One of the things I get asked frequently is what I am looking for from students. Since we are at the beginning of another school year, I thought I would share a few of the things I often say in response.Read the entire post. Along similar lines, here is part of Fr. James Schall's essay, "What a Student Owes His Teacher":
1. Effort. I would gladly exchange 10 IQ points for sincere effort, any day of the week. Give me a student who has read the material, genuinely engaged it, and is struggling to understand it, and I will give that student everything I have as a teacher. By contrast, give me a brilliant student who gives a half-hearted effort, and it is hard not to be irritated, frustrated, and short with him.
2. Charity. This is much tougher than it seems, because being a good student requires charity on multiple fronts: toward other students, toward the professor, and, just as important, toward the readings. Take them by turns.
Students have obligations to teachers. I know this sounds like strange doctrine, but let it stand. No doubt someone will object that teachers also have an even greater obligation to students. Teachers who do not consider this same “interior truth” of which Augustine spoke, woe to them. But the former doctrine, if less popular, especially among students, is probably still more important. For students are in some sense spiritual beings and have, therefore, precisely “obligations”. The order of soul ought to correspond to the order of reality, the reality in which soul itself came to be in the first place.Read it all. And then check out Fr. Schall's classic book, Another Sort of Learning (Ignatius Press, 1988).
For his part, the teacher probably knows his basic obligation, even if he does not practice it. The student may not yet know. The teacher-student relationship is, in fact, primarily a spiritual relationship — both, teacher and student, participate in what is not properly theirs. Something can be known in the spiritual order without becoming less. This is what teaching and learning are about.
Some writers, indeed, like Mortimer Adler, will say that there are no teachers, only different degrees of learners.  There is considerable truth here, if the statement is understood properly, I do not think I have ever assigned anything to students that I did not want to learn myself — even if I already knew it. Something worth learning is worth learning again. Indeed, most things you cannot learn at all if you do not attempt to learn them again. A teacher is someone distinguished only by the fact that he has more time than most to learn again, someone who has hopefully tried to learn again more often. Society desperately needs enclaves like monasteries and universities wherein men and women have such leisure. But we should never forget that the primary place of leisure and of the knowledge of the higher order of things begins and ends almost always in our homes.