Needs Focused Teaching

Can you spot me? (and what has this to do with behaviour management?)


Hi Everyone.

I won’t let the secret out just yet – if you think you know which of the scary looking schoolboys is me just leave a comment below.

The reason I’ve put this photo here is to alert you to something of real importance  that could help you with behaviour management in your lessons – the power of teamwork.

You see, in that picture there are nine sixteen year old boys who played together to win the prestigious Moorclose Sevens rugby competition way back in 1984. The thing is, individually, we weren’t particularly talented (I could barely catch a rugby ball to be honest – my handling was terrible) but as a team we were unbeatable that year. In fact, in the Cumbria County rugby team that year twelve players from the squad of fifteen were from our school! As a team, we were very, very good.

We each had a part to play, each had a positive contribution to make. We got on well, we enjoyed playing/working together, we helped each other and we achieved together.

The great thing is that the benefits we enjoyed as a rugby team can also be enjoyed by your students in normal lessons simply by including more cooperative learning activities in your lessons.

The benefits of cooperative group work for both you and your students are many…

1. Positive peer relationships are developed. As a result of pupils helping each other to reach a common goal, they build strong bonds. As the sense community grows in a class (through regular group work sessions) there are fewer arguments and fewer fall-outs between students.

2. Lower achieving pupils gain confidence and motivation. By working collaboratively with higher achieving students, low achieving students are able to take part in activities without feeling they lack necessary skills and understanding. By being actively involved in the lesson activities (instead of being bored or frustrated) they are less prone to disrupt. The high ability students also benefit through the process of guiding and supporting their fellow group members – their understanding of the material is reinforced.

3. The teacher saves time. Once students get used to the cooperative learning framework they effectively teach themselves. The teacher is free from constant requests for attention and can give quality support when it is required rather than when it is demanded.

4. Social skills are naturally developed. Skills such as self-expression, decision-making, responsibility, accountability, sharing, listening, conflict management are naturally practiced and developed during group work sessions. This has a knock-on effect of reducing the occurrence of behaviour problems brought about due to a lack of these skills.

OK, back to the photograph. If you can tell which person is me, put a comment in the box below. And if you would like more information on using groupwork in lessons be sure to download the e-guide below. It has LOTS of groupwork activities to try. And it’s completely FREE.

Get you free lesson activities e-guide here:

Janet says 17th November 2011

HAHA – great game, great point, and great picture! Typical, practical teacher – sleeves rolled up, watch on, ready to go! Great stuff – thanks for posting!

Dora says 8th November 2011

I have a hunch that you are from the border of the photo on the right side you are the second lad. Something about the smile and eyes. My guess. 🙂

Rob Plevin says 16th June 2011

Thanks jenn – more to come on the new site. 🙂

Rob Plevin says 13th June 2011

hahaha Nick – nice one!

Ok, I’ll come clean. I am….

The goofy looking one with his sleeves rolled up, wearing the watch. The guy on my right is now 6 feet 3 inches tall!!! And we all look much, much older… 🙂

    Jenn Hillier says 15th June 2011

    Yup. I am just that good obviously. LOL. I enjoy these guessing games of yours.

Nick says 13th June 2011

I’m torn between the very mature looking boy with the comb-over and moustache (kneeling) and the lad on the far right (standing).

samina says 10th June 2011

Hi 🙂
I think you are the fourth boy from the left. I hope I’m right )

    kala says 12th June 2011

    i think you are the last person from the right side of the page. regards

Carmenn says 10th June 2011

Hi Rob, my quess is :’ the 3rd guy from the left’.
People working hard to become a success had to be motivated from a young age to stand out above the rest.(even at a current disadvantage0.

natalia says 8th June 2011

I think you are the guy in shorts kneeling in front with something in hand.

Carey Conway says 8th June 2011

My guess, Rob…

is that, being the “runt-of-the-litter”, the smallest on the team, you readily recognize the benefits to each that all contribute, as a T-E-A-M!!

Mine is a story that parallels your team’s, in many respects. More later.

‘Til next time,

— Carey

Josephine says 8th June 2011

Rob you are the 4th guy standing from the left with a black wrist watch

Mark H. says 8th June 2011

I think you are the 3rd lad from the right with the devilish grin.

Yvonne says 8th June 2011


I think you are the one in front kneeling by the coach.

Salmah says 8th June 2011

Standing, Third from left, the shortest guy in the team

Debbie D says 7th June 2011

I think you are the third from the left in the back row.

Cate says 7th June 2011

I believe that you are the 4th person from the left standing in the back row with the sleeves rolled up – a sign of a job well done!

Lynda says 7th June 2011

I think you might be the third from the left. I can appreciate team work-I have three boys who all play rugby & whom it has benefitted enormously. We have a great team at our school too- very supportive.

Jo says 7th June 2011

Hi, Rob,

I think you are the first on the left . . . smiling and cutting up. Good luck on your new ventures!


samantha murray says 7th June 2011

i know where you are your the one that has the black watch on the 4th one next to the little guy, your loving the camera xx

Audrey says 7th June 2011

Hi Rob,
I think you are the first one standing by the coach. The one with the gray shorts instead of the black ones like everyboday else.

Elena says 7th June 2011

Hi, everyone….Rob, I think you’re the third person from the left….By the way, I love these old days pictures!!!!!

Jenn Hillier says 7th June 2011

I think you are the fourth person from the left. Folded arms, watch on wrist, slightly goofy smile. 🙂

Am I right?

Comments are closed