I have read this question, where the OP asked how to handle silly questions. In the excellent answer of Irwin, the 6th point attracted my attention:
If it's a matter of the student talking on and wasting time with questions, then you can ask the student politely to keep questions for after the class. If the student is trolling you with questions and is otherwise being a nuisance this option usually works as well.
I am a TA in mathematics at a university in continental Europe and I organized a weekly question time (one hour) where I answer questions of undergraduate mathematics students. Usually, these hours are very well visited so I struggle a lot to answer all questions in my limited amount of time. However, there is one student who constantly tries to prevent me from answering other student's questions. He first wants his questions answered. But most of the time his questions are not useful at all:
- He wants to show the other students how much he knows. He uses a lot of mathematical terminology, sometimes even terminology which was not yet introduced in the lecture (and sometimes will not be introduced in the lecture). For example, if derivatives are the content of the lecture, he asks something about weak derivatives. My advice that he should first understand the special case and not the more general one is ignored. However, he also asks questions about the specific course (which fall into the category of the next two bullet points.)
- He has a very tiring way of asking questions. If you answer his question, he often accuses you of "not understanding his question". If you answer his question and politely tell him why his question does not make sense, he usually changes the topic (if the question was about topic A, he says "But I was talking about topic B all the time, you did not understand my question"). Telling him that he has to ask more precisely is ignored, he thinks that the TA is not able to answer his questions, because they are too difficult to answer.
- He always wants his questions to be answered first. This is very bad for the other students, because the other students have more or less useful questions which deserve to be answered well. Hence, this student is just wasting time, which could be used in a better way to answer more useful questions. Of course, the other students are annoyed by him, too. I think that it is just a question of time until one of the other students tells him that the question times cannot stay like this.
Now my question is: How do I deal with such a student? The cited advice above does not quite apply here. He does come to my question time and also to the question time of other TAs (who have the same impression of him). If you ask him to keep his questions, he just does not stop asking and disturbs you in the process of answering other questions. For example, if you answer a question, he just interrupts you and says "But isn't it like that? (...)", saying this with a tone which expresses that you are wrong and he is right.
I also offered him to come to my office to discuss his mathematical problems, but he apparently does not want to, because he has never appeared in my office (and I think he won't in the future). My impression (and also the impression of the other TAs plus the professor's) is that he just wants to ask questions publicly to express how much he knows and to demonstrate that he is very intelligent.