Leo Strauss on Teaching

I’m reading George Grant in Conversation right now, which is a transcription of a series of interviews with the Canadian philosopher George Grant. Grant considered Leo Strauss to be one of his greatest influences, and said the following about him:

Leo Strauss once said, and I think it is the best thing ever said about teaching, “Never go into a class without thinking that there is somebody in the classroom who has a greater intelligence and a nobler heart than yourself.” That remark is so good that it just reduced me. I mean if you don’t like the young, for God’s sakes don’t be paid a lot of money to teach them! …if one is teaching the young, in all their variety and difference, one must love them or else, what the hell, why do it? That’s obvious but often forgotten; it’s been forgotten in the mass multiversities. (105-106)

For anyone teaching or aspiring to it, this is an indispensable attitude towards students.

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