Signs You May Be Overwhelming Your Students

There is a reason why home tuition is very popular in Singapore. One of the many reasons is that students get the 1-to-1 attention they may not get in classrooms. This would enable them to get more personalized teaching from their home tutor. However, as the student would also get more attention from their home tutor, there would also be instances wherein lessons can be overwhelming for them. It is a common mistake for new tutors that can also be something that goes unnoticeable for some time. Because they get all the attention from their home tutor, tutors can also be more hands-on and put more pressure on their students. Our students’ learning experiences are impacted when we overburden them, whether through pressure or information overload.

In addition to not learning anything new during the tuition sessions, they might also have a bad learning experience that will affect how they feel about learning in the future. This will turn into an even bigger problem. Remember that aside from providing your students with the means and support for them to reach their academic goals, a tutor should also be an effective motivator.

We mentioned that this can go unnoticeable but you can watch out for these signs to make sure you are not overwhelming your students and how to overcome situations such as.

1. Too many facts

One of the most frequent ways we overburden students is by imparting too much factual knowledge that calls for understanding and memorization. Facts are something that can’t be changed so sharing too much of this in a short period of time can cause our students a mental haywire. If you think of students as empty cups that are to be filled with water and you fill it out too much, it will overflow. This will just waste water. It will be the same for students. They will not be able to absorb all the knowledge that you impart to them. Our students experience mental tiredness as a result, which makes it difficult for them to remember what we teach.

Instead, try to go through the lesson’s most important ideas first. Constructing ideas in an inverted triangle can help you with this. You can put the most important ideas on top and then go down to the least. This way if your student can still take in more information, you can continue with it without missing the bigger and more important information first.

Additionally, you can also create notes or summarize key points so your students can refer to them after sessions. Better yet, you can help them create their own notes, this way they will be tailored in a way they best understand while not missing anything since you will also facilitate and help them. This allows them the room and time to process and assimilate the knowledge imparted, substantially reducing tension and allowing them to feel less overwhelmed.

2. Covering too many topics in a short while

We also overburden our students when we cover too many topics. Just like giving them too much information, if the lesson covers a lot of topics in a short period of time, it can also give them whiplash. There will also be instances that they may confuse one topic with the other. This is especially true when we practice or use practice sheets for multiple-choice questions. Your student could become confused if you keep switching topics, especially if they are unrelated.

This is why the flow of lessons is important. If there is a smooth transition from one lesson to another, students can relate more to what they have previously learned in the next one. Here’s what you can do: give your students all the questions from the same topic in a single class, and then after they’re finished, conduct a recap. In this manner, you won’t have to cover as many subjects, and your learner will also receive a quick review. However, if you want them to practice answering multiple-choice questions in preparation for an exam, make sure they review their subject matter first. Following your marking of the paper, go through the incorrect answers topic by topic.

Another way to help with this would be to pick topics that go well with each or relate to one another so that transition can be easier and done seamlessly. And then, have the student share their thoughts about the topic, what they have learned or any questions they may have, before moving on to the next one.

3. Lacking recaps

As mentioned, recaps are very important when it comes to teaching. There will be instances that lessons are intertwined with another lesson or are related to the previous one. Sometimes, lessons can be entirely different but may use skills learned from previous lessons. However, it will not be a guarantee that your student will automatically remember everything they have been taught. If we get right into the lesson, our students may forget or may not be as comfortable with the material, leaving them confused.

Before your lesson, give them a summary to aid in their memory. Just quickly review the main ideas from the last lesson. As mentioned before, to help with students’ communication skills, you can have them do the recap of the lesson as well. This will be best done if the lesson was short or right after the lesson. You can also do your own recap and then have your student add in their thoughts or what they have remembered. Additionally, it’s a great chance to go over revisions with them and address any questions they might have.

4. Lacking breaks between lessons

Breaks are crucial during lessons because they provide your student a chance to take a short break and unwind. Additionally, it allows them time to process what was just taught, which helps them remember it better. Students may not learn as effectively and efficiently if we don’t give them enough breaks during the session. Due to their brains working nonstop to digest information, it also causes them to be less attentive and reduces learning productivity. Thus, don’t forget to add in student breaks to your tuition sessions. A break every 20 or 30 minutes will be good enough for students to stretch, walk around, or maybe grab a snack. So, when they do get back to the session, they will feel more energized and focused.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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