These observations are based on my experience of teaching a graduate theory course last fall and a sort of response to a couple of unjust comments made in my evaluations. I hope that this brief note helps clarify student expectations of the future theory courses that I may teach.
First of all, as you will gather in my classes, I am fairly open to your suggestions, so if you feel that a few changes in my method could enhance your learning, it is better to talk about it to me in person rather than waiting the whole semester to leave me an anonymous note.
No one can teach you theory in its entirety; all that you can be given in a one-semester course is an introduction to the major debates and major schools of literary theory. You will have to spend a lifetime of reading and learning to stay abreast of the latest developments in theory, and even then, as I have learned, you will still feel that you do not know enough. There is nothing wrong with such a feeling, as theory is an ever-growing field of study.
Even though I love the discussion format, a basic theory survey has to rely heavily on lecture format, as most of the students do not have the necessary background in theory for the course to be run as a simple discussion format course. I personally do not like to lecture, but employ the method just to make sure that I am giving my students the best possible explanation of the concepts under discussion.
I also do not believe in the coverage model; I would rather teach a few things in depth instead of covering a lot of things in less detail. So, if we end up covering less than what is mentioned on the syllabus, the reason probably is that we gave sufficient time to the things covered.
When I read your papers and "rattle off theorists" (that was the unfortunate term used by one student), I am doing my job: I have read your paper and am trying to tell you who you need to read, cite, and discuss in order to make your paper better. Giving you additional information is my job. Pointing out flaws in your argument is also my job. So, if you would like me to respond to your drafts, expect a lot of suggestions and chances are when you enter the academic publishing world, this experience will be useful to you.
So, in a nutshell, I always modify my practices to suit my students' needs but the best and the more honorable way of getting my attention is by talking to me.