Another ridiculous article has appeared in Chronicle of Higher Education. Its author promotes the “fake it till you make it” mentality. This is a slogan of people in telemarketing companies, and the hapless academic suggests we apply it in academia:
And all is not lost if you have crossed over the line to disliking teaching. It is still perfectly possible to do a good job, even an excellent job. In fact, it probably happens on your campus every semester. The trick is as simple as it is human: Hide your dislike. Effective teaching is, after all, a set of behaviors. What students need from us are clear presentations, careful selections of course material, engaging discussions—in short, the right behaviors. One of those is hiding your dislike. Students don’t learn by peering into your mind to see if you are enjoying teaching. Why would it matter to them if you feign it?
No, it doesn’t matter to the students. It matters to you, doofus. You are destroying your own mental and physical health by forcing yourself to do something you don’t like doing. What is this, a Masochist’s Manifesto?
If you keep doing something that doesn’t make you happy, you have a good chance of pleasing others. But is the cost to yourself ever worth doing a good job, being effective, and giving people what they need? We only have one life here. Why waste it on self-torture?
Here is an intelligent response from a blogger whose writing would be a much more valuable asset to an academic publication.