Thanks for your question. I enjoy the interaction – asking questions, getting students to think, helping them move from what they do know to new things that they don’t know – I just get a buzz out of it. I also enjoy thinking about the subjects I am teaching – trying to understand what is difficult about this subject, what’s a good starting point for introducing it, what students will find interesting, how to make it connect with other things they know and with their lives more generally.
My particular focus is on making students want to know this stuff. Often what I teach is difficult and sometimes a bit dull(!), so I work hard to make them want to learn it. And their feedback on my teaching seems to show that I’m quite successful that this. So, my definition of good teaching is:
“Effective teaching is inclining people to learn willingly what they would otherwise be disinclined to learn.”
Teaching easy interesting stuff is easy. Teaching difficult dull stuff is more of a challenge – so I work hard to make it not dull and not too difficult.