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“I’ll Speak As…” - From Engagement to Investment

Travelling teacher and long-time Associate Hywel Roberts shares one of the secrets
of moving children from being engaged in their learning to being truly invested.

Working with children in schools around the country in recent weeks, I’ve been a lighthouse keeper, a farmhand, a Mayan nobleman and a tree.

Yes, a tree.

Let me tell you why.

I’ve been working on getting primary children invested in their learning. I can easily get them engaged. After all, almost thirty years of teaching experience (including learning how not to do things) really help on the engagement front.

But I want more than that.

Engagement is just a meeting of adult expectations around student manners.

I want investment. I want the children to really care about what we are exploring.

I want botheredness.

One way to achieve this is to immerse children in a context. As teachers we can really make this work for children of all academic abilities and backgrounds (as a travelling teacher I’ve seen them all).

Hywel Roberts

Call us on +44(0)1267 211432 or email for a chat about Hywel's prices, current availability and how to save money when you book.


Introduce the lighthouse keeper on his final shift and get the children to ask them questions about their relationship with the sea.


Introduce the children to the down-on-their-luck farmer who is wondering how he can make the farm great again.

Doing the MAYANS? Introduce the nobleman looking out on the ancient (to us) city. Let him tell the children about all that he sees. The markets selling fruit, the fields growing maize, the King on his pyramid admiring the folks queuing to appease Chaahk, the God of Rain.


Be the mighty, ancient tree that has stood for millennia and tell the children what you have witnessed in your long life.

One more tip.

How do we transform ourselves from a stressed classteacher with a curriculum to cover into a lighthouse keeper, Mayan nobleman or, yes, that ancient tree?

Three little words.

“I’ll speak as…[1]


[1] No dressing up, no funny voices, no gurning, no acting. Just mean it.

About the author

Hywel Roberts

Hywel is in demand for his work in schools that is not only entertaining but firmly rooted in his ongoing experience as a 'travelling teacher' in some of our most challenging communities. He is the author Oops! and Uncharted Territories with Dr Debra Kidd.

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