Teachers who try to teach too much

So, on Thursday evening, I had my first CALL class this year, and as usual, I repeated the same mistake I’d been making again and again: I tried to cover too much in one session.

I’m fully aware of my own tendency of trying to cover too much in a session. In my teaching career, seldom do I finish what I have planned for a class just in time. And never have I finished a class early because I had covered everything I had prepared. Instead, most of the time, I over-plan, and often finish a class in a rush.

Although pedagogy experts will say that this is not a serious problem, and that it’s better to over-plan than under-, I still wonder why I’ve been doing the same thing for years. In fact, I’m aware that a ‘good’ lesson is one that has impact rather than being packed, and certainly not one that is rich in content but rushed.

Right now, the explanation that I can think of is that I’m too eager to impart everything that I know to my students. I want them to know everything that I know, or to know everything there is to know. Like although I already have a blueprint for next Thursday’s class, other things still keep popping into my mind, and I’m constantly saying to myself: Well, they should also know about this website! Oh this tool is useful for teachers; they should learn to use it. And then this online group is very productive; I must get them to join it. ……. And my lesson plan keeps expanding.

The consequence? Well, the likely consequence is that I will over-plan and try to cover too much again next Thursday evening.

On a rational level, I accept that there is no way that they can learn ‘everything’ in a 36-hour course. But on an emotional level, I can’t stand the thought of ‘holding back’ things which I think they ‘should know’.

Are other teachers tossed by a similar dilemma?


4 thoughts on “Teachers who try to teach too much

  1. Lee Pui

    Very much the same here…in my introduction to sociology course.
    If I don’t hold things back, the poor students will have to master some 150 key concepts …

  2. Bernice

    Very much the same here too..I always repeat my mistake on “ending my class in a rush”. I always talk too much at the beginning as I want my students to know everything that I want them to know as soon as possible..Although I always remind myself of changing this habit..I still cant really make it…but I really like what the experts say – it’s better to over-plan than under- ^^ it somehow comforts me..

    I have one more bad teaching habit,which is, I always keep talking during students’ discussion time.. I’m a kind of “talk too much” teacher..haha

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