My Comment:This post actually makes a lot of sense. I graduated from high school recently enough to remember my teachers seemed to be in this situation. They were more concerned with getting grades in and the standardized tests, rather than our subject matter. It suffered, like yours did. As a student it is nice to know that you still have enough of a passion about your subject to get back in touch with it.
My Reason: My assigned teacher Mary,had fallen into a rut. She was becoming less concerned with what she was supposed to be teaching. Instead she became bogged down with the responsibilities of being a teacher. To remedy this problem she got back in tune with her subject writing and literature by reading well written books (for work). This rekindled her passion for the language art.
My Comment: I'm sure most new teachers have this problem, knowing how much to share about themselves. This is actually one the things I'm about when it comes to teach. You want your students to respect you, but you don't want them to think you're scary. How much should they know before they feel like you're more of a friend than an educator? You emphasized how finding that balance has made you a better teacher and person in general. My question is how long did it take to find your balance?
My Reason: My best learning experience was in my high school biology class. My teacher incorporated anecdotes about her comical toddlers and her reluctant husband in lessons that would've otherwise been boring, to make them hilarious and effective. Her class was one of the highlights of my day, because my teacher was naturally funny and inviting. If she had to be stern and hide the funny deep inside her teachings would have been bland and I would most definitely have fallen asleep. Now obviously you wouldn't share your entire life or get to involved with your students and at first it might be a good to only share the minimum. Still I believe as a future teacher, that we have to swallow that initial fear and let our humanity shine through to our students.
P.S. I hate all sciences and maths.