A great article/blog post by David Lynn, Editor of the Kenyon Review over on the KR Blog about the state of literature, writing literature and teaching it.
Unabashed passion. Can we all teach with it? Can we bring it to our work without cynicism and disdain. Is the "I'm too cool for school" attitude that many students bring with them to the classroom (even in college) tainting the instructors? I've seen it happen.
Judging from a very small pool of first year college instructors, the key to their success appears to be how much passion they let the students see. Most of them have the passion or they wouldn't be spending their time in grad school, but the ones who hid it, or cloaked it with a too-cool, laid back, I-know-you're-only-here-because-it's-required-so-I-won't-get-too-excited demeanor struggled the most in their classrooms.