Needs Focused Teaching

Classroom Management Strategies To Get Students Back On Task


My teacher used to chuck a board rubber at me when he caught me talking or messing around in the classroom. You’d get in serious trouble if you did that now so teachers have to have other (better) classroom management strategies to deal with students who are off task.

This video will give you SIX different classroom management strategies to deal with students when they are just starting to cause problems...

Did you find that classroom management video useful? If so please leave a comment below (Tell us what you want to see in future too).

Vanessa says 30th December 2013

As a trainee teacher, this was very helpful as I have students who don’t try if they think they won’t be good at something; so I will definitely use some of your steps with them.

SARAH_ANWAR_06 says 24th February 2013


victoria says 25th November 2012

Very good advice. I will forward this video to my colleagues.

Mari-Ann says 9th October 2012

Sometimes I forget to bring the conversation back to be about the task, rather than the behaviour of avoiding the task. The target idea is also very helpful. Thanks!

Dr. Mac says 8th October 2012

Nice overview of “What to do before you do anything”, Rob. Spot on about prevention trumping reaction…Always best to avoid consequences if possible. Thanks too for jogging my memory about offering support. It saves face while re-engaging the youngster. This vid will now become part of my classroom management course’s mandatory viewing.
Dr. Mac (

Chris says 1st October 2012

Simple, easy and definitely worth sharing.

Gulzhan Tupenova says 28th June 2012

Your video is worth seeing. The tips are simple, easy to use and very effective at the same time. Thank you for your useful recommedations.

Heidi Weh says 2nd June 2012

Excellent video! It is short and effective and helps a lot. It reminds me of many things that I have heard already and still it is good to here those things again and again … Thank you so much for this free video! It is highly recommendable!

Meggan Schnarr-Rice says 6th May 2012

I find the video tips extremely helpful. I am an EA in a grade 3 classroom with more than half the class exhibiting obvious signs of ADHD tendencies. I really wish the teaching staff at my school would take the time and watch some of Mr. Plevins videos. At least when I watch them it gives me stratgies to try out. So far most have been successful. Thank-you for all your tips.

olabisi says 24th March 2012

i find the video very useful but then i would like to see more on the smaller children say ages 4-10. The video seems to concentrate more on the older children. Anyway good job. keep it up.

Juan Rodriguez says 24th March 2012

Your video helps me a lot, and it gave me the strength to continue teaching English.


Annette says 9th January 2012

Students are reasonable and if you are in the habit of giving the fair chances this approach outlines, then they will accept that different people need different goals.

Judy says 15th December 2011

Hi The advice is awesome! They make so much sense. I teach 3rd grade in an all boys school so that makes 20 roudy boys. It can get really tough at times. Thanks for the videos, they’re really great!:)

Janet says 29th November 2011

I teach pre k-3, 3 year olds in a christian school. What kind of behavior management would you suggest for 3 year olds some have ADHD, only child syndrome, mommy baby syndrome and the rest are very smart and eager to learn but with these other disruptive children it is hard to get a lesson in yes they are doing actuall school work. What do you suggest? Help

    Bernadette Marcel-Hubert says 16th December 2011

    .Will it be possible to involve the kids who are distractive to the class in giving some role, distribution of things, in charge of keeping the class quiet, taking notes etc…. so they feel include and important in order to be able to teach your class ? if you alienate the trouble makers they will feel that they are not include and therefore they will react against you. (only a suggestion Janet, you probably have thought of it, I am a French teacher)

Marycathrin says 16th November 2011

It does help, thank you so much : the advice is so clear and makes such good sense ….. and the way you teach is inspiring too. It’s good to have videos! Thanks a million and please, keep up the good work!

cazz says 15th November 2011

Some of these tips I have heard before but it’s always good to be reminded of them.

Jamal Turkman says 14th November 2011

Thanks so much, Rob for those brilliant ideas.
In fact, I am a supervisor of English language and a teacher trainer in Palestine.I always organize training courses for those teachers especially novice ones. I got to know your videos recently. For sure I gonna use them and the good ideas in my training courses. Hope to welcome you one day in Palestine. I really appreciate your work since classroom management is a big issue for all teachers.

Sonia says 14th November 2011

Fantastic presentation. Thank you for the effective hints, they work very well with students.

Kathryn says 13th November 2011

WOW!! Great strategies, I need to remind myself of these every so often. Thank you for your insight.

Donna Nilsson says 13th November 2011

Thank you for your positive attitude toward classroom behavior management. You have reminded me to not draw attention to the negative behavior. I need to view this daily!

Vicky Davis says 11th November 2011

Thanks for another super video! Your ideas are fantastic and I look forward to more tips re: challenging behaviours.

Betty Hallgren says 11th November 2011

Loved this: a cogent review and some new ideas, too. Appreciated the brevity and the overall demeanor of the presenter, too.

Thanks. Have never ordered your stuff because teachers in Texas are broke. Thanks,

Madeleine says 11th November 2011

Thank you, I will try some of those strategies next week.

chelle says 11th November 2011

Thanks, Rob. Not only do you provide practical reminders of ‘good teaching practice’ you also give examples of how it can be done. Thanks so much. Certainly your tips have made my position as Relief Teacher much easier.

Susan says 11th November 2011

The idea for the parenting videos/blogs sounds really great. Although my son is now an adult, I still like to read these types of posts – you never know when a parent might ask for some help!

Susan says 11th November 2011

The idea for the parenting videos/blogs sounds really great. Although my son is now an adult, I still like to read these types of posts – you never know when a parent might ask for some help!

Amy says 11th November 2011

Thank you for giving so many real-life examples and focusing on preventative ideas. Excellent!

Yemisi says 11th November 2011

Thanks so much, This is a useful tools for teachers. I love it.

Linda says 11th November 2011

Thank you so much for the tips. I am finishing my student teaching with Kindergartners. I have already applied your suggestions to these young students, and it works great!!

Rob Plevin says 10th November 2011

Sure Dedeng – we have just dne a webinar with Julia Thompson on motivating students. It is available here:

dedeng says 9th November 2011

Thanks for all,Sir. I have done some of the tips and they work well enough. But would you please help how to motivate the students who has low motivation in learning English?

Awhitaker611 says 9th November 2011

These are tips I’ve heard before but it helps to have a “refresher” of them! 🙂 Great job! Keep it up! 🙂

Jane Magee says 8th November 2011

Excellent tips which need to be refreshed after six week of teaching….

Thanks Rob

Rob Plevin says 8th November 2011

You can get access to all our videos through Confident Classroom Management – the link is under the video

ibtissam says 8th November 2011

Great .. helpful thank you how can i get the whole video ?

Rob Plevin says 8th November 2011

Thanks for asking Jaah. For those who are demotivated before setting foot in your room I have done a great video on that specific topic in the members’ area of Confident Classroom Management. I’ll see if we can release that for free at some stage although it’s not really fair on those who have paid. 16+ is definitley something I will cover, along with tips for substitute teachers. Cheers for giving me something to work on…

Jaah says 8th November 2011

Good simple tips and reminders. Can you help with those students who are off-task/de-motivated before they get into the classroom? And a focus on 16+ please

Rob Plevin says 8th November 2011

How do I do it? ha – that’s simple… because I failed for many painful years – I had to find out what worked and I made it my mission to do so. Teaching is soooooo much more enjoyable when you have the kids on your side and it IS DOABLE. Anyone can do this. Thanks for the feedback Salmah and good luck with the primary teaching. 🙂

Salmah says 8th November 2011

Hi Rob,
I always felt that I have failed my students when they start to go off task. Have I not prepared enough interesting activity? Am I so boring that they just refuse to listen? Often times when something goes wrong in class I blame myself, and some administrators also blame the teachers if students misbehave. To be creative 100% of the time so students remain engaged is a lot of work but you seem to have so many fantastic ideas. How do you do it?

Thanks for the great tips. I will be teaching primary school pupils next year (after teaching secondary pupils for 20++ years) and I am sure they are more responsive to these ideas than secondary students.


Rob Plevin says 8th November 2011

It’s a pleasure Roszie

Roszie Ritchie says 8th November 2011

Fantastic!!! I loved everyone of them. Thank you very much for sharing the ideas, Rob!

Rob Plevin says 8th November 2011

Nice Jonni – thanks for those. Just a word of warning on any kind of ‘touch’ – be it hands on shoulders or even touching their hand – some challenging students react VERY badly to being touched so make sure you KNOW the student well. Also, I advise imagining a reporter from the national daily tabloid being in the room with you at all times (with a camera) – always make sure that any from of physical contact cannot possibly be misinterpreted. If it can be you can bet your life the photograph will be in the papers next day and your career will take an uncomfortable dive.

That’s not to say I am against a hand on the shoulder, a high five or a handshake – far from it – I believe a lot of children badly need appropriate physical contact with adults (from a 6 year old who has just fallen over in the yard needing a ‘hug’ to a teenager who needs a hand on the shoulder whe he’s feeling down). Just be very aware of how things can look or be misconstrued.

Jonni says 8th November 2011

Thanks for sharing, Mr Plevin.

Few more tips from Iceland that have worked for me the last decade

Sometimes when I use the “Non Verbal Signal”
a simple smile makes the day for the kid,
and of course the “thumb up”

and when I “Get close”
I sometimes put my hand on one shoulder of the student –
to “wake them up” and then I start talking with them

or I put the index finger on the back of their hand
then I know he or she is listening to me

Rob Plevin says 8th November 2011

Go for it Bob!! 🙂

Bob says 8th November 2011

Thanks Rob, some timely reminders again just as I start with a new batch of teens!

Rob Plevin says 8th November 2011

Wow, thanks Diana. That puts the pressure on – I need to plan some more now!! 🙂

Diana Fernandez says 8th November 2011

I have been teaching for 32 years and I have never found such helpful advices as yours. They are very wise and useful. Thank you for sharing and making teaching so much easier. You are a real blessing for so many teachers. The videos are such a great idea.

Janet Douglas says 8th November 2011

So thankful to have your support and practical suggestions. A calm, controlled response is so much more effective that ranting and disrupting the entire class. So realistic and doable. Thank you for making so much of your information available for those of us who are surviving on a tight budget.

    Rob Plevin says 8th November 2011

    Thanks Janet. I’m glad we have opted for this format too – t’s nice to be able to help as many people as possible – it generates such a lot of positive feedback – which in turn helps keep us going! 🙂

Tracy says 7th November 2011

Hi Rob

Absolutely love your info and always share it with my student teachers who are so appreciative as well.


    Rob Plevin says 8th November 2011

    Hi Tracy! Thank you, thank you. The more people who spread the word the better! (For teachers, kids and my mortgage payment) 🙂

Paul Dacombe-Bird says 7th November 2011

Very good comments, Rob. I particularly like the way that you are clear and to the point with your explanations, reminding me that we just need to remember some simple rules for respectful relationships.


    Rob Plevin says 8th November 2011

    Cheers Paul. Yes, relationships are the key to all this. 🙂

Yoanna Boykovska says 7th November 2011

I recognized myself in one of the situations 🙁 and I never thought of the impact it can have on pupils.
Well, my aim is to avoid doing this tomorrow. (and not only tomorrow!)
Thanks for sharing your ideas…..

    Rob Plevin says 8th November 2011

    My pleasure Yoanna. Good luck.

Noel says 7th November 2011

I am old school i.e. come from era of “teachers”. Now they talk about educators, man
you and your ideas is what we need as educators. Too many things have not changed
but your message will still reach them unchanged teachers; my wish is sooner than later.
PS: Have put ur name up as guest speaker at “Future Ed” conference 2012 in South Africa.
Hope they (organisers) approach you.

    Rob Plevin says 8th November 2011

    That’s very kind of you Noel – thank you. I’m not sure if I will be able to speak ‘live’ by then (I had some health issues last year which meant I have had to give up INSET and live training for now but I may be back in to the swing of things by then – depending on when it is). Never been to South Africa so it certainly appeals! Thanks again.

      Rina King says 11th November 2011

      Don’t know how many of us in South Africa follow you, but I find your videos extremely helpful. I also try and share them with other teachers in my school too. They are really great – thanks very much!!

        Rina King says 11th November 2011

        I also meant to say that it would be wonderful if you could come to South Africa!

Tara says 7th November 2011

I do appreciate these useful tips.
Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom.

    Rob Plevin says 8th November 2011

    Thanks Tara

Rob Plevin says 7th November 2011

Thank you Adelaide – for being so appreciative. 🙂

Adelaide Sá says 7th November 2011

Always very helful pieces of advice and suggestions. Some of them are just like Columbus’ egg. Such easy solutions, but we sometimes forget to even consider them. Thank you for your outstanding help and for making us reconsider our typical way of dealing with students’ disruptive behaviour.

Rob Plevin says 7th November 2011

That’s BRILLIANT news Dee, glad to hear it. 🙂

Dee Emeigh says 7th November 2011

Good reminders! Love the one about targets! I’ve been using many of your techniques and my, what good students I am starting to get 🙂

Rob Plevin says 7th November 2011

Cheers Patty. That one has been added to the members’ area of Confident Classroom Management

Patty Smathers says 7th November 2011

Your videos are very informative and useful! Thanks for sharing! I am a Substitute Teacher and need all the HELP I can get in this game of “survival” each day.

I also liked your previous video about warnings and consequences.

Rob Plevin says 7th November 2011

Cheers guys. Tom we must be both tuned in to the Collective Consciousness. Please send a pic of your tinfoil hat! 🙂

Tom McIntyre says 7th November 2011

More stellar tips, Rob. Tremendously helpful to my teachers (those presently practicing AND those in training). Oddly, I happen to be working on a video podcast now that incorporates much of what you speak. Wondering if you’ve been doing some cross-Atlantic mind reading. I’ll have to wear an aluminum foil helmet to keep my ideas secret. Ha! Keep up the great work!

Katalin-Kinga Borsos says 7th November 2011

All your videos are fantastic! Thank you very much for sharing your methods!

Said Assaf says 7th November 2011

It is very helpful, how about incentives?

Rob Plevin says 7th November 2011

Always a pleasure. 🙂

Vina Fares says 7th November 2011

Very good helpful tips
Thank you

    rose says 11th November 2011

    Thank you for the ideas .They are worth trying. They are fulvery use

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