot easily explain why something is said a certain way in their native language. This happens to teachers quite often.

You are not a dictionary or a computer. You do not need to know every single answer or give a perfect explanation as soon as a student asks a question. 

There are some helpful tips you can use if you do not know how to answer a student's question.

First, do not panic. It is perfectly acceptable for you to tell your student you are not sure of the best way to answer their question. Try saying something like this:
  • "That is a really excellent question! I am not sure how to answer you right now, but I will look this up. We will talk about it in our next class."
After class, find out the answer and create some examples. You can refer to good books on specific topics that often give students trouble (like prepositions or stative verbs).

You can also ask a friend or another teacher. And of course, you can search on the Internet. Be sure to read several pages until you find the right information to help you.

When your students see that you bring the answers to their next class, they will know that you are a great teacher who works hard to help them.