When I was an undergrad student, I once had a Latin professor hand me the chalk and ask me to explain participles to the class. I was excused from class attendance (this was before online classes) and allowed to show up for exams. I was allowed to propose my own courses and work independently with the department chairman. I was teaching full-time before I had my bachelor’s degree.
When I was a grad student, I decided to leave grad school because I was paying to lead class discussions. That was a bad decision, but made sense at the time.
I took 20+ years off from formal schooling to teach and decided to return to grad studies, this time at Harvard, hoping I’d be challenged and could be the learner for a change.
In my Philosophy of Religion class (which is great, by the way) my professor is referring student questions to me.
This is how, I think, one is certain that he’s called to be a teacher. He’s always asked to teach.
The difference between me and other students is that I would never ask a professor a question like this. I would seek the answer through my own studies. That’s what teachers do and it’s why their answers are different. They don’t repeat what professors tell them, but get to the sources themselves and speak from them.
By the way, contrary to what all the conservative excuse-makers say, a Catholic classicist is warmly welcomed at Harvard University. If students would focus on classical Catholic studies, they’d actually have opportunities to lead their peers in the world’s finest institutions. Unfortunately, ignorant boogey-man conspiracy theories have them worried about Math and Science for fear of “not getting a job”. Oh well.