My identity as a teacher is always evolving, as evidenced in my archive of Teaching Statements, which includes the first statement I wrote in 2003. Although the context for teaching what I then described as “the fine art of infinitely close textual analyses” has changed, this value nevertheless continues finds its place in my everyday teaching. And so the story goes with each remnant from each progressive teaching statement.
What always remains the same, and what students have always commented on since my first year of teaching, is my enthusiasm. I am enthusiastic about teaching, about the material I am teaching, about the students I am teaching. And I want the students to feel enthusiastic too. My own development as a writer and reader of literature came about as a result of this enthusiasm, or passion, for communicating the things I cared about most. Thus, the best way I know how to reach students is to create an environment from which enthusiasm and passion might spring.