The Importance of Asking Questions

Posted by on August 5, 2011

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In order to learn, you need to reach out and ask questions.   I sent a message to a well-established blogger the other day,Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen, and this is how she responded. Read the post here. Thanks Laurie!

This made me think where I was taught this important life lesson.

I learned the importance of asking questions from my high school Algebra and Geometry Teacher.

Our school wasn’t semestered, so all of our classes were full-year courses.  I loved math and science, which was great because I had planned on becoming a medical doctor.  During the first four months, I attended the Algebra and Geometry class and understood it, but had a hard time switching to this abstract way of thinking.  I ended up getting high seventies on the tests, which was odd for me as I had gotten high eighties and nineties in math all throughout high school.  Instead of asking my teacher for help, I decided to try to understand the class material myself .   I was shy and had a hard time going up to people and asking for help.  I thought asking for her help would show that I did not understand the material, and that she would think I was inadequate.  I was also scared to show my vulnerability.

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Taken from Office Clipart

Well, when I came back to the class in January, I saw one of my good friends go up and ask our teacher for extra help after the lesson.  In each class,  after the lesson, we were given time to work on the questions, and we could ask for help if necessary.  Up until that point, because of whatever reason (fear, ego, etc.), I did not go up and ask my teacher for help.   That day, however I did something different.   I wanted a change.  I was not happy with my level of understanding and wanted to improve.  I got up my courage, walked to the front of the class, and asked my teacher for help on a question that I was stuck on.To my surprise, she was very positive and willing to help me.  I felt so great from this experience that I kept coming back to see her throughout the semester when I was stuck.  Guess what – my marks improved significantly and I mastered that course.

To this day, the lesson I learned from my teacher was : “Don’t forget to ask questions.”  Well Ms. Wilson, I haven’t stopped asking questions!!! THANK YOU.  Almost, ten years later – your message is still with me.

Therefore, my advice of the day is: DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS!!! As my manager at Loblaws used to say, “There is no such thing as a stupid question.”

4 Responses to The Importance of Asking Questions

  1. Rob Campbell

    Hello Arianna, is this your first ever post on this blog? If so that’s kind of an interesting story… How and why your first post is about not being afraid to ask questions.

    • Arianna Merritt, M. Ed.

      Hi Rob! It’s not my first post – but it was an influential post in the development of my blog. After I wrote it, I followed the advice and reached out to ask others help in terms of how to better my blog – it snowballed from there. However, that story was a turning point in my life and started my career :)

  2. Farah

    I am very thankful that I read your blog. Yes, people had been telling me to ask questions but I was so scared because in the past, I was either mocked or ridiculed for asking questions. So I try to future out answers on my own but I ended getting into more trouble! I will remember this blog the next time I want to ask a question but get shy about it.

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