Monday, 23 December 2013

Impatient and enthusiastic: Synonyms or antonyms?

I observe my students and relate to them in many ways. I see myself in them. Eager, enthusiastic, impatient, engaged, and frustrated.  I was not eager nor engaged in my learning at school but once I began university (as a mature age student), I had an insatiable desire to learn. I'm the same today. I've been described as enthusiastic and eager. Yet throughout the years a few have said that I'm impatient and appear frustrated. So are these synonyms or antonyms, positive or negative traits? Is there a fine line between the two or do they cross over? I decided to look at the definitions-

: feeling or showing strong excitement about something 
: filled with or marked by enthusiasm

:  to induce feelings of discouragement in
:  to make invalid or of no effect

:  marked by enthusiastic or impatient desire 

: not willing to wait for something or someone
: wanting or eager to do something without waiting


Every context is different; everyone's perspective is different. When one says you are impatient or frustrated, I previously viewed this negatively. I see being eager and enthusiastic as more positive attributes. Through much reflection, my beliefs have changed. I'm keen, eager and enthusiastic and while I may get frustrated and impatient at times, this is usually short lived. Frustration comes from being passionate or having an interest in the project or learning. My enthusiasm and eagerness are long term. So when I see students getting frustrated and/or impatient, I am reminded that these are short term responses in their learning journey. It indicates that they are engaged and they care about their learning and I need to acknowledge this. We should develop their resilience through modeling and discussion. Being enthusiastic, eager and engaged in their learning are the long term attributes we need to maintain, encourage or even ignite. So yes, I'm enthusiastic, eager, and at times frustrated and impatient but in my opinion they are all suitable characteristics of a passionate learner.

Developing a growth mindset,


  1. Personally I gain great inspiration from seeing, hearing or reading someone who expresses their passion. Being impatient means you have somewhere to go, something to achieve or changes to make. I wish there were more of it!

    1. Rhoni, you continue to encourage me to reflect on my practice. For this I thank you!