Arguably, keeping students engaged is one of the most important considerations for the classroom teacher. Although it is probably not the job of classroom teachers to entertain students, it is the job of every classroom teacher to engage students. One might argue that this is becoming increasingly more difficult in a society of fast-paced media and video games. In spite of these constraints, there are many things a teacher can do to engage students—many activities teachers can use to capture students' attention in a way that enhances their knowledge of academic content.
Returning to our scenario, Mr. Hutchins sometimes recognizes that students are having difficulty paying attention. He considers this somewhat of an occupational hazard. He also realizes that at these moments he must do something to reengage students. At times he simply asks students to stand up and stretch, but more commonly his techniques focus on the content addressed in class. For example, sometimes he involves students in games that have the content of the unit as their focus. Quite a few of his engagement strategies are organized around questions. Students are never quite sure whom he will call on when Mr. Hutchins asks a question. This creates some anticipation and keeps all students on their toes. For the most part, Mr. Hutchins is constantly monitoring students' levels of engagement and immediately takes preventive action if that engagement is low.