What's a word to describe a student who goes out of his own way to help others succeed? I'm trying to describe someone who often helps others with their work before doing his own and patiently explains concepts to someone who is confused during a lecture, just to give some examples.

I'm not looking for general words like team player, helpful, or kind; I'm trying to find more specific terms like didactic or cooperative. But I need a word that has much more of a positive connotation than cooperative.

  • Perhaps, ideal? Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 6:57
  • I think that gets the connotation of what I'm trying to talk about but not the denotation. Ideal seems too broad to describe this specific case I'm looking for.
    – K Wu
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 8:42

2 Answers 2


Though not teaching-specific perhaps Altruistic

unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others (opposed to egoistic ). http://www.dictionary.com/browse/altruistic

  • 1
    Altruistic would certainly cover the OP's student-on-student situation, but it is not "teaching-specific", as you rightly point out. Therefore would not "study partner" be more specific? Two words, I know, but this has become a feature of today's classrooms. For example: "I have an altruistic study partner who goes out of his way to mentor me in class and help me with my assignments". Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 7:22
  • I think my sample sentence above would be better without the word "altruistic". I should have deleted it within time allowed. Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 9:36

I think you mean:

Magnanimous or Unstinting

Magnanimous means: generous or forgiving, especially towards a rival or less powerful person. [Source]


Unstinting means: given or giving without restraint; unsparing. [Source]

  • 1
    I do think "unstinting" works better than "magnanimous" in the context of a classroom study buddy. Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 7:49

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