Strategies for gaining student attentionYou receive the supply teaching call to action… You arrive at the classroom… Now you feel a nervous wreck… How do you get student attention?

No need to worry my friend. Here’s a simple and effective strategy for quickly and painlessly getting and maintaining the attention of your new class.

In fact, add this strategy to your classroom management toolkit and your supply-teaching day will be a walk in the park.

A supply teacher called Joseph Young passed on this effective student attention strategy to me. According to Joseph, this strategy guarantees good behaviour and learning response.

The supply teacher toolkit

You will need to purchase:

• One small prize to be awarded at the end of each lesson. For example, a pen.
• One book of raffle tickets.

Gaining student attention: The method

Explain to your class that:

• Every one of your students has a “stake” in the lesson and a fair chance of winning a prize.
• You will be giving out raffle tickets to students demonstrating good class behaviour.
• At the end of the lesson you will draw a raffle ticket from a hat and the winner will receive a prize.


• Make sure every time a student does something good, you award them a raffle ticket.
• At the end of the lesson ask one of your students to draw a raffle ticket from a hat and announce the winner.

The results

• Your students will be focused and will have a sense of anticipation.
• You will stand out from usual daily supply teachers. It will be almost as if you are showing them a magic trick.
• No matter how small the prize… know that your students will be eager to win it!

And finally…

This student attention strategy may cost you a small amount of money, but that money will buy you:

• Peace of mind.
• A better working atmosphere.

Like this tip? Let us know if you have any others that we can pass on.

Your success is our success.

Rick Smallwood, Founder teachweb supply teaching agency
Rick Smallwood, founder, teachweb

About the Author: Rick Smallwood is a former chemistry teacher and founder of leading London and the South East supply teaching agency teachweb. He has a proven track record of matching the right teachers to the right vacancy.

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