Teaching for Tenure and Beyond: Strategies for Maximizing Your Student Ratings

By Franklin H. Silverman | Go to book overview

9

Communicating Enthusiasm for a Course

For teaching, enthusiasm is everything. It’s the factor that the students whom we interviewed mentioned most often as profoundly affecting their ratings of teachers. While the presence of enthusiasm doesn’t necessarily cause students to consider an instructor a good teacher, the absence of enthusiasm almost always causes them to consider him or her a poor one.

You’re highly unlikely to be able to communicate enthusiasm for teaching a course if you don’t genuinely feel enthusiastic about teaching it. There are a number of reasons why an instructor may lack enthusiasm for teaching a particular course or for teaching in general. Some of them are considered in this chapter along with possible remedies.


FACTORS THAT CAN AFFECT ENTHUSIASM FOR TEACHING

A number of factors that can affect enthusiasm for teaching are discussed in this section. The order in which they’re discussed is not intended to specify the amount that each is likely to impact on it.


Commitment to Teaching

Commitment to teaching usually translates into enthusiasm for teaching. The degree of commitment to teaching can vary from it being considered a necessary evil if you want to be a scholar to it being the primary reason for wanting to be on a college faculty. It can also vary based on the type and level of teaching. A person may have a stronger commitment to teach-

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