Teacher Assistant Keeps Giving Class The Answers. grrr

In summary, the TA is giving harder proofs to students in order to help them cheat, and the students are not happy about it.
  • #1
moe darklight
409
0
For my transition into advanced mathematics class, the teacher's-assistant we got for my lab section keeps giving us the answers to the harder proofs that we get as assignments each week.

He is clearly not supposed to, in fact today he said something along the lines of "I hope nobody here is ratting me out to Dr. _____; I don't know why someone would want to." like he's doing us a favor. Ok, maybe he's doing favor to the students who don't want to actually learn anything and just want to pass. -- since the labs are on Tuesday, a lot of the time I haven't even gotten to doing the assignment yet, so I have to try really hard to distract myself, because I really don't want to hear the answer. But it's quite hard to not listen to somebody when you're trying to not listen to them :smile: the mind is tricky that way.

what should I do? I don't want to be a rat, but it's starting to annoy me; especially when I've worked to figure out the trickier questions on my own, and he goes on to pretty much hand them as freebies.

I hope the proff realizes there is something fishy going on. It'd look pretty odd to me if I saw that all of the assignments are correct from one and only one lab each week.
 
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  • #2
Damn you social norms!

I would've talked to the assistant about it, ask him to give "proper" students a chance not to cheat. (or something like that.)
 
  • #3
Not in advanced math classes as yet, but surely the working out is important rather than the answer, or do you mean the whole answer? If you learn the answer then you've essentially learned nothing more than if you have the answer to:

[tex]\int e^{x^2}\; dx[/tex]

No?
 
  • #4
I don't see what the problem is. Even if you know the answer to the proof, who cares. Text books are filled with problems and if you don't want to read them, then make up your own. If you plan on going to grad school you better get used to creating challenges for yourself anyway.
 
  • #5
yea, he works out the entire problem.

and it bothers me because:

a) i don't want to hear the answer because I want to do it own my own.
b) it's not fair to people who actually do the work that slackers will get the same marks.
c) I'm no buddha. I'm human, I like to get credit for doing a job properly, and, equally, it bothers me to see someone else get something for free that I worked for.
d) just for the principle of the thing. it's just wrong. i think integrity or whatever, is important even on small stupid stuff like this.
e) I'm in a rotten mood this week.
 
  • #6
moe darklight said:
b) it's not fair to people who actually do the work that slackers will get the same marks.
c) I'm no buddha. I'm human, I like to get credit for doing a job properly, and, equally, it bothers me to see someone else get something for free that I worked for.

Isn't that other people's problem? If you enjoy the learning, then be maybe be happy with that? That's what you can control. Your learning. Your integrity.

Come exam time and beyond, when the associate isn't there whispering the answer, who will be better equipped to get the job done? The exercised muscle, or the unexercised one?

Now e) ... that's a good reason.
 
  • #7
I'd send him an e-mail, and express your frustration. Tell him if he continues to do it, you will consider going to the prof to ask for the practice to stop, because you feel it's compromising your education.

Having the conversation in writing would be a good thing, and should make your TA pay attention.
 
  • #8
Sounds to me like you're either jealous that your classmates get the answers without having to work them out for themselves, or you're annoyed you won't get the recognition for doing it yourself. Otherwise you'd just take yourself somewhere you can't hear the answers, do them yourself, and be content that you're learning and they're not.
 
  • #9
This is pretty straightforward. Send your Prof an email about the TA. What is happening is not right and must be corrected.
 
  • #10
I wouldn't say "jealous" is the right word... I was a slacker in high-school, and if I thought being a slacker is a quality in any way worth envying I wouldn't be working so hard right now to undo what 19 years of slacking did.

And I'm not particularly proud of the fact that I can't just "let it be" and concentrate on my own work, but I can't; it just bothers me... they're not even terribly hard proofs or anything; it's a first-year course-- all they require is a little work. It's pure laziness is what it is.

I still enjoy the class and everything, I'm not that bitter; it's just like a fly landed on my ice-cream.
 
  • #11
Gokul43201 said:
This is pretty straightforward. Send your Prof an email about the TA. What is happening is not right and must be corrected.

Yes I'm considering sending an e-mail to the TA himself if he does it again. I'm not a very confrontational person so it'll be hard for me to do, especially since he seems like a nice guy otherwise lol ... I wouldn't send an e-mail to the proff though unless it was something more major.
 
  • #12
moe darklight said:
Yes I'm considering sending an e-mail to the TA himself if he does it again. I'm not a very confrontational person so it'll be hard for me to do, especially since he seems like a nice guy otherwise lol ...
In that case, be prepared for any backlash that may come your way.
 
  • #13
I would negociate my silence o:) :biggrin:
 
  • #15
I wouldn't confront the guy. I'd simply tell the department head what was happening and let them deal with it.
 
  • #16
a) i don't want to hear the answer because I want to do it own my own.
b) it's not fair to people who actually do the work that slackers will get the same marks.
c) I'm no buddha. I'm human, I like to get credit for doing a job properly, and, equally, it bothers me to see someone else get something for free that I worked for.
d) just for the principle of the thing. it's just wrong. i think integrity or whatever, is important even on small stupid stuff like this.
e) I'm in a rotten mood this week.

a) Then don't attend his SI sessions.
b) Nothing in life, including college, is fair. Get used to it.
c) If your in school just to get a pat on the head, get out now and don't come back. You're either there for a formal education or to play the game.
d) Right and wrong is just perception. How do you know most of the students aren't learning more from example than from practice?
e) So am I, but I would just let it go.
 
  • #17
moe darklight said:
a) i don't want to hear the answer because I want to do it own my own.
b) it's not fair to people who actually do the work that slackers will get the same marks.
c) I'm no buddha. I'm human, I like to get credit for doing a job properly, and, equally, it bothers me to see someone else get something for free that I worked for.
d) just for the principle of the thing. it's just wrong. i think integrity or whatever, is important even on small stupid stuff like this.
e) I'm in a rotten mood this week.

a) This is exactly what would bother me about it.
b) In my math classes homework has always been 10% or less of the final grade. Bottom line: Failing the tests but acing homework is still failing.
c) They aren't getting something you worked for, for free. The point of homework is to learn material, it isn't to get a certain grade on your homework.
d) True.

Just mention that hints would go a lot further than straight out answers. Maybe avoid going to your lab for the first x amount of minutes. Now, is he giving detailed solutions to all the problems or just a few?
 
  • #18
Kurdt said:
I wouldn't confront the guy. I'd simply tell the department head what was happening and let them deal with it.

In our department, you'd just get sent back to the TA and professor. Try to work it out at the lowest level first by talking with the TA... then if needed to the professor. Again, email does at least give a form of written account, perhaps send an email to the TA requesting a meeting, then send a follow-up email summarizing the meeting and thanking the TA for his/her time.
 

Related to Teacher Assistant Keeps Giving Class The Answers. grrr

1. Why would a teacher assistant give out answers to a class?

There could be a variety of reasons for this behavior. One possibility is that the teacher assistant wants to be liked and is trying to gain favor with the students. Another possibility is that the teacher assistant does not fully understand the importance of allowing students to learn and think for themselves. It is also possible that the teacher assistant is not confident in their own abilities and relies on giving answers as a way to feel more knowledgeable.

2. How does this behavior affect the students' learning?

Giving out answers can have a negative impact on students' learning. By being given the answers, students are not given the opportunity to think critically and develop problem-solving skills. This can lead to a lack of understanding and retention of the material. It also sets a precedent that it is okay to cheat or take shortcuts instead of putting in the effort to learn.

3. What can be done to address this issue?

If you are a student in this class, you can talk to the teacher about your concerns and the impact this behavior is having on your learning. If you are a teacher or administrator, it is important to address this behavior with the teacher assistant and provide guidance on appropriate teaching methods and ethical standards. It may also be necessary to limit the teacher assistant's role in the classroom to prevent further instances of giving out answers.

4. Is it ever okay for a teacher assistant to give out answers?

In most cases, no. The role of a teacher assistant is to assist the teacher in providing a positive learning experience for students. This includes promoting critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Giving out answers goes against the principles of education and can be seen as unethical behavior.

5. How can students avoid relying on a teacher assistant for answers?

Students can avoid relying on a teacher assistant for answers by actively participating in class discussions, asking questions, and seeking help from the teacher. It is also important for students to take responsibility for their own learning and put in the effort to understand the material on their own. Building a strong foundation of knowledge and critical thinking skills will make it less tempting to rely on someone else for answers.

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