Enthusiasm As A Critical Teaching Skill
Everyone, at some point in life, met an enthusiastic teacher who brightened up a dull curriculum. However way we might have cherished the experience, we are all left with no way to describe exactly what made the class exciting, and how that contributed to our learning process. The magic word is enthusiasm.
Being an enthusiastic teacher makes students more engaged in the subject matter and more willing to contribute in class discussions. Enthusiasm is one of the biggest tools of trade of a good teacher. A teacher who shows enthusiasm towards the course materials creates a powerful learning experience that produces engaged, interested and energetic students who are curious about learning the subject matter.
Enthusiasm of a teacher does not only have in the tone of voice but can be detected in nonverbal expressions such as demonstrative gesturing, dramatic movements, and emotional facial expressions during the lecture. Even a boring subject becomes something to look forward to, due to the enthusiasm of the teacher. Having something to look forward to in learning increases the student’s levels of intrinsic motivation to learn and motivation to task engagement.
As a teacher it is very important to avoid showing that you’re not enthused about a particular subject area, lest you pass the boredom to the students. There are learning areas that are actually quite difficult for the teacher to teach or for the students to grasp. It is important for the teacher not to drop the enthusiam in such areas. While a bored teacher can create hell out of even a potentially enjoyable subject, an enthusiastic teacher creates a classroom atmosphere of energy and enthusiasm. This positive classroom environment increases students’ interest and excitement in learning the subject matter. Even a tough subject becomes something every student looks forward to master. Students become more self-determined in their own learning process.
Another important thing to realise is that enthusiasm is contagious and can lead to students catching onto the same enthusiasm and energy as that of the teacher. For example, a teacher who explains a concept using sentiments such as, "the thing that really fascinates me about this concept is…", is more likely make students more fascinated about that concept too. Fascination about a concept is what make a student realise how the concept, no matter how tough, can indeed be really interesting.