I am currently a monitor of a discipline called Real Analysis. My role is to help students enrolled in the discipline with the resolution of exercises.

A colleague sent me a message, in a state of desperation, asking me to provide him with the answers for assessment list 2 (which will replace test 2, since the entire class had low grades).

The teacher asked me not to give answers. But I feel sad for this colleague. I see that he has difficulties, but he is already a warrior for trying to overcome them.

Should I feel bad for not helping someone who is begging?

What worries me is the following:

  1. Due to my lack of attention, I ended up solving a question on the evaluation list for one of the students in the course.

  2. I helped students. I told them if I thought their demo was "ok".

  3. This particular student has learning problems.

  • 8
    You can't give a student solutions just because they are struggling, just inform the coordinator of the students difficulties. The more courses you teach, the more often you will encounter students begging for answers, it is unfortunately par for the course in many courses.
    – young_man
    Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 0:33
  • 8
    Please clarify your question. Are you a student or a faculty member, and who are your colleagues. Your question would profit from some geographic information since you are using vocabulary that is not present in my country. Also, consider removing Analysis from the title as it makes the question misleading. Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 5:18
  • 3
    Giving solution to a student who is struggling is not helping them (to learn). Your job is to help them to master the subject matter. So you should feel bad if you give them solutions instead of help.
    – Dirk
    Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 14:11
  • 13
    This may be a better fit for the Mathematics Educators Stack Exchange. However, you should clarify the other concerns identified by @Thomas Schwarz (besides what I just fixed with the title). In particular, the use of "colleague" seems odd, since where you used the word, it sounds like you are talking about another monitor (do you mean T.A. in the U.S. sense, tutor in the European sense, teacher's assistant in some sense, etc.?), but later on it seems to make more sense for "colleague" to mean a student in the class. Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 14:12
  • 1
    I took the liberty of changing your title to reflect what is apparently your genuine question. Feel free to change back, etc. Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 0:19

1 Answer 1


It would be wrong and counterproductive to provide answers. You are there to help them learn, not to bypass learning to maximize grades.

You should discuss this with the professor, pointing out the struggles of this student and asking whether you should continue to help them (with learning) or whether your current state of experience is such that someone else should take over.

Saying that someone's work is OK seems fine, as it is their work.

You can also refer the student to a "learning center" if something like that is available. But, first, talk to the professor.

  • 2
    What is a learning center? A support center for dyslexia and similar learning disabilities? I am not familiar with this term. Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 6:09
  • @FedericoPoloni, some universities provide various "learning support" centers where students can get advice on study habits and learning techniques. They probably are distinct from disability offices.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 9:48

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