For the past couple of years, I’ve frequently offered an “Ask Anything Friday” class period for my students. I think it started toward the end of the 2013-2014 school year and then became a regular feature in 14-15. This year, I actually came up with a system for making it more efficient, instead of it being purely off the cuff.
For the juniors and seniors, it is pretty much every Friday. Earlier in the week they submit a question through this form:
Then, I pull up the questions in class in a spreadsheet. I copy over the questions so they can be displayed in class without names attached. This gives students the option to ask questions without feeling dumb, since I’m the only one who will know who asked which question. It also allows for sensitive questions to be asked without people knowing the identity of the asker.
My goal has been to provide a forum for high school students to feel comfortable asking pretty much anything about the Bible, theology, ethics, or occasionally, my personal life. Because they now submit questions ahead of time, I have the option to prepare answers, but I generally prefer to shoot from the hip, so I don’t actually look at the questions until they show up on Friday. I would rather go off what I can answer off the top of my head, and if the question does prompt further research, I’d rather admit limited knowledge and then model the research process. Sometimes, I’ll go through that process in class to demonstrate how to effectively find answers to the questions the students have instead of just handing out the answers. Other times, I’ll do the research on my own and come back the following Friday with a follow up.
After having done this for a while now, I thought it might be beneficial to open this up to blog readers. If you’d like to submit questions that get answered in a blog post, you can submit them through the form above, or bookmark this link. Instead of listing a period (since you don’t go to my school), but “Blog” in the period so I can effectively sort it in the spreadsheet. I can’t guarantee I’ll answer every single question, but I can sure try!