Needs Focused Teaching

2 reasons why you MUST ENGAGE your students


In the following video I explain two very good reasons why you should make sure your students are ENGAGED in lessons.

The video explains WHY you need to engage your students;. In my next video in this series I'll explain HOW to engage your students. There are certain steps you can take to ensure your students take part in your lessons and get more from them. All will be revealed very soon. Enjoy...

PLEASE leave a comment below & let me know how this video has helped you. More comments = more videos 😉 

Kristin says 28th March 2017

Engaging students in learning takes practice as it involved a different approach to lesson planning. However, the more you practice including engaging strategies in your daily lessons, the easier it becomes and as Rob said, the pay off in student behavior is definitely worth the initial effort to make the change!

Harold V. says 28th March 2017

Viewed your video. Now that you have piqued my interest, I am anxious to see your follow-up video on tips to engage students. Keep up the great work!

Marycathrin says 28th March 2017

I wasn’t able to watch the video after minute 5: but I think I had guessed right that the kids would be interested in watching the exotic creatures. Now I can’t wait to see a video with tips to engage students and not give teachers any more work? This sounds like a fairy tale to me ! Thank you so much for the sequence of videos. The more I watch them, the more they stick. I am very grateful indeed for the encouragement and inspiration you give so generously!

robplevin says 5th December 2011

Good point Zainab – and yes, I’ll cover this.

Zainab says 5th December 2011

I teach at a school that encourages activity method for the students but i have realised that after sometime the students do not want to do these activities and this is not the case with only one class its the case with most of the students and all the classes.
The activity is already planned by some curriculum planners who do not have any idea of the averege level of the students and the teacher is expected to execute the activity perfectly.
Its only the younger students who actually enjoy the activity but the older ones become more noisy and out of control,its more work for the teacher ……prepare for the activity for not so motivated students and then deal with the class indiscipline. Any thoughts Rob????

Janis Copping says 5th December 2011

Absolutely agree however its hard. Limited time, pressure to improve student skills particularly writing, various concentration levels in the class, recent arrivals, kids with special needs and a range from grade 2 to 10 in Year 8!!

Dee says 5th December 2011

Please cover how to chunk out time for a lesson..beginning, middle, end…(known by many labels) while at the same time juggling the reach and teach philosphy of quality instruction. Thanks. Love the tips and video. Look forward to more.

Mary says 5th December 2011

I enjoy your presentations. You really understand students.

Janet Douglas says 5th December 2011


I think you must be looking into my classroom – I have one student in particular who is very negative and self-emplodes at times feeling he just cannot understand or do the work. I bargain with him, talk to him, give him rules and consequences, and plead with him to do just a bit of work. Most days it is without success “I can’t, this is too hard, I don’t know this, I hate math . . .” then another (or the next day) total focus, steady work, nearly perfect results – “Oh, I get it now, I think I can do this!” Along with family problems, I am wondering if he may have dyslexia in addition to his current diagnosis of ADD. I want to help him be successful, not to punish him but to teach him. I can’t wait to see your “how” and start using is right away for this student. (High School Resource teacher)

Maria Rosario Francico says 5th December 2011

Hi Rob. I am looking forward to the “how” of engaging our students. By the way, if I may ask (Please pardon me for using this comment space). My cousin ordered the Behavior Needs Bundle- Retirement Bundle- ($147, I think) for me some months ago on your retirement sale. Her name is Maria Patricia Cortez. Unfortunately, we were not able to download the e-book because she forwarded the transaction number to me so that I could download it myself. Unfortunately,I was not able to do so because I simply did not know how and the downloading time expired after 24 hours. I have asked her to get in touch with you and request for something to be done so that I could get the e-book. I am very excited about this.

Thank you very much for your kind attention, Rob.
Maria Rosario (Charo) Francisco

Julia says 5th December 2011

I’m always looking for ideas to help make a lesson more interesting. What ideas do you have for 8th grade social studies. What resources can you recommend?
Thanks Rob!

Robyn says 4th December 2011

The examples given were a timely reminder that behaviour is communication and for the child it has a purpose. If we can begin to understand the purpose / needs being expressed we can begin to effectively address the behaviour.

Colleen Minardi says 4th December 2011

Wonderful illustration! I would love to hear more about how to engage students! Thanks, Rob!

Althea Pennerman says 4th December 2011

As teachers, we tend to forget these simple truths…

Matthew says 4th December 2011

Great story. Had a similar experience on my PGCE course – the lecturer put up some unintelligible writing on the OHP for us to read. It was basically nonsense. She explained that to children with SEN, that is what much of what they are presented with in school looks like. Factor in the fact that many children have undiagnosed hearing losses or need glasses (but do not realise!), and you can see how frustration could result in ‘poor’ behaviour. How many children in our classes are unaware of what they are being asked to do because they do not hear or cannot read the instructions?

robplevin says 4th December 2011

You got me Steve. 😉

Steve Hacinlioglu says 4th December 2011

You’re a smart cookie. What you’re doing right now, by creating suspense, is a great tool to engage students. Your concrete tips are great.
Best wishes,

Caroline says 4th December 2011

Looking forward to hearing some of the answers for engaging pupils-without working all the hours to prepare for it :o)

Melissa says 4th December 2011

Definitely a vivid illustration. I have a hard time engaging my students if they do not demonstrate any interest in the subject. I would love to hear your strategies for piquing their interest and engaging them in learning.

Cheryl says 4th December 2011

Great video! Looking forward to the next one!

Liz Milburn says 4th December 2011

I can see big differences in behaviour when my kids are engaged. There’s a hum of activity. It doesn’t always happen and so often I feel physically drained.

Davida says 4th December 2011

That was fabulous! As a Special Education teacher I needed this reminder. Looking forward to more information.

Vivian says 4th December 2011

Yes, please tell me more!

Suzie says 4th December 2011

I would love to know more! The situation you spoke about with the animals reminds me of when a classical orchestra visited our school. Same results– the students were automatically engaged, especially those with the most behavior issues.

Don says 4th December 2011

Thanks Rob,

I’m looking forward to what you are going to REVEAL to us in the very near future!!!!! Thanks a milliom.

judit says 4th December 2011

I look forward to learn new ways to engage my students

Donna says 4th December 2011

My school’s curriculum is mostly scripted, I struggle with engaging students, time management, and behaviorial issues. I need all the help I can get to engage students, help with time management, and less behaviorial problems.

Dana Miller says 4th December 2011

I agree with Deb, as I am in the same situation. I want for my students to be actively engaged, but I am having a difficult time finding the opportunity to set those types of lessons up, or be shown what works well. I look forward to your suggestions.

Deb Bouldin says 4th December 2011

I am very interested in engaging my students as their behaviours are making our classroom environment unbearable. I am a first year teacher and need all the help I can get! Our leaders speak of engagement but have not given us any tangible ways to do it. (Just more paperwork and a new chart to create to show the students a color-coded depiction of the levels of engagement)

Cathy says 4th December 2011

When we help one another, it is easier to have engaging lessons and find some balance in our lives. I’ve found that sharing my lessons with other teachers at my grade level often means that at some point, I receive some of their best ideas that makes my life easier. I do look forward to new ways to find the balance as well as engaging my students.

Lester Dembowy says 4th December 2011

Hi Rob,
Great stories. I’m definitely interested in seeing the video on how to keep them engaged, thank you Rob

Angus Gregson says 3rd December 2011

Not just PGCE students; watch any bunch of teachers on an INSET day and see all the beaviours we want ot to avoid (and some we want to encourage!).

Jaqueta Simms says 3rd December 2011

Sometimes we forget in planning our lessons to plan for engaging our students. We plan to teach the lesson not to teach the student. So please tell me more!!!!!

Cozzy says 3rd December 2011

Since I’ve found your website I’ve begun to understand more about behaviour and have mellowed somewhat. I find I don’t stress out as much and look at issues through a pupils eyes. This is much better than one off INSETS. Many thanks.

    robplevin says 3rd December 2011

    Thanks Cozzy, that’s good to know 🙂

Alejandro says 3rd December 2011

Learning a lot from Spain.

Janis says 3rd December 2011

Hey Rob
I enjoyed those two stories. Thank you. And yes, I would like to see the follow on video. Best wishes to you and the team!

Bob says 3rd December 2011

Would definitely be interested in seeing the video on how to keep them engaged, thank you Rob

Rob says 3rd December 2011

Hi JIm,

I’m planning on filming it next week as long as poeple want it. I know it’s probably the wrong time of year so I’m just waiting to see what level of response we get – if there’s not much interest I might leave it until early next year.

    Mandy says 4th December 2011

    PLEASE have the next video sooner rather than later!! Keep ’em coming. I need ideas now.

    Melissa says 4th December 2011

    This type of advice would be helpful any time of year. I often find myself in the middle of the year trying to get my students back. Things usually start off okay and then go downhill with behavior issues, students giving up academically, etc.

Jim says 3rd December 2011

Rob, can you put up the video on how to engage your students or keep them engaged? Thanks.

Jim says 3rd December 2011

Excellent video, gave me some ideas for my observation this coming Monday. Thanks.

Amelia says 3rd December 2011

Great stories to help us remember what’s going on in the head of our students. I enjoy watching your videos. Keep ’em coming! 🙂

Vicky Davis says 3rd December 2011

Thought provoking. Makes so much sense. Looking forward to the how to…..

Rob says 3rd December 2011

Adam, JD, perhpas I should have phrased the start of the video differently. Instead of saying “why it’s important to make your lessons engaging for your students” I should have said “Why it’s important to make your lessons engaging for your students… AND YOU.”

Get this right and the job becomes EASIER. I’m talking about saving the teacher time and stress, not making things harder.

Bev Stub says 3rd December 2011

Great anology!

Adam says 3rd December 2011

I feel a lot like JD.

Rob says 3rd December 2011

Hey JD you’ve highlighted the problem shared by almost every teacher – there’s not enough TIME to make your lesons all singing and dancing, ‘all bells and whistles’ but… YOU DON’T HAVE TO. I’m going to show you HOW to make your lessons much more engaging WITHOUT breaking your neck doing so. 🙂

This video was mearly to highlight the important role ENGAGING lessons play in making your life EASIER – we’ll deal with the how later. And remember… no matter what… FAMILY comes first.

    Olivia says 3rd December 2011

    Thanks for being sincere. It’s very true what Rob’s video says. However, making lessons engaging is a challenge in itself. With the extra work of grading, planning, behavior, life itself- your brain is fried. But I think there are simple things you can do. I am interested to hear what Rob has to say.

Jakki says 3rd December 2011

This takes me back to the school I last worked in that was in special measures. Make at least one lesson a week a WOW lesson and include experiences in as many as you can overall.

Working at that school for 2 years nearly killed me, (but that was also because they piled excessive paperwork on top of ‘make it all bells and whistles’).

JD says 3rd December 2011

As a new Dad, balancing home life with the needs/rights of my students to have fully differentiated lessons is leaving me feeling I’m doing neither satisfactorily – I’m a time-poor father and resources-light classroom teacher. Rob’s video has just heaped on the guilt.

Chris says 3rd December 2011

Very useful reminder

EUGENE says 3rd December 2011

Can see the logic here…

    Baltg says 5th December 2011

    It is tricky to make lessons engaging to a wide variety of learners. Eager to learn more!

Comments are closed