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December 09, 2005

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About 2/3rds of the way through this semester my enthusiasm died (due to overwork) and I noticed my students seemed more mellow, less interested as well (though I can't decide if they really were that way, or I was projecting that).

I wonder - do most students still learn well with an unenthusiastic prof? It seems enthusiasm is the #1 thing students are looking for....

pedagogy beyond enthusiasm, wow. this week I was just thinking that I wasn't very enthused with the final unit in the lit course and that used to be my high point. we got through it, of course, but you're right. it was a combination of ready strategies, a few inspirations (too few) and a detailed syllabus.

I'm not sure exactly how to revive it other than new texts and enough time to dwell on them.

Enthusiasm is a 2-way street, too. I really realized this last year when I was teaching a required course, about which I was quite enthusiastic (b/c it was my research area), but which the students weren't. And I remember standing in class one day looking at them and feeling all the energy in the class draining away. So I do think a prof's enthusiasm makes a difference - but it's not the only thing going on.

This waning of enthusiasm has been creeping up on me for several semesters, to the point of making me consider a career change. The most difficult thing about it for me has been the guilt I feel about the whole thing.

Thanks for the post. It's good to know I'm not alone.

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Who is this What Now?

  • I'm an English teacher at Fabulous Girls' School (FGS). I'm a convert to Judaism. I am partner to D. We live in an adorable, messy little house in Adventure City. Two cats -- the Muse and the Contemplative -- live with us and keep life at home plenty adventurous.

    Email me at whatnowblogger at yahoo dot com.

Days until sabbatical begins!


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