I recently finished my third semester of teaching calculus to freshman college students. This means I was drawing the same pictures, solving the same example problems, and discussing the same techniques as I had in two previous semesters. With multiple sections per semester, review sessions, and office hours, it is possible that in one semester alone, I'll teach the same idea/say the same sentence/do the same problem 5-10 different times.
Due to all of this repetition, this last semester I felt myself growing tired of calculus. I know that for my students, the material is new and (hopefully) interesting and exciting, but it was none of these for me, and I could feel it affect my teaching. I would battle to maintain enthusiasm and joy for the material as I taught my students, but I often lost this battle, as is demonstrated by the following comment I received for instructor evaluations:
"Jared was a great TA who could possibly improve on enthusiasm"
I completely agree with this student, and since I hope to be able to teach mathematics for many more years than just 3 semesters, this is a problem I should begin to address now.
For teachers of mathematics, how do you maintain enthusiasm and joy in teaching the same material year after year?