Know what's awkward?
When you ask a student a question, and they just stare back at you.
To be fair, it's mainly kids. But even adults do it from time to time. And most adults did this as kids at some point, so...there you go.
Somewhere in human history, we lost the courage to say, "I don't know."
Not sure if it's classroom shame that caused it. Maybe it was the Cold War. Or, a weird alignment of the planets.
"I don't know" opens possibilities.
Because in theory, you'll get to know right afterwards. Because you're with...you know...a teacher. Someone who is (hopefully) trained in the art of helping you know things.
When you're not sure, cut to the chase. Say, "I don't know." It's the fastest path to knowing.
And if you have a teacher who gives you a hard time...?
Well, take that as a sign that it's time to find a new teacher.