Being an Enthusiastic Teacher

Being an enthusiastic teacher

Importance of Theme “Being an enthusiastic teacher”

Through “being an enthusiastic teacher” students are more engaged, more willing to contribute in class discussions and more willing to discuss any problems or concerns with a module. The theme also has an impact on students’ overall performance in a module or a course. As a result of staff enthusiasm students are more committed to their studies and make the most of their time at university.

Dr Phil Race, Addressing Student Satisfaction – adopted from material published in Making Teaching Work by Phil Race and Ruth Pickford, London: Sage, 2007).

How to be enthusiastic about what I teach ?

  • Communicate your enthusiasm using tone of voice, body language, and eye-contact with students. Sentiments such as “the thing that really fascinates me about this is…” can help students to realise that the subject can indeed be really interesting, and that the person teaching it is already enthused about it.
  • Resist the temptation to let it show when you’re not enthused about a particular subject area.
  • It’s OK to explain to students that something is actually quite difficult, but not so good if students pick up the message that it’s not important. If something isn’t important for your students to learn, it is probably better to miss it out altogether, or at least not spend too much of your valuable face-to-face time on it.

In this clip winners of Swansea University’s Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award share what they feel makes an enthusiastic teacher and how important it is to the overall student experience.


The theme is also significant in relation to the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Academy Fellowship.

National Student Survey

The theme has been taken from the National Student Survey question “staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching” under the category Teaching on my Course.

In the recent 2014 NSS results 86% of students at Swansea University agreed that “staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching”.

Higher Education Academy

The theme is also important in regards to the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) as “being an enthusiastic teacher” contributes to Areas of Activity A4 develop effective learning environments and approaches to student support and guidance.

For more information on the UKPSF follow the link

What does research say?

Inspiring teachers are those who have a desire to acquire the knowledge and expertise that will enable them to provide a rich and stimulating learning environment. The enthusiastic teacher is constantly adapting and developing to accommodate further understanding of the pedagogies involved in their students learning. But is there any evidence that being enthusiastic actually has any bearing on student attainment? Here are a few papers that may inspire you, if you have any suggestions please send it to the SALT Team either below or email

Read on:

Teacher enthusiasm: Dimensionality and context specificity
Enthusiasm and the effective modern academic 
Students’ and mathematics teachers’ perceptions of teacher enthusiasm and instruction 
Teacher enthusiasm: a potential cure of academic cheating 
What Makes Lectures ‘Unmissable’? Insights into Teaching Excellence and Active Learning 


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