What Is the Key to Student Engagement? 5 Secrets Teachers Must Know

Some students hate school. They dislike participating in class discussions. Some are intimidated. Some are indifferent.

It’s high time to cut to the chase.

a little girl counting

Photo by Yan Krukov

Securing real student engagement in learning is quite a challenge for us teachers. With students’ varied interests and behavioral patterns, we need to arm ourselves with the perfect know-how of the key elements to student motivation.

When students are engaged in learning, they become compliant and stay connected. Hence, it’s very easy for us to manage student activities as well as behaviors. But what is the key to student engagement?

This topic quite calls every teacher’s attention in order to increase student motivation, sustain their interests, and make them love learning.


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However, I know that no matter how arduous this role is, still we manage to create activities, resources, and tools and motivate our learners. It’s important to us that our children are curious, open to receiving feedback, and motivated to succeed.

What Is the Key to Student Engagement?

Often it’s exacting for us to do what should be done. However, with our commitment and dedication to our profession, we are absolutely doing what’s best. Are you with me on this?

What does it take to keep our students attentive? We come to agree that we need their undivided attention.

I am zealous when they aren’t keeping pace with learning because their focus is on something else. Thus, I make it a point to understand the key to student engagement so our students become eager to learn.

With my commitment, I am able to handle even the most difficult day around, inspiring students and motivating them all. My commitment to teaching makes me fall in love with student engagement.

My dedication as a teacher is the key to student engagement. It’s intrinsic and it motivates me to inspire joy in my students and make a big impact. It’s a gentle nudge to keep my students focused.

And because I’m committed, I am to share the following key elements to increase student engagement. These can make the students feel that we’re always there for them.

a child reading a book

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio


5 Secrets You Must Know

1. Clarity of instructions and expectations

One of the things that can keep children going is making things clear for them. How will they do it? How they’ll learn? Do they know what is expected from them?

Basically, students won’t comply or yield because instructions or the lessons are vague and expectations are indefinite. And students get disappointed.

To create a productive learning environment where students thrive and are confident to accept challenges, we need to structure our instructional delivery and presentations. We need to describe the assignment to be done.

With clarity of instructions, students become confident that they are tracking the right pathway to learning.

Our ability to communicate effectively with our students is essential to helping them understand the materials and the relationships between things.

2. Safe learning environment

Important to the concept of student engagement is fostering a safe learning environment. When clear expectations are supported with tactics to create a welcoming learning space, students will enjoy learning.

I know that some students are afraid to express their ideas because they feel compulsions around them. They hesitate to volunteer and contribute their ideas.

A safe learning environment fosters students’ active involvement. Because they are confident that they are welcome in the classroom, they are more motivated to participate in classroom discussions.

They will ask questions when they don’t understand or need clarifications. More likely, students can complete assignments in an accommodating environment.

3. Student diversity

A proven way to increase student engagement is by promoting student diversity. Notice that when learning activities are varied and differentiated, students get more excited to learn.

As students learn at a different pace, that ought to be recognized. It is to evoke curiosity as to what they will learn and what will they see in front.

Kids in the graders are always curious about what their teacher will show them as the lesson begins. At some point, the process of differentiating is easier said than done. It requires hard work.

To achieve this end, we need to be aware of students’ learning styles and levels of readiness. Hence, something must be done at beginning of the school year knowing that you are dealing with different personalities and skills.

4. Good communication

In this secret, we need to practice good methods of communication so everything is made clear to everyone.

By improving communication in the classroom, students gather extra strength to convey their thoughts and feelings. How would you know how they feel if lines of communication are obstructed because of intimidation?

Your effort won’t be in vain if students also know how to communicate effectively. When something bothers them or confuses them they know precisely what to do.

With good communication, students gather information, appreciate the lessons, and apply the skills they learned.

“Communication is only effective when we communicate in a way that is menaingful to the recipient, not ourselves.” – Rich Simmonds

Not only that, with good communication you can create a lot of meaningful learning experiences with your students that make them appreciate all your efforts and develop their potential.

5. Relevant content

In the quest for long-lasting student engagement, we need to check the relevance of content and make sure it’s not far-fetched.

That is why it’s critical to review content before introducing it to your students. Anyway, I know that you’re always crafting your lesson plans. So, don’t worry, I’m sure your students can relate to it.

But despite the presence of complex content, students get to appreciate its relevance if lessons are presented very well and students are deeply engaged.

In my decade of teaching, I’ve come across different teaching strategies that can modify and simplify concepts. For as long as the meat of the skill to be developed is there, they are just fine alright.

Summing up

And in an effort to sustain student engagement, our commitment is the key. All the fantastic pillars mentioned above can be achieved if you are really earnest in making students learn and make a difference.

Fostering a classroom full of engaged learners is a passion of a dedicated teacher. It can be a little overwhelming but we should remind ourselves that ours is a vocation and not just a job.

In today’s post, I hope I have walked you through practical and smart tactics to get students motivated and increase their performance.

Nonetheless, maybe, in your years in the teaching profession, you also have unique ideas that help answer the question, “What is the key to student engagement?”. Go ahead and share your thoughts in the comments. I appreciate it.